Tag Archives: Formatting

Let’s Talk About Professionalism

I just finished editing an anthology for Rick Ramsey at TripleTree Publishing, and I need to say a word about professionalism in our industry.

I hear would-be writers cry the blues all the time about not being able to get published. Well, I just remembered why. You don’t do your homework, and you have a misplaced sense of entitlement.

I received manuscripts late. I received manuscripts that were incomplete. I received manuscripts that were single spaced. Or that were double spaced, with an extra space between paragraphs, some of which had no paragraph indentations. I got manuscripts that had funky punctuation which I had to fix (very time consuming) before it could go into the file for the book designer. I edited manuscripts, kicked them back to the authors for their okay on the revisions and never heard back. I got whole new manuscripts back after editing,¬†making all my hard-earned revisions useless, because the old formatting was back.¬† Which I had to re-do.Some of these were professionals. And then, on top of all of that, I had two rude authors. I don’t need rude.

Not everybody behaved badly, but I could easily tell who was a professional.

One manuscript stood out because of this: It was perfect. It arrived on time, in pristine condition. I had not one single editing suggestion. It didn’t even have a misplaced comma. The story was tight, well-told, and I knew instantly that this was a professional author. I was right. Linda Clare.

So listen up. If you want to be a professional, then dammit, act like one. Stop whining. Make your deadlines. Submit what you’re asked to submit when you’re supposed to submit it. Nothing more, nothing less.

Act like a professional.

And be nice.

If you do those simple things, chances are, you’ll get published. A lot.

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