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The Top Five Mistakes To Avoid When Submitting Your Writing For Publication

Updated on July 1, 2013

HOW NOT TO GET PUBLISHED

I want to believe. I really do.

I want to believe that the cream always rises to the top.

I want to believe that hard work, perseverance and determination will find reward.

Most of all, I want to believe that talent will be rewarded.

However, we live in the year 2013, and we are surrounded by slight-of-hand magicians who can sell you on one thing all the while delivering the other. In the world of 2013, inexperienced and sub-standard writers and others in the Arts can become successful if they properly manipulate the system.

We live in a world of ten-second sound bites, and if you don’t have it, baby, in those ten seconds then you’ll never have it, because we gotta run, and we’re on the move, and we pull into the drive-through lane and order and eat and push the pedal to the medal and dammit, man, where is my entertainment.

Instant gratification my friend, and he who can dazzle in ten seconds is the king of our new media world, and quality, what’s quality, so throw it all together, mish mash, wham bam thank you ma’am, and quality can take a hike.

In other words…..

It’s a tough world out there.

And since it is a tough world, it is so very important that we do everything possible to increase our chances of getting published.

The average agent….the average publisher….the average magazine editor….sees thousands of query letters and submissions per month. Yes, I said per month! On average you have no more than ten seconds to make your pitch and convince them that you are the writer they have been waiting for.

Now, for the sake of this article, we will assume you are a decent writer, so let’s not talk about the quality of your writing. Rather, let’s talk about mistakes you should avoid that are so simple in nature that any numbskull could avoid them if they were paying attention at all. I am talking about mistakes that are killers in the publication business, and yet they go unnoticed in the excitement and frenzy of writing query letters and sending in submissions.

What are they?

Source

POOR QUERY LETTER

If you want to be published then you need to learn how to write a proper query letter. Period! You may have written the greatest article or book known to man, but it will remain safely hidden in your personal archives unless you craft an excellent query letter.

There is a wonderful tutorial on query letters in the Writer’s Market, a book I have referred to in the past as the Bible For Writers. I have also written an article about how to write a query letter which you can see to the right of this section.

Rather than rehash that which has already been stated, let me simply state that if you do not have a great hook then forget about it. The hook is the opening statement that literally must snag the editor or publisher and make them want to read the rest of your letter. If you do not sell your writing in the first paragraph then you are wasting your time.

These people read hundreds of query letters each day. What makes your different?

NOT READING THE SUBMISSION GUIDELINES

You can find submission guidelines in the Writer’s Market. You can also go to the website of the magazine or publisher and find their submission guidelines there.

Read them completely.

Here is an example of a submission guideline from Carina Press:

Romance

We are seeking submissions in all subgenres of romance with all all levels of sensuality. We welcome everything from the very sweet to the incredibly erotic, featuring couples (or multiples) from all walks of life and sexual orientation, including same-sex romances. Romances should focus on the development of the relationship, as well as external and internal conflict; the heat level should be appropriate to the book and enhance the story, and the primary relationship in the book should offer a happily ever after (HEA) or happily for now in an emotionally satisfying manner.

Subgenres of romance we are seeking include, but are not limited to, historical, romantic suspense, romantic comedy, futuristic, contemporary, western, Egyptian, Roman, paranormal, erotic romance and fantasy.

Romantic suspense authors should also look at our mystery guidelines below

Miniseries have proven to be very popular with readers and Carina Press is looking for interesting twists on established, popular romance themes and tropes (marriage of convenience, cowboys, friends to lovers, billionaires, vampires, secret babies and more). We are interested in seeing your fresh interpretation on these tropes and themes. The only limit is your imagination!

If your writing does not fit within their guidelines then don’t bother to submit because they will not bother to read your work.

NOT FOLLOWING THE SUBMISSION GUIDELINES

I know this seems ridiculously obvious, but it is amazing how many people read the guidelines but do not follow them.

Let’s look at the guidelines from The New Yorker Magazine:

Submissions should be sent by e-mail to the appropriate department, as indicated below:

Fiction: fiction@newyorker.com
The Talk of the Town: talkofthetown@newyorker.com
Shouts & Murmurs: shouts@newyorker.com
Poetry: poetry@newyorker.com


We cannot accept submissions that are sent as attachments, so please send your work as part of the body of an e-mail. No more than one story or six poems should be submitted at one time. We prefer to receive no more than two submissions per writer per year, and generally cannot reply to more.

