- Manuscripts that are not formatted according to the publisher’s guidelines. Many editors will reject these out of hand.
- Poor punctuation, poor grammar, too many typos. Your manuscript must be the best it can be.
- Edits that come back corrected within days. When your editor sends back your edits, stop, think, work through the whole manuscript to implement the suggestions throughout. Don’t just do the marked up edits. Read the whole manuscript carefully again to see what else you can improve from the advice given.
- If some overused words are highlighted, check to see how many more you can track by using your Find option.
- Edits that are ignored or rejected with no reason given.
- Ignoring or changing formatting the editor has put in place e.g. using tabs, double spacing. It’s not now necessary.
Do you know your Ellipsis from your Em–dash?
Of course you do.
The ellipsis goes . . . and allows the character’s thoughts to trail away.
The em-dash is the long dash that means something or someone has interrupted a character’s speech.
They’re appearing now as often in manuscripts as the dreaded exclamation mark used to. Please use them correctly and sparingly.
Too Many Books
No-one nowadays can afford months of editing time to shape a book that has potential ot to cosset an author who is averse to change. The nearer the book is to ready, the better a chance it has to sell.
Same goes for self-pubbers. Too many typos, too many inconsistencies and readers will never read another of your titles. There are too many free easy-access e-books in every genre online for anyone to persist in reading a badly-edited book.
Too many good books in the world to waste time on a bad one.
What pet hates do you have about your writing experiences?
images again from FreeDigitalPhotos.net courtesy of gubgib (alphabet E) and iosphere for the angry man with broken pencil