Did you make it your goal this year to submit your story? I did. And if you did too, you’ll want to avoid making these common pitfalls writers fall into as you try to publish your book.
Even seasoned writers can get tripped up with these and get rejected before they even have a chance to make a good impression! So make sure to read this before you start submitting.
4 Pitfalls Writers Fall into Trying to Get Published
Whenever you have a new story that you’re ready to try getting published, it’s common to be excited. But if you try to rush the process, you can easily make a mistake and ruin your chances of getting a yes from an agent or editor.
Here are some common mistakes that can occur:
1. Rushing – Submitting a story before it’s ready.
This one is really hard sometimes, especially when you’re afraid you might miss a good opportunity!
For instance, I just had the option to submit to an editor at Simon & Schuster, which was REALLY tempting to do. However, my story still needs another round of edits before it’s ready to send and I can’t risk sending a poorly written manuscript to an editor, even if it would be awesome to be published with S&S.
2. Using a poorly written query letter.
I’ve always heard stories, but now that I own a publishing house, I’ve actually been privy to these kinds of letters. A poorly written query can be anything from including too much information about yourself, talking down about your abilities, or being too demanding of the recipient. (IE: telling them they’re absolutely going to love this story, etc.)
A query is the cover letter you use to pique someone’s attention and get them excited about your story. That’s pretty much it. If you want to learn how to write a query letter – read this article.
3. Pitching to the WRONG person.
You might think this is one shouldn’t be a common pitfall writers fall into — how could you not know the right person to send your story to?
But it’s actually super easy to do. (I once submitted a chapter book to the wrong agent at Andrea Brown because she doesn’t represent those kinds of books. Luckily, she referred me to someone else. But you won’t always be so lucky!)
Be sure to research their manuscript wishlist, website bio, and any other interview/post you can find about them. The more you know, the more confident you’ll feel that they are someone that could potentially like your book.
4. Giving up too soon!
It can take months and sometimes even YEARS to get a book published. Which feels like forever when you’re the one submitting! It can be tempting to give up. But don’t! If your book is written well and something you love, keep submitting.
Eventually, your story will find its place on a child’s bookshelf. Don’t run into these common pitfalls writers fall into by rushing the process, writing a poor query letter, submitting to the wrong person, or giving up too soon. Good luck with your submissions!
And for more publishing tips, check out these other articles:
- How to Know it’s Time to Publish Your Children’s Book
- Everything You Need to Publish a Kid’s Book
- Listen to Episode 3 of the Podcast – Ready to Publish Your Book
- How to Know when Your Story Needs a Rewrite