The New Yorker does not accept submissions by mail or by fax, and we cannot be responsible for the loss or return of unsolicited pieces. We do not consider simultaneous submissions or material that has been previously published.

We try to respond to all submissions, but, due to volume, we may take up to eight weeks to respond.

It clearly states that submissions must be send by email. Still, daily writers send submissions by snail mail and then wonder why they do not hear anything. Daily writers will send their work to the wrong email address, and daily writers will send attachments although it says not to do so.

If your article or book is important enough to you to send to a publisher, then do yourself a great service by following to the letter the instructions given to you.

NOT READING THE PUBLICATION

It is always suggested that you read some articles that are already published in the magazine that you are approaching. You need to see if your writing style is similar to those articles already published. Every magazine and publication has their own editorial philosophy. Some are looking for articles that have an edge to them. Some are looking for articles that are heavy in quotes and/or interviews.

If your writing does not match their style then chances are you will not be considered for publication. Take the time to do some research prior to submission. Your time is too valuable to waste it on submissions to a magazine that will not appreciate your style and voice.

NOT PROOFING YOUR WORK

Can you imagine sending an article to a publisher or editor and having grammatical errors in the article or query letter? Can you imagine what that says about you as a writer?

When dealing with professionals like editors, publishers and agents, your first contact may be your only chance. Why torpedo your only chance by misspelling words?

I know, you are shaking your head right now and saying to yourselves that this is so obvious it needs not be stated, and yet it is done daily around the world. A writer crafts a brilliant article, spending countless hours on it, and then sends off a query letter with a misspelling, and their letter is tossed away.

Don't sweat the small stuff....and it's all small stuff.
Don't sweat the small stuff....and it's all small stuff.

AND A BONUS

I’m feeling extra generous today, so let me tell you the biggest mistake many writers make when submitting work. Are you ready?

They give up too soon!

Yes, writers will give up. They receive rejection letter after rejection letter, and their moods take a dive, and they begin to think less of their abilities, and they give up.

Try this exercise. Go to the nearest newsstand or bookstore and pick up any magazine at random. Now read an article in that magazine. Chances are that you can write an article that is equal to or better than that article you are reading. I have said the same thing about many novels I have read. There are few great books. There are many good books, and there are many, many mediocre books, but there are few truly great ones.

If those mediocre books found a way to be published, and if those average magazine articles somehow found themselves on the pages of a publication, then there is no reason why your articles cannot find success, but it requires you to grow an extra layer of protective skin and a willingness to endure the rejections until success finds you.

Rejections are not a personal attack on your ability as a writer. They simply say that your work was not what the editor was looking for at that time. Maybe the rejection says your query letter was not sufficient, or maybe the rejection says that it was the wrong place at the wrong time. It does not say you are a poor writer.

I want you all to spread your wings and fly
I want you all to spread your wings and fly | Source

NOW DO WHAT YOU WERE BORN TO DO

And write!

I want you all to succeed. If you have read my articles in the past you know that to be true. There is a large literary pie out there and I want you all to taste it. Avoid these common mistakes and you will have increased your chances of being published….but…..

There is no substitution for good writing. Above all other suggestions, the first one you must pay attention to is that you need to improve your craft. During the entire history of time there has never been a perfect writer. I have never heard of a respected and successful author who did not continue to tweak their style and try to squeeze another ounce of brilliance from their writing.

I do not believe in shortcuts and neither should you. Yes, it is easy in today’s world to self-publish, and the advent of ebooks means that overnight you can be a published author, but will you be a good one? Only you can answer that question, and only you can elevate your writing style so that one day you can look at your work and be proud of it.

2013 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)

“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”

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    • epbooks profile image

      Elizabeth Parker 4 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

      Very helpful and motivating hub. I think for anyone trying to get an agent, it might be a little longer and bumpier ride than they had first expected, but if they are a good writer and believe in themselves, their book can eventually appear on the Brick and Mortar bookshelves. You're right- they just have to do their submissions right and be patient.

    • Janine Huldie profile image

      Janine Huldie 4 years ago from New York, New York

      Wonderful Bill and I know you are just trying to help all writers everywhere with this information and you truly are! so thank you as always and seriously you are just a wonderful man and too kind. Enjoy the rest of your Monday!!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Liz, there are many good writers but few are chosen. I just don't want them to fail because of this busy work. If they can't write that's one thing; to fail because of a query letter is unforgivable. :) Thank you for the visit on this hot Monday.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks Janine! That is the reason I write these; it sure isn't for the HP payout, which is shrinking rather than growing.

