Friday, February 24, 2012

Selling Your Manuscript

I've entitled this post, "Selling Your Manuscript" because there are many varying manuscripts as there are people in the world. But one thing is a definite: How to submit your manuscript depending on WHERE you're sending that manuscript.

Allow me to explain:

Photo by NS Newsflash, courtesy of Flickr
Newspaper:

If you're selling your piece to a newspaper, you need to get the attention of a busy editor and so a quick email spelling out who you'd like to interview, the connections you have to that interview, and what the editor can expect to receive in quality from your piece is what is in order here. If something has happened in the community, that story has to get to the editor--quick--you don't have a week to write it. If the piece is "green" meaning it can be placed in the paper at any time, you have a bit more time, but not more than a couple of weeks.

Photo by Chatirygirl, courtesy of Flickr
Magazine:

A magazine needs a query letter, and usually a letter that is mailed snail-mail before you send over the piece. A magazine has restrictions on length, type of article, and so on. Purchasing a Writer's Market is always a good idea (for magazine or book writing) so that you can direct the query letter to a specific person. The same is true if you are sending an email to a newspaper editor. Get it to the right place, and never offer "Dear Editor," as your opening line unless you've exhausted ALL resources in finding their name. If you need to know more about writing a query letter, stayed tuned for tomorrow. I will be writing all about that.

Photo by: miss.libertine, courtesy of Flickr
Book Publisher:

An editor at a book publishing firm may want a query letter first where you "sell" your work. He/she may prefer a cover letter and the first three chapters of a manuscript. He/she may say, "Send the entire manuscript," but this is the exception rather than the rule. Most often you will send a query letter describing your book, the market for your book, etc. I will explain more about COVER LETTERS on Monday.

An editor can usually tell the difference between a NEW writer and an ESTABLISHED writer, especially when their guidelines are followed--or not. Make sure you become a sudden expert at what you are doing by following the guidelines they share. Experiment on writing query letters and cover letters before sending them out, and always ready yourself for that "Yes, I would like to see your completed manuscript."

Because the letter will come. 
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