I've heard from a few aspiring authors that they read my blog (OK - I admit, I'm flattered) I also admit I'm not an expert in the publishing business, although I can say, with absolute certainty, that anything you've heard of has probably happened to me (Well, not the best seller but let's remain optimistic!) I've been accepted, rejected, scammed, insulted, praised, flashed, (Yes, you read that right.) published, dumped, edited and unedited. My publishers have: folded, just started, won prizes, been maligned, have made headlines, have been obscure. I've signed over twenty contracts (not as many as some of the gals I know, and more than others.) And through it all I've tried to do one thing:
What doeas that mean to a writer?
Well, it starts off right in the beginning by Reading the Guidelines.
I'm always surprised when I read blogs by publishers, editors, and agents stating that so and so didn't follow the guidelines. It's such an easy thing to do. Read instructions. Follow instructions. And one of the first things they ask for is a SASE.
In this day and age of computer networks and online submissions and e-books, it occured to me that maybe an aspiring author would not know what a SASE is. After all, when I first saw the initials I had to ask someone (I think it was my friend Eileen who is a journalist) and she said it's a Self Addressed Stamped Envelope.
It's not a Save A Second Envelope, which some writers seem to believe as they send out their submissions without it.
A SAE is a self addressed envelope, usually accompanied by an IRC, which is an international reply coupon. (for those living abroad it is often the only way we can submit material, and I submitted all my short stories with their SAE's and IRC's in order to hear back from the magazine publishers, for example.)
Bring professional is not hard to do. It starts at the very begining of a writer's career with the guidelines. It's easy. I promise!