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 4 years ago from United States

      Your helpful instructions sound so simple, and yet I know how easy it is to make one little mistake or think you know what something says without really reading it fully. I have gotten where I read all directions more than once. I often print out something I am going to publish as a freelance writer as invaiably I will find something that needs correction. I really appreciate the push down the happy trail of getting published. Awesome hub.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 4 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      As you know I do not do this kind of writing for a living, but these truths valid for all things written and read by another. Thank you.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks Eric! Take what you need and leave the rest, and I appreciate you stopping by even though it doesn't apply.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Pamela, you are absolutely correct. It is incredibly easy to miss one little thing....I have a checklist that I go over with each submission so I won't forget anything. :) Thanks for stopping by on your busy day.

    • carol7777 profile image

      carol stanley 4 years ago from Arizona

      As always thought provoking information....I laughed at sending query with grammatical errors...So when you get in a hurry slow down and smell the commas. I am sitting here listening to the news and that will cause lots of grammatical errors.

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 4 years ago from The Beautiful South

      Great info Bill and I guess it is possible to make money self publishing but not too likely. I gave up trying to sell myself but you give me hope to give it another try...going by the rules. It is important in writing to grab them with those first words. Any I have sent material to want only the first part of something and even if it is a wonderful book they can't know it in just a few pages if it doesn't pop out at them.

    • DeborahNeyens profile image

      Deborah Neyens 4 years ago from Iowa

      I'm still stuck on the sample submission guideline and trying to figure out how to write an erotic romance about a trio of same-sex vampire cowboys who have a secret baby and live happily ever after. : )

    • one2get2no profile image

      Philip Cooper 4 years ago from Olney

      Interesting and informative hub Billy. Thanks a bunch.

    • hawaiianodysseus profile image

      Hawaiian Odysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

      Bill, you had me at paragraphs one through four...hitting a strong nerve because I'm at an impasse with HubPages . You know, the thing we eventually smack into head-on--talent vs. SEO adeptness. That's why I need to make some significant changes in how I approach my writing, especially in how to give my product the best possible chance of earning an income for me. How to do that without compromising the old school way of writing and marketing that writing...I'm paying attention to what you're saying, Bill, more so than ever. Thanks, my friend. Aloha, and have a terrific new week! Hope your recreational time yesterday put a tiger in the tank!

      Joe

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      LOL....Deb, that was priceless and I'm glad you were paying attention. :) Thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      My pleasure, one2get2no...hope it helps, and thank you a bunch as well.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Joe, it is a battle I fought for about a year on HP and then I just threw up my hands and decided to write my way. There are other ways to make money other than HP, and those are what I concentrate on now...magazines, newspaper syndication....and new avenue I'm looking into it blogtalkradio....don't let HP change who you are as a writer...you are too damn good to let that happen.

      Aloha, buddy, and if you ever want to talk about this I'm always available.

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Carol, can you imagine sending a query letter in that is filled with errors? Might as well just shoot yourself. LOL

      Have a great Monday....it sure is hot here (for Olympia that is)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Jackie, I happen to think you are an excellent writer....this is a matter of persistence and belief in yourself...do not give up on the talent that you have. :)

    • mpropp profile image

      Melissa Propp 4 years ago from Minnesota

      Great article as usual Bill...You know from my previous comments that I do a lot of reading and not so much writing, but I am happy to report that I took one small step forward, thanks in part to your many references, and bought the 2013 Writers Market Deluxe edition. Once I receive it in the mail, it supposedly will contain a code that gets me access to 1 free year of writersmarket online, which will be great as well. Baby steps!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Melissa, that is a giant step and not a baby step. Good for you...good for you!

      Thanks as always. I hope this finds you well. We are sweltering under temps we are not used to....I'm a bit sluggish today. :)

    • Nellieanna profile image

      Nellieanna Hay 4 years ago from TEXAS

      Your work proves the value of your approach. As you may or may not know, I've never regarded my writing as my 'product' in a commercial sense; but of course, I like it to please and make a good impression on whomever reads it, and your suggestions, as Eric mentioned in his comments, are sensible & valuable, however one shares one's written work. Thank you, dear friend.

      BTW - I'm keeping a copy of your hub , for safekeeping.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Nellieanna, you are so talented. I wish your beautiful work were read in every school in America, and I wish those who write for the sheer joy of writing, as you do, would be rewarded in some fashion other than a mere thank you...but that is all I have for you, so thank you!

