Friday, September 14, 2007

How Not To Make Editors Your Enemies

If you've been a freelance writer any time at all, you're trying very hard to please the editors. At least, we hope you are! (Smile).

While cyber surfing, I came across a very helpful article on,

10 Ways to Make Editors Hate You Before They Even Know You.

If you want to learn what NOT to do, then follow the link above and learn from it.

Things I personally try TO do are:

1. Always speak (or type) kindly to editors. They deserve the respect. If you feel they don't deserve respect, don't work with them.

2. Spell check, proofread, double check, print out and/or have a friend or someone read your article (if possible) to see if your eye has missed anything--BEFORE hitting send or sliding your manuscript into that manila envelope.

3. By all means, follow the guidelines. If they ask for 12 point Times New Roman font, than that's what you use. If they ask for 1 inch margins, comply! If they ask you to include your telephone number, etc., include it. (Which, if you've been writing for a while, you know to use standard formatting anyway, right?).

4. If at all possible, don't wait until the last minute to submit your essay/article for a contest or call for submissions. There may be times that you just won't find out until right near that deadline date, but a lot of times, we find out in plenty of time--don't procrastinate.

5. Search the website or magazine/newsletter, etc., until you can find an editor's correct name. If you are wanting to submit to a certain section of that publication, see if there is a list of editors listed in the masthead/about us page. DON'T say "Mr." or "Mrs." because Gene could be a man or woman. Caroll could be a man or woman. If you find the editor's name and it happened to be "Gene Smith", for instance, just type: Dear Gene Smith.

6. Always use a colon when greeting the editor in your query/cover letter. This will show your respect and professionalism. The comma represents friendliness--and the editors aren't your friend, they're your editor. Once they refer to you by first name only and a comma, then you can feel free to use the comma.

7. Brush up on your grammar. Grammatically CORRECT by Anne Stilman, is a book I refer to as well as various sites/blogs like the ones listed at the right. The less the editors have to edit, the more they'll love you--and that means a flourishing writer's life for you!

These tips are bringing me writing success, follow them, and write the cyber highway!