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Sunday, May 04, 2014

Week Thirty: Sally Stuart

     ~~~~This week starts Section 3-- Publishing and Networking~~~~

Finding The Right Address

This manuscript of yours that has just come back from another editor is a precious package. Don’t consider it rejected. Consider that you’ve addressed it ‘to the editor who can appreciate my work’and it has simply come back stamped
‘Not at this address.’ Just keep looking for the right address.”
—Barbara Kingsolver, author

Because of my long involvement with the Christian Writers’ Market Guide, I Have talked to a lot of writers about marketing over the years. I know how disappointing and frustrating those rejections can be. What it takes some writers a long time to learn is that rejection is just part of the publishing business. In our insecurities, we always assume the rejection is an indication our piece is bad or at least poorly written. While this might be the case if you have not taken the time to learn your craft, more often it is just a matter of not finding the right editor or the right publisher.

There are many reasons for rejection, including: having already done something similar or having it in the works from another author; being overstocked with good manuscripts; tight budget this month or year; piece doesn’t fit their guidelines; wrong slant- or the editor just had a fight with his wife. Some of these reasons we can avoid; others are inevitable.

In today’s tighter market, it is even more critical that you carefully study the guidelines and sample catalog or book catalog of any publisher you plan to submit to. With many more writers out there competing with you in the marketplace, it is vitally important you study the publisher carefully and follow the guidelines for each one exactly. Never assume your book is so special you have to send five sample chapters when they clearly asked for three. With something like a book proposal, it may mean you need to tweak the proposal between submissions.

It is also important that you keep up with the changes in the industry, especially in regard to submitting electronically. Publishers tend to vary widely as far as their involvement with e-mail, Web sites, and the like. Some have embraced the new technology whole- heartedly, while others are still reticent. However, these days most publishers will prefer to receive those query letters, articles, or book proposals by e-mail. And even if they don’t want the initial contact to be through e-mail, many will prefer to correspond with you that way over the length of your involvement with them.

Most publishers now also have a website, and many of them have their guidelines available on the site, as well as a lot of information about their company. You can learn something about their ministry or denomination, find lists of the books they have published or samples of articles from their publication. Such resources improve your chances of getting that manuscript to the editor who can appreciate your work. It’s your job to find the right address.

Sally Stuart (Aloha, Oregon) has been writing for 41+ Years— full-time for the last 23. She has also put out twenty-three editions of the Christian WritersMarket Guide, published a dozen other books, and countless articles and columns. As marketing columnist for the Christian Communicator,TheAdvanced ChristianWriter, and Oregon ChristianWriters,sheisconsideredtheleadingauthorityontheChristian market. Website: (

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