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Named to "Writer's Digest 101 Best Websites," this #SharingwithWriters blog is a way to connect with my readers and fellow writers, a way to give the teaching genes that populate my DNA free rein. Please feel free to add to the conversation using the very tiny "comment" link. For those interested in editing and grammar, go to http://thefrugaleditor.blogspot.com.

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Thursday, August 02, 2012

Getting Submission Protocol Right

This is from the regular Q&A a la Ann Landers column in my SharingwithWriters newsletter. I used to edit her column (make it fit into available space) when I was a staff writer for The Salt Lake Tribune back in the days of the dinosaurs and love this format for learning about life--and that includes just about everything. (-:


Getting Submission Protocol Right

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Question:

Dearest Carolyn, I am designing a new business card to send to editors that will be attached to the top of my manuscripts when I submit them. I would like to know if the correct title under my name should be "Writer?" or "Novelist?" Thank you for your help. I appreciate it so much! Your newsletter was full of wonderful information. I enjoyed it and look forward to the next one with great anticipation!. Hope you are having a good week.

Sincerely, Kae Kleinman (student from Eve Caram's UCLA class).



Answer:



Kae, sounds as if you need The Frugal Book Promoter. Though a business card is OK, you need a cover letter or query letter with your manuscript and you didn't mention that. The Frugal Book Promoter or the chapter on query letters in The Frugal Editor (www.budurl.com/TheFrugalEditor) will keep you from doing something that will mark you as an amateur. I take it your book is a novel. You should follow each publisher's or agent's submission instructions exactly. That probably means you won't send the whole manuscript.

If you want to slip a card into the package, fine. But don't attach it to the manuscript. And, I'd use "novelist" if that's what you're shopping and not a whole range of genres which is  what the generic term "writer" connotes.

Having said that, you can probably get by without a business card--at least for this purpose. Maybe you'll want to wait for a bit. Say until you have a great Web site page or a blog that showcases your platform.

Hope this helps.

CHJ

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Carolyn Howard-Johnson, author of This Is the Place; Harkening: A Collection of Stories Remembered; Tracings, a chapbook of poetry; and how to books for writers including the award-winning second ediction of, The Frugal Book Promoter: How to get nearly free publicity on your own or by partnering with your publisher; The Frugal Editor: Put Your Best Book Forward to Avoid Humiliation and Ensure Success; and Great Little Last Minute Editing Tips for Writers . The Great First Impression Book Proposal is her newest booklet for writers. She has three FRUGAL books for retailers including A Retailer’s Guide to Frugal In-Store Promotions: How To Increase Profits and Spit in the Eyes of Economic Downturns with Thrifty Events and Sales Techniques. Some of her other blogs are TheNewBookReview.blogspot.com, a blog where authors can recycle their favorite reviews. She also blogs at all things editing, grammar, formatting and more at The Frugal, Smart and Tuned-In Editor . If your followers at Twitter would benefit from this blog post, please use the little Green widget to let them know about this blog: