Top Ten Pet Peeves of a New Editor PART 2
by MM Pollard, editor, Black Velvet Seductions
January 1, 2012, I became an acquisitions editor with Black Velvet Seductions. I’ve been on the job for over a year now, and I have a growing list of pet peeves of a new editor.
Let’s continue our talk from April 1st about little things that writers have done when submitting their work for consideration that drive me (and other editors) crazy. Here’s the second half of my list—
6. …writers who don’t proof their manuscript before they send it in.
I know, I know, proofing your own writing is hard to do. Ask a friend who uses the language properly to read your story and make notes on changes.
If common English punctuation and grammar trip you up, then may I suggest taking a Workshop with MM?
7. …writers who send their manuscripts typed in size 9 of a decorative font and singled-spaced.
Editors read, that’s it! Double space and use an easy-to-read font like Times New Roman, Courier New or Arial in a size 12 font – it’s easier on the eyes. Being kind to the editor is in your best interest.
8. …writers who send in separate chapters from beginning, middle, and end of the manuscript, instead of the first three chapters or the entire manuscript, according to the publisher’s request.
I don’t understand their thinking with this one. How can an editor tell anything about pacing or plot or character development in three non-sequential chapters?
9. …writers who aren’t prepared to send in additional information, like a chapter outline or a promotion plan, when requested by the editor.
It’s a fact of small press publishing today that writers who use such presses will need to do some promotion for their books once they are published. Have a promotion plan handy in case a publisher is interested in seeing it. Same with a chapter outline. Better yet, write a fabulous synopsis, and I wouldn’t need to see a chapter outline.
10. …writers who sign with a publisher, but don’t let other publishers who also received their work know that bit of information.
This happened – I read a submission I thought showed promise. I was excited. I checked out the writer’s blog and website where I found out that another publisher had already contracted the work. Lots of wasted time and energy on my part! It’s not as if we had let her submission hang out in submission purgatory for months.
Common courtesy is so underused in business relationships today. Need I say more? Uh, I guess I already did.
Now it’s time to ask yourself how many of my pet peeves are you guilty of? If you realize that you are guilty, chalk it up to being a novice in this writing business and promise to change your ways. If you aren’t guilty, pat yourself on the back. I would love to hear from you.
MM Pollard, Editor, Black Velvet Seductions
About MM Pollard
MM Pollard is a very nice former English teacher and now acquisitions editor for Black Velvet Seductions. She has accepted the mission to find and help writers correct ungrammatical grammar, misused usage, problematic punctuation, and poor writing in their work.
With fifteen years of experience teaching English serving as a resource of knowledge and a life-time love of teaching and of language, MM has been presenting workshops since February, 2011. She has presented workshops for many RWA chapters, Savvy Authors, Writers Online Classes, and in her own virtual classroom. MM is excited to have over thirty workshops scheduled for 2013. Check out her blog for more details.
Also check out her new forum for free workshops and advice on using English correctly. You don’t have to register as a member of Lefora Forums unless you wish to comment.
MM has helped many writers improve their language and writing skills through her fun workshops. Yes, English can be fun! MM is sure she can help you, too, master the fundamentals of English.
editor, Black Velvet Seductions
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