After discussing editing last month, it seemed logical to follow with a month of posts focused around the ultimate goal of those of us who spend long hours editing our writing: submissions. This will not necessarily be about publications, or about getting published in print, but instead focused on making submissions, whether that is to big publishers, agents, or a blog.
If you have not submitted to anyone before, then it will seem like a daunting task. One of the things that you must be careful about is to make sure that you don’t get too excited about your submission before you send it off. Take a step back from what you’ve written and and ask yourself: am I ready to submit this piece?
Aside from the editing, there are several other factors that you should consider. We will look at some of them (such as thinking about who you are submitting to and what your target audience is) in more detail throughout the month, so let’s go over a few basics that you might not have considered right now.
Are you happy with your author name? This may seem like a simple question, but you need to think about it carefully. Do you wish to use your full name, initials, or a nom de plume? This is something that you’ll want to get right from the beginning. Also, think about your own website or blog (if you don’t have one, you should really think about creating one to get more people to read your writing). Your blog is one of the things that will help you to promote what you’ve written. Is your URL professional? Does it tell people what your blog is about?
One thing that you will really need to work on before you submit any writing is your author bio. This includes your author picture, which should provide a clear view of your face. In your written author bio, you should tell people about yourself and why they should read you writing, without saying it directly. Explain where you’re from, where you live, your background in writing and why you decided to write about your chosen subject, as well as anything else that is relevant. You won’t have a lot of space to tell your potential readers about yourself, so give yourself enough time to get it just right.
Remember that you need to take as much care over your submission and its presentation as you did during the writing and editing stages. If you don’t have an agent – and many of us don’t – then the only person responsible for making sure that your submission is ready, is you.
This month’s theme is SUBMISSIONS. If you have written something that you would like me to share on this blog on the theme of submissions and publishing, then please post a link in the comments or email me on firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject: Submissions.