Ready to send out your manuscript? Here are some hints that may help you avoid the slush pile.
– If sending out a hard copy of your manuscript, don’t print it on watermelon, bacon or any other scented paper. The agent’s or publisher’s dog might eat it.
– Don’t submit your manuscript on Monday then call on Wednesday to find out when they’re going to send out the book and movie contract. Wait at least until Thursday in order for them to process your awesomeness and send it to the correct repudiation department.
– Don’t send your friends dressed up as characters from your novel to the agent’s or publisher’s door in order to act out scenes from your book. If you insist on doing something so insanely inventive, at least hire professionals. Make a grand impression. The least you can do is go down in flames to an amazing Broadway-style performance.
– Don’t send your novel about the erotic love affairs of Cat Woman to an agent or publisher who represents books on cat training, unless you want your manuscript to end up as cat litter.
– Don’t claim your novel is a blockbuster, unless of course it is, then I suggest you have Steven Spielberg deliver it in person.
– Don’t address your cover letter to Dear Agent, unless the word “Agent” is followed by 86 or 99, at which point your novel better be about a bungling spy and his pretty sidekick.
– Don’t mention how much your family and beta readers loved your book unless you include at least 5-10 page dissertations on the similarities between your manuscript and the likes of Harry Potter or Twilight. Agents and publishers have nothing better to do with their time than read about how great you are at emulating your favorite author.
– Don’t send sexy photos of yourself, unless you want to end up on the slush pile floor, but that’s a whole other post entirely.
– Don’t be cute and turn your cover letter into a pictorial scrapbook page of what your novel is about. Hieroglyphics are difficult to read.
– Don’t ignore or publicly berate an agent’s or publisher’s advice unless you enjoy being referred to in editorial circles as “the one who shall not be signed.”