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 4 years ago from Central Florida

      Awesome advice, once again Bill! Today I am searching for new writing gigs. I've already sent out 3 resumes with samples. I have a couple more I want to take a look at also.

      Your blog today has some good leads/links. I'm going to check those out, too. July is the month I have set to begin submitting articles to magazines. You'll probably here from me when I write my first (ever) query letter.

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 4 years ago from New York

      I'm smiling as I read mpropp's comment as I too ordered the book. I devour every hub you write on improving our writing or submitting it. I know sensei you speak the truth and guide us on our path.

      Rejection is never easy but knowing everyone else gets rejected too makes it easier to take. Another thank you for another great hub!

      Voted up, useful, and interesting.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Mary, I am groggy from little sleep last night because of the heat, but I am smiling at the sensei reference. Thank you and hey, nice job on your writing hub today. :)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sha, I didn't realize it was July until you mentioned it. LOL Bring on the questions whenever; I'm always here for you my dear friend.

    • jdw7979 profile image

      John David 4 years ago from Middle America

      Great article and so very insightful. You are truly a great help here on the Hub! The obvious is always the most forgetful, and you played that element very well.. Thanks for the assistance billybuc and thumbs up!!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      jdw, I'm happy to help. Best of luck to you in your writing adventure.

    • Cerebral Aspect profile image

      Cerebral Aspect 4 years ago from Westland, MI

      Another good article, Bill. The first part of it was what really resonated with me. I do have to say that delving into writing and joining this site has increased my patience potential. I can understand why so many give up, but I see traction slowly increasing...so I must be headed in the right direction.

    • Radcliff profile image

      Liz Davis 4 years ago from Hudson, FL

      One might argue that all romance is paranormal.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      LOL...Lizzy, you never let me down. I would probably be one of those arguing that point.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Cerebral, giving up on HP is what rational people should do. LOL I'm just too stubborn to do that. :) Thanks for the visit my friend and good luck to you.

    • profile image

      anndango 4 years ago

      Good, common sense advice! You have to work almost as hard at submitting your work as you do writing it.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 4 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      This is another very valuable and generous hub, Bill. You have so much good advice to share!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      anndango, your statement is very accurate my friend. Thank you for visiting.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Alicia! I try. :)

    • lawdoctorlee profile image

      Liza Treadwell Esq aka Liza Lugo JD 4 years ago from New York, NY

      Another awesome article, Bill

      Love your work!

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image

      Kathryn 4 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      These are great tips! And sometimes the most obvious ones are those that we overlook. Thank you for sharing this with us!

      ~ Kathryn

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 4 years ago from south Florida

      Now thanks to you, Bill, I'll have to run out and dig up a copy of something published by Carina Press. They do have an attitude!

      Your writing suggestions, BTW, are on the mark - as they usually are.

    • bdegiulio profile image

      Bill De Giulio 4 years ago from Massachusetts

      Great tips Bill. I hope to be putting these to good use soon. You really are a wealth of information when it comes to writing and publishing. As you should be able to tell from the comments here many of us listening, and learning.

    • starstream profile image

      Dreamer at heart 4 years ago from Northern California

      You have crafted a fine article here to help other writers make the mark. I appreciate your insights and see that perseverance plays a large part in a writer's success.

    • ladydeonne profile image

      Deonne Anderson 4 years ago from Florence, SC

      You were really sincere when you coined your mission "“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.” This article was very helpful and practical. Voted up and useful. Thanks for sharing.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you lawdoctor, and it's good to see you again. I hope you are well and happy my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      My pleasure, Kathryn, and thank you again for your wonderful loyalty.

    • grandmapearl profile image

      Connie Smith 4 years ago from Southern Tier New York State

      I'm bookmarking this one, too, Billy. I take all your generous and valuable advice to heart, as you know!

      I will trade your heat for all this rain, rain, and more rain. According to the local weather outlook, we can look forward to at least 7 more days of guess what--liquid sunshine ;) Pearl

      Voted this one Up++++

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      drbj, those people at Carina Press are nothing but writing snobs. Ignore them! LOL And thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      startstream, I'm just giving back to my friends. If it helps then fantastic. Thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Lady, that is, indeed, my mission. I hope this helps you in some way.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      How weird, Pearl...we have at least ten more days of this. Very strange but I refuse to really complain. We get more than enough rain during the year.

      Thanks my friend. You are a gem.

