I am happy to share my notes from this superb panel discussion "The Word Lover's Publishing Panel," held Feb. 10, 2016 at NYU Bookstore; moderated by Professor Susan Shapiro:
Avoid These Mistakes
When submitting your work to an editor, avoid:
- Double or multiple submissions. No editor wants to put in time and get input from several colleagues, only to find that another entity has published it.
- Not taking ‘No’ for an answer, or getting upset if turned down.
- Word count too high in cover letter or pitch.
- Typos in cover letter, or misspelling the addressee’s name.
- Impressing with irrelevant details in cover letter.
- Not doing one's homework on the kind of books the publisher publishes, or submission guidelines. Asking, ‘what should I send you?’
- Sending your work to the wrong person.
- Bugging the editor too quickly.
- Calling the editor on the phone.
- Factual errors in pitch, or manuscript.
- Approaching too early in process with half-baked ideas.
- Not knowing your motivation for writing your book.
- Not willing to do the work of a re-write.
- Not understanding the economics of books, and being in a hurry to move the publication process.
Moderated by: Professor Susan Shapiro, author of WHAT'S NEVER SAID
NY Times editor Peter Catapano, author of The Stone Reader
Beacon Press book editor Rakia Clark
Janklow & Nesbit literary agent Kirby Kim
Lilith fiction editor Yona Zeldis McDonough, author of The House on Primrose Pond
Joy Peskin, editorial director of FSG’s Books for Young Readers
Rollingstone.com deputy editor Jerry Portwood
Putnam VP & executive editor Mark Tavani