Monthly Archives: May 2012

Five Things to Avoid for a Pristine Query Letter

 We are selling our work when we approach any gatekeeper, an editor, an agent, a contest judge. Here are five little things to avoid so you’ll look like the professional you are. 

 Don’t tell the gatekeeper you always wanted to write. You can think of something more pertinent to your cause (and something more original!) than that. 

 Don’t use the verb “quote” when you want the noun “quotation.” Some style books will tell you that it’s OK, but agents can be a picky lot. Use zero-tolerance grammar rules for your queries. 

 Don’t pitch more than one book at time. You want to give just one your best shot. 

 Don’t call your novel a “fictional novel.” By definition, a novel is fiction. 

 Don’t overdo exclamation marks, question marks, or the use of sentence fragments. (Yes, fragments are acceptable when they’re used for a good reason.).

 Here’s one last suggestion for fiction writers ’cause they’re so often neglected when it comes to marketing… 

Avoid using italics for internal thought in the synopses sections of your marketing tools or in the sample chapters you must include. Italics are being used more and more these days, but using them often becomes a crutch that enables writers to avoid writing great transitions and point-of-view. The best agents and publishers will recognize it as such.

 

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All Things Editorial

An editor and writer for over 35 years, Mary currently owns and operates All Things Editorial (http://ning.it/pxFqyN)”. I can help you get your manuscript ready to submit or publish if you wish toself-publish. Together, we can make your book shine!

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Website

My website is back with a new look. Please visit it

at www.marynickum.com

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The Path

THE PATH Vol. 1 issues #1 and #2 are available. The Path is a literary magazine for all readers. Enjoy the essays, short stories, poetry, interviews and book reviews. Then, consider submitting a piece of your own to the next issue.

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Website

My website, http://www.marynickum.com, is temporarily inaccessible. Sorry for the inconvenience.

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