    • madmachio profile image

      Nathan K 4 years ago from Kansas

      thanks for the great info

    • Crystal Tatum profile image

      Crystal Tatum 4 years ago from Georgia

      Very good advice Bill. Sounds like you know a thing or two about all this from experience. I love your tenacity too.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Crystal, I'm just trying to save others from making the same mistakes I made. :) Thanks!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you madmachio!

    • heidithorne profile image

      Heidi Thorne 4 years ago from Chicago Area

      I like the "read the publication" advice. I don't think I could even write an article (or anything) where I didn't have knowledge of the community I was approaching. Putting on my editor hat, I get those "didn't read it first" inquiries for my blogs. They're actually quite amusing. So I'd miss that if people actually took your advice. ;) Have a great week, billybuc!

    • Michael-Milec profile image

      Michael-Milec 4 years ago

      Hi Bill.

      Dogmatic. Once again oversupply of my present need goes into the "storage " where some other golden rules remain in readiness to be use at the proper time. Thanks for strengthening my faith in not to yield to shortcuts.

      Voted up, useful and awesome .

      Have a great Independence Day celebration.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Heidi, I would hate to deprive you of your fun. LOL I know what you mean for sure.

      Thank you and I hope your week is a good one as well.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Michael, it is the law of supply and demand. I have a great deal of supply and your demand in bottomless. :)

      Thank you for the well-wishes. We will, indeed, have a great 4th of July.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 4 years ago from Southern Illinois

      As you know, i am not thinking about writing a book, but i wanted to say that i dislike ebooks with a passion. I want to be able to hold a book in my hands then place it in my library. Reading on line is like reading another hub, just a thought..Thank's again for all you do to help others...

    • MrsBrownsParlour profile image

      Lurana Brown 4 years ago from Chicagoland, Illinois

      You combine useful trade advice with sincere encouragement---you are a true coach! :-) Lurana

    • Vellur profile image

      Nithya Venkat 4 years ago from Dubai

      Informative and a useful hub for publishing successfully. Giving up too soon is not the way and I totally agree that there are no shortcuts in life. Great write.

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 4 years ago from southern USA

      We can count on you dearest Bill to always encourage us to never quit!!!

      I am reminded when of " when all else fails, read the directions!" Very important and key to having at least a chance of getting published, is to follow the guidelines for submission!

      Excellent article as always.

      Peace and blessings, Faith Reaper

    • Suzie HQ profile image

      Suzanne Ridgeway 4 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi Bill,

      Loved your blog this morning and this is a great link in. Getting the basics right and following the instructions exactly may seem a no brainer and it should be . . . Not what happens though, is it? You are always so on point with your tips and helpful suggestions. Hp has been my learning ground in writing and seeing if it would be of interest. Now I see me going down other avenues too but keeping HP. Magazines, my own blog / website, own products, videos, book . . . . these are all areas of exploration I want to try and submission letters are something I will be tackling and feeling more confident with thanks to your post, thanks as always my friend.

      Hope you get to cool down from the heat, a cooling face mask, spa water, a cooling body and face spray or eye gel would work wonders Bill, if only you had paid attention to the recipes!! LOL

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Ruby, I'm with you all the way. Here is hoping that libraries and hardcover books never go out of style.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Lurana, after years of coaching sports and being a teacher, I thank you very much.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Vellur! I don't want anyone to quit before the miracle happens.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Faith, I love that saying and it is perfect for this hub. Some of the simplest mistakes derail good writers and I hate it when that happens.

      blessings to you always

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      LOL....Suzie, some of us are so hard to train. You must realize that with the Mickster. LOL Thank you my friend and when you decide to branch out you can always count on me if you have questions.

      hugs from Olympia

      bill

    • Genna East profile image

      Genna East 4 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      Excellent words of advice. Part of me agrees with Ruby. I miss the 3-D books we can hold in our hands, turn the pages, and tuck away for any day or time. :-)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Genna, I do not own a Kindle and I never will. If I can't hold a book I don't want to read it. :) There will always be a place in this world for us dinosaurs. :)

    • Genna East profile image

      Genna East 4 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      Thank goodness! :-)

    • PurvisBobbi44 profile image

      PurvisBobbi44 4 years ago from Florida

      Hi Bill,

      I read your hub with my first cup of morning coffee. It was simply one of the best---I voted across the board.

      You instructed people to think about every detail before submissions---many do not.

      It is true---if you do not have a hook---forget it. I think everyone and their dog has written an eBook--- so one had better have a great cover and a great story to rise above the rest.

