What are some common mistakes that a first time or amateur author makes, that an experienced author does not? This can be both in writing and/or in submission.
Sometimes even experienced writers make these mistakes, but these are the ones that immediately pop into my mind.
- Thinking your story is polished and done, when it is not.
- Writing in a style that’s wrong for the genre.
- Technical errors–grammar, punctuation, spelling.
- Thinking the editor will (has time to) fix all the mistakes.
- Failing to send mss out to qualified readers for critique.
- Characters, plot, storyline problems.
- Sending the mss to a publisher before it’s ready.
- Sending mss to publishers who don’t publish in that genre.
- Using the shotgun method of submission (sending out queries/submissions to every single publisher on your list without doing any research to see if your mss would be a good fit for them.)
- Lack of research into the business side of publishing and the common how-tos for submitting.
- Doing the research on how to submit, but ignoring the suggestions and doing it your own way because that shows you’re unique and creative. (Not.)
- Poorly crafted query.
- Making excuses for less than quality writing in the query; emphasizing that you’re a beginner and lack experience (I do not mean that you can’t state that this is your first novel. That’s fine. I mean going on and on about how you don’t really know what you’re doing and you hope I’ll overlook your ignorance and inexperience…)
Experienced authors, help me out. What am I forgetting?