Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Do You Have PSPD?
By Dr. Linda F. Beed
Necessity is the mother of invention and during this time of opportunity the literary entrepreneur has more avenues of publication available to them than ever before. Many who may be in a transitional stage due to job loss, downsizing or retirement are utilizing the time they once longed for to write that Great American Novel.
Within that journey toward publication there is much information to disseminate in order to make what is considered the best decisions possible. You will touch and be touched by those offering advice as it pertains to their experience and points of view. To be sure that you are up on the latest trends and practices you attend the You Can Be A Bestseller, How To Write A Book In 60 Minutes, Write Your Book and Make Millions and the ever so popular How To Get Oprah To Endorse Your Book seminars.
You have taken notes, bought the materials and committed each step to memory. Armed with the trusted arsenal you are sure will make you a literary success, you plot your course and write that book that has been burning inside of you. After reading, rereading and then receiving encouragement from Pookey and nem, you make ten copies to be sent to the top publishing houses in the country.
Within six to nine months you receive ten rejection letters. What happened?
Your PSPD placed your work in a state of rejection.
What is a PSPD and how did you get it?
PSPD – Potential Slush Pile Disease is contracted when authors do not educate themselves or disregard the rules of publishing house submissions.
*Not knowing publishing house(s) submission guidelines
*Not following all of the guideline steps
*Sending unsolicited manuscript(s) to publishing house(s)
*Manuscript submitted to a house(s) by agent unknown to house(s).
The opening example is extreme, but not as uncommon as you may believe. Without proper planning and knowledge many manuscripts will end up in a slush pile with little to no hope of making it any farther up the literary ladder that will lead to publication. They will not make it because few Houses accept unsolicited manuscripts. By following the rules of submission on the publisher’s Websites the expending of unnecessary energy, wasting finances and keeping your work out of the slush pile can be minimized.
Below are a few suggestions of steps to consider when considering manuscript submission.
* After writing your manuscript, take it through the appropriate editing process
* Solicit the services of a professional agent who has knowledge of the industry, connections to at least two reputable publishing houses, successfully published clients and references. Remember that agents are not paid if they cannot sell a manuscript. Listening to sound advice from them can be valuable to achieving your goal.
Please Note: Obtaining the services of an agent is no guarantee that your manuscript will be accepted. What it will do is challenge your plan and help you shore up any holes or misconceptions you may have regarding this process. See July 2009 Column: Looking for an Agent for more details.
Whether or not you feel that the policies of the Houses are fair, you ARE required to follow the rules if your goal is to keep your work out of their slush pile. The slush pile is considered the death row of the literary industry.
Until next time, remember—Purposely Said words can destroy or create a life. Linda!
Dr. Linda Beed is an educator, speaker, children’s minister and author of Business Unusual. She co-moderators BWChristianLit, maintains its sister online blog and is the founder of the Damascus Road Authors, review editor for KDGospel Media Magazine and contributor to Victorious Voice Magazine.
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