Thursday, 13 July 2017

Desperately Devious Deeds - No sneaky business when submitting your manuscript.

You are about to send your manuscript to your chosen literary agent or publishing company. You carefully read the requirements for submission and, to your dismay, you notice you are only allowed to send in your first three words.

Ok, perhaps that's a very slight exaggeration. But most likely they only want your first chapter, or your first 3000 words, or a selected chapter from your manuscript. When you work out your first 3000 words, you find it ends two pages before a dramatic, engaging, exciting, disturbing, hilarious event that the agent or publisher simply MUST read!

Your eyes skip down to where the requirements state, "2.5 inch margins, 12 font, double spaced". 

"Ah ha!" you think triumphantly. "I will make my margins 2.4" and my font 11.75 and reduce the line spacing by the tiniest, teeniest, fraction of an inch. Then I can fit more in."


They will know. And it just makes you look sneaky, as though you take them for fools.

They are not.

Sadly, your manuscript, equally as good as Tolkien's of course, might be cast aside onto the, "can't follow the rules" junk pile.

If you are planning this kind of desperately devious deed, instead go back and rewrite your first chapter. Make sure that your first chapter reaches into your readers’ chest and grips their heart.

What you are trying to do is win your agent or publisher over by the quality and appeal of your first chapter. If you can’t win them with your first chapter, it needs re-writing.

Wednesday, 12 July 2017

So here goes… I am about to send in my manuscript for the first book in my middle grade series. The book is called The Shadow Village and the series is The Ruby Key.

Why did I choose Allen and Unwin?

After seeking advice from someone “in the industry”, Allen and Unwin were recommended to me as an excellent and professional publishing company.

In 2016, Allen and Unwin was voted “Publisher of the Year” for the thirteenth time!

They publish a huge array of award-winning children’s books and have a new submissions system called The Friday Pitch, which allows writers to send in their manuscripts following specific guidelines.
Check out their rather impressive website: