I don’t need no stinkin’ guidelines!

How often have writers ignored the guidelines listed on a publisher’s website and submitted with what they chose to include?

Are you one of these people who decides guidelines given by a publisher don’t mean anything and all you need to do is offer a cover letter, synopsis, and a few chapters of your “best seller that will make you millions?”

One of the first things everyone learns when looking for a job is that you put your best foot forward. You won’t show up for an interview wearing greasy jeans, a ripped t-shirt, with your hair looking like you should have visited a stylist for a trim and shampoo. Who would dare appear at a bank dressed as if they’re auditioning for Chippendales or a strip club?

But, you argue, that’s an interview. Guidelines are flexible.

Actually, a publisher’s guidelines serve two purposes. They tell you exactly how the publisher wants to see your submission. They also are an indication if you can follow directions.

In other words, the guidelines are exactly like an interview. They are your only chance to put your best foot forward and show that your book is worth considering.

For that reason, despite the advice you’ve received from writer’s groups, your friends, even experts abounding on the internet, when you finally get ready to submit, read the guidelines first.


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