Your Best Foot

We’ve all heard the saying to put your best foot forward. This pretty much means that whatever you do in life make sure you’re doing it to the best of your ability.

This is especially true when it comes to submitting your book to a publisher. Every bit of advice you will get on this subject will always start with the same thing: “Always, always make sure you send a well-edited manuscript.”

The reason for this is that your manuscript is your interview with a publisher. The story must flow sensibly from one paragraph to the next. There can’t be any misspellings. Nor should you send the publisher what you received from your beta reader or critique group without ensuring there isn’t any type of editing contained within the body.

In essence, your submission is not only your interview, but also your face-to-face moment with a publisher. The appearance of your manuscript is as important as the story. Everything is being judged.

Think of it this way. Did you run out the door without making sure you tie didn’t have a spot on it from where you dropped part of your breakfast? Did you happen to make sure there wasn’t any lipstick on your teeth? Is your hair well groomed and neatly styled? Are your shoes clean and polished, if necessary.

These are all the last second points you check on before walking in for a face to face interview. Apply them to your manuscript before you send it through the ether of the internet for that interview with an editor in chief. Especially, make sure you haven’t sent them a manuscript full of editing marks. It’s not only embarrassing, especially when you get a rejection with a gentle note telling you that was why, but it’s like showing up for an interview dressed for a day at the beach—fine if you’re applying for a position as a lifeguard, not so good if you’re trying to become a teller in a bank.


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