Written by Emily Harstone December 23rd, 2020

The Two Most Important Things You Need to Do to Have Your Manuscript Taken Seriously

Submitting is often an overwhelming process, and we have published hundreds articles about the various aspects involved, but sometimes when I am feeling most overwhelmed I remind myself of the two most important things any author must do to have their work seriously considered.

The first is to have a well written and polished manuscript. This doesn’t mean a first draft. Most manuscripts that have been published have been drafted half a dozen times or more.

It shouldn’t just be your eyes on the manuscript. Use apps like Grammarly and Hemingway to help you catch the obvious mistakes. After that, look for beta readers to read your work. You can also get feedback from other authors through platforms like Inked Voices and Scribophile and get feedback that way.

Only after editing based on their feedback should you try to find a professional copy editor. There is a good list of copy editors you can access here.

After all of these steps is when your fiction manuscript is ready to submit (non-fiction follows a very different set of rules).

But alongside, and even before those steps you can be working on the other most important aspect of submitting a manuscript – learning to market yourself.

Most authors do this by building an author platform, which you can read more about here and here.

If you are trying to build your author platform and trying not to expose yourself too much on social media, one of the best things you can do is focus on publishing shorter work in magazines and anthologies.

Actively working on both the quality of your manuscript and the size of your platform are the best ways you can support your book and connect with a manuscript publisher or agent.

Emily Harstone is the author of many popular books, including The Authors Publish Guide to Manuscript SubmissionsSubmit, Publish, Repeat, and The 2020 Guide to Manuscript Publishers.

She regularly teaches three acclaimed courses on writing and publishing at The Writer’s Workshop at Authors Publish.

You can follow her on Facebook here.


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