      Teacher, Teacher---do not stop instructing us---I do listen to you advice.

      And I am honored to call you friend.

      Thanks,

      Bobbi Purvis

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Indeed, Genna! :)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Bobbi, I am honored to call you my friend too, and thank you! I never want to sound preachy, but there are some simple things that writers can do to improve their chances of getting published, and I want everyone to be successful....so again, thank you!

    • Seafarer Mama profile image

      Karen Szklany Gault 4 years ago from New England

      Thank you for putting this together, Billybuc. It's a very inspiring hub. While reading it, I thought of a possible opening line for a query letter that I'd write to accompany a children's picture book manuscript that I want to submit to a publisher. It's still a work-in-progress, but when it is ready to grace the world, I want to give it the best chance possible for literary success.

      Also...thanks for the email address for submitting poetry to the New Yorker. :0)

      Voted up, up, up....~:0)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Seafarer, I love comments like this one. Good luck with that manuscript and I love that you want to give it the best chance possible. Thank you and best wishes to you.

    • Careermommy profile image

      Tirralan Watkins 4 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      Good tips Billy. You are inspiring me to begin submitting to magazines again. I was focused on fiction for so long that now, since I've been writing non fiction articles, I will take your tips and use it for non fiction article submissions. Thank you once again!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Career, I hope you do just that. You are a good writer and I would much rather see you published than some of the people I have read. :) Shame on me for saying that. LOL

    • Vinaya Ghimire profile image

      Vinaya Ghimire 4 years ago from Nepal

      Even though you go by all the rules, guidelines and necessities for submission, you may not be accepted. However, it is necessary to void mistakes. Thanks for the useful and informative article.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Vinaya, there are no guarantees for sure, but you can increase your chances simply by following instructions. :) Thanks for the visit my friend.

    • Victoria Lynn profile image

      Victoria Lynn 4 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      Great suggestions! I think one thing writers may not think about is reading the publication to get a feel for the magazine and what they are looking for. That suggestion really struck me. I have some ideas for submissions, but I need to look beyond the Writer's Market to the actual publication. Great advice!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Vicki, thanks! That is a lesson I had to learn the hard way. After submitting countless articles with no reward, one editor mentioned that maybe I should read a few of their articles before submitting next time. LOL I'm glad she told me.

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      alocsin 4 years ago from Orange County, CA

      Excellent points -- my favorite being "giving up too soon." If you're not submitting at least one piece or query letter every day, then you're not trying hard enough. Another biggie I'd like to add is "not writing." I can't tell you how many "writer" friends of mine talk endlessly about how they're going to write this and that, and whether this plot or that character is good or bad. But they never get around to writing. Voting this Up and Interesting.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Aurelio, I've seen the same things. Great plans and no action. How are you ever going to find out if you don't sit down and actually follow through? Great points!

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      Shadaan Alam 4 years ago from India

      Excellent hub, i agree to most of these but most important is getting rejected so many times, i want to publish my articles too in magazines but many of those i asked were not ready to pay me, so i just gave the thought of it,

    • vkwok profile image

      Victor W. Kwok 4 years ago from Hawaii

      Advice to live by! Thanks for the warnings!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you younghopes and best wishes to you and your writing career.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      My pleasure vkwok! Thank you!

    • toknowinfo profile image

      toknowinfo 4 years ago

      Thanks for sharing your knowledge. This is very informative and helpful info for anyone looking to get published.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      toknow, thank you so much. I hope some of it will help you.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 4 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Great hub with such helpful points mentioned here, often writers don't realize their mistakes

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image

      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      More great tips, especially reading/following the guidelines and proofing your work. Just like when I would review resumes in an old job. Cannot stress that enough, proof, then proof again.

    • CyberShelley profile image

      Shelley Watson 4 years ago

      Thanks so much for the pointers and guidelines. I'll be leaving the formal working world at the end of the year, and want to now devote more time to writing. So I'll be coming back to you often for your great advice Bill, thank you for your generosity. Voted up, interesting, useful and shared.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      DDE, they are very easy mistakes to make. :) Thank you for stopping by.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Glimmer, I agree completely. Thanks for stopping by so much this morning.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Cyber, best of luck leaving the working world....I did it three years ago and I've never been happier.

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      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      As always, fabulous suggestions and great ways to be a success. Thanks again, Billy, and let me know if you want one of my eagle shots for your stories.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Deb, and I will let you know. I hope you are having a wonderful 4th.

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