Tag Archives: submission guidelines

Be a Guest Blogger here…

So, you want to guest post on Nickum’s Nook?
First: Thanks for thinking of Nickum’s Nook as a place to share your writing with the world. Glad you’re here!
Second: Follow the guidelines below, and I’ll be happy to consider your guest post!
Guidelines for Pitching a Guest Post
Note: If you don’t follow some semblance of these guidelines when pitching your post, I may or may not respond. I probably won’t, because I get a lot of Spam emails and they make it difficult to weed out the reals from the bots.
Pitch me by email at mjnickum@hotmail.com with the subject line-“Post for Nickum’s Nook”, so I don’t miss it and I’ll write you back. Your pitch should include:
1. An intro. Tell me who you are, if you run a writing site or blog, and if you’ve been published anywhere (I don’t mind if you haven’t been published; I just want to know a little about you as a writer).
2. An attached Word document of the post you’d like to pitch (please limit your post to 1,000 words or fewer); OR a topic for your pitch and a few of your anticipated copy points.
3. A 100-word (or less) bio about yourself. Include your social media links, if you have them
4. Art is good, but unless it’s yours (i.e.: your latest book cover), it needs to have a Creative Commons License and proper photographer attribution.
What Happens if Your Guest Post Is Accepted
If your guest post is accepted, I’ll write you back and tell you:
1. When it’ll be published (Nickum’s Nook posts Guest Posts on Fridays).
2. Whether any major edits need to be made (such as: swapping your art out for other art, etc.).
3. The day before your post is published, I’ll email you and tell you that it’s been scheduled, and remind you to cross-promote the post on your social media channels (as I’ll promote on mine).
4. Your post will appear on Nickum’s Nook social media mix from time to time as a repeat promotion.


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New Submissions requested

New Submissions for The Path Requested, www.thepathmagazine.com

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Don’t Get Rejected Before You Submit

To give yourself a head start you need to make your book stand out. Why does the publisher have to read it? Why do you believe in what you are doing? What is it about this book that warrants the attention of the book-buying public? If you are able to provide a publisher with this kind of information before they look at it, then – as long as they are enthusiastic, of course – you’re a step ahead.
First and foremost, you need to stop thinking like a writer and start thinking like a marketer. Can you condense your story down into one or two awesome sentences? If you can, you’ve developed a pitch and, depending on the policy of the publisher in question, you can use this to get people interested – either on the phone or via cover letters/emails.
Do you know which market you’re aiming for? Have you thought about how your book will compete with others on the shelves? Why is it different? Why will readers pick up your travel book on Rome rather than the Lonely Planet’s? If you can give a publisher answers to these kinds of questions (without them having to ask), you will pique their interest. Otherwise, if such questions come up and you have no reply, you will look naïve.
Look at submissions policies very carefully and use them to your advantage. A script that comes in clean, tidy, correctly formatted according to guidelines and with a concise cover letter will get more attention than the dog-eared, single-spaced tome with a rambling two-page explanation.
Are there small embellishments you can use to draw people’s attention – artwork, for example? Be careful on this, if you make the presentation too much of a challenge for a publisher, you’re shooting yourself in the foot before you’ve begun.
Can you do anything else differently to get people’s attention? Your ploys need to be subtle, because at this stage a busy publisher is doing you a favor by reading your work.
The submissions stage is one where books and dreams are made or broken. Success is a combination of skill, perseverance, patience and good fortune (and much more besides) – but the only way the final line is ever drawn is the moment you give up. Good luck!


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Writing the Cover Letter

Submitting your work for publication is not that different from applying for a job. You want to put your best, most professional foot forward. However, the important thing in submissions is the writing itself. While you want to strike the right tone as you introduce yourself and your work, cover letters shouldn’t eat up too much time. How do you do it?.

Format the Letter Correctly
Save your creativity for the body of the letter , or better yet, for your writing. Stick with the standard business letter format. Everything is flush left, with one line between paragraphs. Unless you have letterhead, which is not necessary, type your address followed by the date. Space down a line and list the name, title, and address of the person you’re writing. It is important to address your letter to the CORRECT person—always a person, not “Dear Editor”. That smacks of a generic letter, in other words, “you haven’t done your homework”; therefore, the editor will not spend his/her time reading your work.
And as with anything you submit, use standard white copy paper; type, don’t hand-write; and absolutely no illustrations.

Keep It Short
As with a job application cover, letters should not exceed one page. In your first paragraph, explain what you are sending. This can be as straightforward as: “Enclosed please find the first three chapters of my novel, ‘The Choice is Yours’ about a game show contestant with a lifelong disability.” If you have a genuine reason for submitting to this publisher, share it, but only if you can do so while sounding sincere.

Other First-Paragraph Info
If the journal prefers to be informed ahead of time about simultaneous submissions, address that issue briefly by saying something like, “I have submitted this to two other publishers and will let you know immediately if any are accepted elsewhere.” And if you’ve been invited to re-submit, definitely remind the editor that he or she has seen your work before.

Second Paragraph: A Short Bio
Briefly introduce yourself to the editor. If you studied writing or have published before, state it here. If you haven’t, that’s fine, too. You just want to provide a context for what they’re about to read.

Close Your Letter Politely
Thank the editor for reading your work, and close with the standard “Sincerely,” or “Best regards.” Leave four lines for your signature and then type your full name. For mailing, use a business-sized envelope. If your printer can handle envelopes, type the address, but it’s also fine to address the envelope by hand. Again, use the editor’s name here, either above the journal name or below the address. If you put it below, write, “Attn: [Insert Editor’s Name].”

Include an SASE, maybe
Finally, be sure to include an SASE if the publisher requests that you do so. Much now is accomplished by email. However, if the publisher requests paper copies, you may need to submit an SASE for a publisher response. (It’s perfectly acceptable to fold the SASE in three so that it will fit easily.) To save postage, you might also request that they not return your story to you, writing in a postscript: “Please recycle this story rather than returning it to me.”

The writing is the important thing. You can have the best cover letter ever, but it won’t get you anywhere without a great story to go with it.

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Writers Beware

__________ Spelling
  • Don’t trust spell-check to interpret your connotation. Use a dictionary.
__________ Capitalization
  • Know the rules and obey them.
  • Essentials of English; p. 2-3, 134-135
__________ Punctuation
  • Avoid overuse of commas and exclamation points. Properly punctuate quotes.
  • Essentials of English: p. 119-139
__________ Manuscript properly formatted
  • Editors appreciate a double-spaced manuscript with one-inch margins.

Be sure to read the publisher’s submission guidelines. Not all publishers have the same requirements. Read them and reread them again.

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