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



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).


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 ( 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.



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, 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:

Search This Blog