Ask The Author/Editor
As promised on my home page, you ask, I answer. Here’s a new question from another reader:
“I’ve heard more and more people saying it’s a good idea to find published authors who will read my manuscript and write a review or endorsement that I can then submit to to publishers with my book proposal. Is this something editors really value?”
The short answer: No.
Oh, you want more details? Okay dokey. Here’s the expanded answer:
I’m not sure where this recommendation came from, but I don’t think it’s a good idea. Nor do many of the published writers I know. In fact, we’re all kind of confused as to who thought this was a good idea.
As an acquisitions editor, the only review or endorsement that would have any impact on me would be one from a published author who actually knew you. Or from an author I know and trust. But bottom line, what matters to me is the writing, not what someone else says about your manuscript.
As an author, I can tell you that I, like many published authors, have been receiving more and more of these requests from unpublished authors. While we want to help, there’s little chance we can take time from our writing schedules to do this. Many of the authors I know have made it a policy to turn down these kinds of requests, simply because we know it doesn’t really help. Which means it’s not a good use of your time or ours.
So what should you do to ensure your manuscript has the best chance of being acquired? Have it professionally critiqued or edited. Go to a writer’s conference and take one of the mentoring classes to refine your craftsmanship. Take the time to revise, revise, revise. Once you’ve done these things–once you’re certain the writing is as strong as you can make it–then send it off to publishers. Because there’s just no substitute for a powerfully written story that grabs the reader from the very first page.
God bless, and keep writing!
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