The Inkwell

Part Two: Five More Submission Tips and Tricks

We’re back with more tips on submissions and query letters. Click here to read last week’s tips and tricks. Have a question or some thoughts of your own? Feel free to send us an email at

1. Read the website. And read it thoroughly. Chances are the answers to your questions are there. If they’re not, it’s okay to call, but be organized and brief. Have your questions handy and please don’t try to relay the whole synopsis over the phone. It’s just not a good idea.

2. Marketing? Talking about the marketing and cover design of your book in your submission isn’t a good idea. Again, agents and publishers are primarily focused on the writing. If you do have a strong author platform then mention it, but…

3. Be legitimate. A Facebook Fan page of 25 people is not a persuasive platform and neither is a Twitter following of 75. Your author platform should be focused whether you’re a fiction or non-fiction author. For example, if you wrote a proposal on organic farming and have a growing blog of engaged followers on that topic,a Facebook page with tips and pics and a twitter account with fresh content and lively discussion, that could be considered a strong author platform. It’s a big Don’t to pretend that you have a strong platform. We have Google – and we use it often.

4. If you don’t have an author platform don’t freak out. We do suggest that you start some form of social media to start building your audience and contacts as it will aide you in the future. But, agencies still work with brand new authors in a lot of cases.

5. Finally a big Don’t is to send other odds and ends with the manuscript. This relates back to the gimmick point from week one. We’ve heard stories of agents who opened submissions that included oven mitts because the manuscript was, “Too hot to handle.” I’m sure you can imagine where that manuscript landed…

Stayed tuned for next week’s final installment of submission guidelines and queries!