First let me say that while I am a Senior Acquisition Editor and author at MuseItUp Publishing, everything within is my own opinion. We all bring to the table our experiences and life baggage and for this I am forever grateful to you all.
I’ve been thinking on this topic for a number of weeks, even started writing a few days ago. However, here I sit at 8:23 p.m. the night before I’m to upload my piece and I don’t have anything finished. Adding here that at 9:38 a.m. the day this is due, I’m still writing and tweaking.
The first piece started with guidelines and checking you’re submitting your genre piece to the correct genre publisher, but that should be common knowledge by now. And if you’re following the rules then surely your manuscript and opening email is grabbing the editor’s attention…positive attention, right?
I’ve read submissions which were perfectly composed, followed every guideline to the “t” and still left a sour note in my mouth. There have been a few submissions which did a hit and miss…and totally out of the ballpark no idea about guidelines…and they sang to me.
So, what was the difference?
Yes, that’s the word I’ve been searching for…attitude. Your positive, believing in your dream, faith in you’re taking a chance attitude. I’m not talking ego. I don’t mean a stiff professional voice that has me picturing a formal boardroom meeting. I mean the simple “Hi, I’m so-so and…”
And, no, not the “Hi, I’m so-so. Please read my manuscript.
The submission emails I remember were all ones where the author talked to me, not at me. They didn’t drone on like a form letter…oh how I hated sending form letters when I was a secretary. Now, some form letters like…congrats here’s your contract…those I don’t mind. I love sending those.
You’re introductory email speaks volume. Your personality, creativity, passion, even future work habits do show through; they should shine through.
You don’t need to embellish or get all fancy. We want you. We want you to talk with us, be friendly. Give us what we’ve asked for, but share yourself, too. Whether you’re a newbie or an author with hundreds of books under your name, we’re here waiting to yell “Welcome to MuseItUp!” We want you as part of our family.
That’s it? That’s what it takes to grab positive attention from an editor? It’s been a common denominator in conversations I’ve had about submissions. Even when we’ve had to send out a decline (rejection, but that’s such a harsh word) the impact of the author’s email has left its imprint on us.
Those who have left that sour taste, I don’t remember their rejections. No they were not rejected for a bad introductory email attitude. But how one comes across in this first contact is a pretty sure gauge of how their manuscript reads. Allow me to rephrase, their voice of this first contact is a pretty good gauge. Not whether they’ve rambled or were concise or missed a detail…their voice.
Quickest way to put me in your corner? Follow the guidelines (hey, you knew that was coming). Be polite (no, not as common as you might think). Be friendly professional (I know you’re not a robot and neither am I). Share your nerves…been there, too. Actually, I get those excited nerves opening each and every submission.
As I look at my current word count…754 and growing…I’m going to stop here and ask you three questions.
Question 1: Whether regarding writing or not, what attitude has anyone’s email or social media comment, directed to you, left that sour taste for you?
Question 2: Has there ever been an email or social media comment you have made, which you now believe may have caused that sour taste?
Question 3: What do you, as authors, believe are assessing editors’ pet peeves.
And, thank you for reading.
The writer: Christine Irene Steeves – writer: http://christineisteeves.blogspot.ca/
ChrisChat Talks Creativity http://chrischattalkscreativity.blogspot.com/
ChristChat Indulges: http://chrischatindulges.blogspot.ca/
Editor Chris Speakman lives here: MuseItUp Publishing http://museituppublishing.com
Reviewer Chris Speakman, well, the easiest address is ChrisChat Reviews at http://www.freewebs.com/chrischatreviews/
Still reading, you can always reach her at MuseChrisChat@gmail.com