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Monday, April 1, 2013

Top Ten Pet Peeves of a New Editor PART 1

by MM Pollard, editor, Black Velvet Seductions 

January 1, 2012, I became an acquisitions editor with Black Velvet Seductions. I’ve been on the job for over a year now, and I have a growing list of pet peeves of a new editor.
Let’s talk about little things that writers have done when submitting their work for consideration that drive me (and other editors) crazy. Here’s the my list—
1. …writers who don’t research publishers before they submit to them.

Go to publishers’ web sites and look for submissions. Read what they have posted there. Do what they say. It really is that simple. 

2. …writers who don’t include their first and last name, their real name, in their submissions.

I understand wanting to protect your privacy, especially if your submission includes spanking, ropes, and assorted toys, and you’re a teacher, a lawyer, or a social notable in a small town where everyone knows your name.

That said, how am I supposed to send a professional-sounding rejection or acceptance letter when all I have is TrixieD@love.com 

3. …writers who don’t include their mailing address in their personal information.

We send real letters, typed on paper, in envelopes, to those who send submissions to us. Rejection emails – can’t do a thing with them. At least with rejection letters, you can consider changing the wallpaper in your office.

I promise not to stalk you. 

4. …writers who don’t give the ending of their story in their synopsis.

I know what’s going on in their heads. They think if they don’t give the ending, I’ll read their manuscript – all 120,000 words of it – to find out what happens at the end.

Wrong answer!!!! Not giving the ending of a story in a synopsis shows a lack of professionalism. Would you want to work with an unprofessional publisher? 

5. …even worse, writers who don’t send a synopsis with their submission.

Maybe their submission is short, maybe its inner truth can’t be summed up in a few hundred words, or maybe the writers are too lazy or too new at this to realize a fantastic synopsis may mean the editor will read a few chapters of their submission. Without one, she won’t read any.

If writing a synopsis scares you, take a workshop or buy a book on the topic. A synopsis is your key to getting your foot in the door. FFnP has many great workshops that will fix whatever ails the writer in you.

These are only HALF of my suggestions. Please check back April 18th for more helpful hints.  

Now it’s time to ask yourself how many of my pet peeves are you guilty of? If you realize that you are guilty, chalk it up to being a novice in this writing business and promise to change your ways. If you aren’t guilty, pat yourself on the back. I would love to hear from you. 

MM Pollard, Editor, Black Velvet Seductions

About MM Pollard
MM Pollard is a very nice former English teacher and now acquisitions editor for Black Velvet Seductions.  She has accepted the mission to find and help writers correct ungrammatical grammar, misused usage, problematic punctuation, and poor writing in their work.
With fifteen years of experience teaching English serving as a resource of knowledge and a life-time love of teaching and of language, MM has been presenting workshops since February, 2011. She has presented workshops for many RWA chapters, Savvy Authors, Writers Online Classes, and in her own virtual classroom. MM is excited to have over thirty workshops scheduled for 2013. Check out her blog for more details.
Also check out her new forum for free workshops and advice on using English correctly. You don’t have to register as a member of Lefora Forums unless you wish to comment.
MM has helped many writers improve their language and writing skills through her fun workshops. Yes, English can be fun! MM is sure she can help you, too, master the fundamentals of English.

MM Pollard,                                                                                                                     

editor, Black Velvet Seductions

Workshops with MM http://blackvelvetseduction.com/Workshop1 -- info on her workshops on her private forum

MM’s Fundamentals in English http://queenofenglish.wordpress.com – sign up for her newsletter on her blog and see her complete list of workshops for 2013

I hope you will join my class on
Hosted by
Fantasy-Futuristic& Paranormal Romance Writers

This 10 Day class starts April 22, 2013

For more information click HERE 



Hey, MM, I would go crazy too. I mean, no address on a submission? Sigh. Maybe this goes back to not learning how to write a letter in school. I always tell newbies to be sure and do a cover letter. It's just a transmittal, nothing big deal about the work. Thanks for sharing your valuable points.

Nancy said...

I am pleased to see I have, to this point, followed your tips. No mailing address? Hm...how silly. The worst thing is to have an interested editor who CANNOT FIND YOU!

Clarissa Draper said...

These points are important to consider. Thanks!

Mary Marvella said...

I can understand your peeves! Folks don't pay attention. Thanks for the warnings.

Julie Robinson said...

Hi MM,
It seems like these items would be common sense. I'll be interested to hear more of your points. Thanks for the post.

Naomi Bellina said...

And some writers wonder why they never hear from a publisher. Yikes!