Here’s another list of things not to do when you send your manuscript (based on true-life examples from manuscripts that I have received in the past 30 days):
1. Do not single space. I know I’ve said this before, but apparently I have not stressed it enough. I CANNOT read, let alone edit, a manuscript that is single spaced.
2. Do not leave large spaces between paragraphs and type [Insert illustration here]. Especially for a book intended for adults.
3. Do not send illustrations with your adult-audience book.
4. Do not tell me in those big gaps [See illustration # whatever] and expect me to go looking to the back of the book and hand count the illustrations to get to the page number you want me to look at.
5. Do not 3-hole punch the manuscript and send it in a 3-ring binder.
6. Do not put your manuscript pages in sheet protectors and send them in a binder.
7. Do not design a cover and send me a color print out of it. We won’t be using it and I don’t need your sample to visualize what the front of your book could look like. I’m a professional. Visualizing covers is what they pay me to do!
8. Do not print your manuscript double-sided on the paper.
9. Do not send your manuscript, then call me two weeks later and ask if you can bring me a new copy because you’ve re-written a significant number of scenes. If I’ve already started reading, you’ve wasted my time. If I haven’t already started reading, I’ll think you’re a nut case.
10. Do not drop by my office (without an appointment) and ask if I’ve finished reading your manuscript yet, and when I say no, ask if you can “borrow” it back for a few weeks because your daughter-in-law wants to read it and you don’t want to spend all that money on paper and ink to print out another copy and you don’t mind at all looking through my huge stack of manuscripts to find yours.
Sometimes I think I’m a wonderful person simply because I never resort to physical violence.