Friday, March 6, 2020

Submission Etiquette


     The publishing world is rather small considering authors are found all around the world. One problem that is shared is the way authors act and react when it comes to publishers and editors. 

         Authors used to be half afraid of editors and publishers, but apparently, most aren’t anymore. Some authors don’t seem to have even good manners when dealing with publishers and/or editors. In fact, some are rude and arrogant.

         Let’s look at some submission etiquette.

1. Follow the guidelines for submissions for the publication exactly. Don’t assume that you know better or that you can “do your own thing,” and your submission will be accepted because you’re such a wonderful writer.

2. Be sure your submission is well-written with few mechanical, grammar, or spelling errors and shows rather than tells. Publishers are not interested in doing major editing jobs on manuscripts. Have your manuscript edited by a professional who knows and understands what is wanted by publishers, not who just knows grammar.

3. Give the editor or publisher time to consider your submission. A good way to upset the person making the decision as to whether to accept your work or not is to become a nuisance.

4. Don’t assume that the publisher or editor will automatically remember your name or the title of your work. Many names and titles cross the desk or computer of an editor every day.

5. If your work is rejected, don’t continue to demand reasons from the editor rejecting it. It is not his/her job to give you an edit-job or to give reasons for the rejection. If a publisher is nice enough to give a few suggestions so you can improve your work, don’t keep asking for more.

6. If you are given the option of revising your manuscript and re-submitting, count your blessings and do it. Not every publisher gives another opportunity.

7. Nothing obligates a publisher to accept your work. With more submissions than open slots in a publisher’s schedule, the publisher has the right to accept the manuscripts that “fit,” and to reject those that are not acceptable.

8. Don’t continue to call or email an editor or publisher unless your work has been accepted and an editor is assigned to you.

9. Throwing a fit or calling editors or publishers names does not endear you to anyone and makes acceptance less likely – acceptance by other publishers, too. Word does spread.

10. If your manuscript is accepted, then work with your editor or editors. You become a team, and if you cooperate, your book will benefit. Be uncooperative, and you may be without a contract and not well-liked. Again, word does spread.

11. You don’t have to become a “slave” to an editor or publisher, but you need to realize who controls whether your manuscript becomes a published work or not. Good manners are always a good decision. If you are respectful under all circumstances, you are more likely to be treated respectfully.

         Those ideas are just a few tips for good etiquette concerning submissions, but they will help provide a better relationship and allow publishers and editors to have kind thoughts about writers.


           For anyone wanting to submit to 4RV Publishing, follow the guidelines found under submissions on    


  1. Terrific advice, Vivian. Thank you.

  2. Excellent advice, Vivian. We all need to work together. Sometimes a manuscript simply isn't right for a publishing house, but that doesn't mean it isn't right for a different publishing house.

  3. Great advice, Vivian. Thanks for sharing.