Thirteen years ago I began to think about writing. I had thought about it for a long time, but had no idea how to start or what to do. Marriage and children got in the way also. I was about a green as they come when it comes to writing. A lady by the name of Wilburta Arrowood entered my life. She told me I could write, and I started with no idea in the world what I was doing. I had no idea how to format a page. Didn’t even know there were books out there to help me write. Can you imagine what my first page looked like? It was horrible.
Wilburta took me under her wing and showed me what I needed to do. She taught me how to format my Word document, to write “Susie said” instead of “said Susie.” The best part is she encouraged me.
The manuscript I started then has never seen the light of day. I was going through some old flash drives the other day and found that first manuscript. It was rewritten about ten times. I’d still like to do it one day, but that will be a long way off. I probably won’t live that long. It was pretty awful, but I enjoyed putting words down to tell a story.
Fast forward seven years to the birth of Mantle Rock Publishing. We’ve published a lot of books, but one thing I see in new authors is their lack of knowledge to get a book ready for publication. We think we have it right until we get to an agent or publisher. The bad news follows their receiving your baby. Here are some of the things I see daily.
- Formatting errors.
- Lack of good attributes and tags.
- Story not thought through.
- More telling than showing.
- Not having a book edited.
- Grammar and punctuation not used correctly.
- Misspelled words.
I could go on and on, but these are a few of the things we encounter. Authors need to realize these things before they send their book out for the first time. It is your baby and it needs to be dressed up pretty. No one likes a ugly baby, especially agents and publishers.
This is the reason why I’m beginning a free class to help you improve your manuscript. The first five lessons are free, and I’m including a free PDF of Fifteen Steps to Improve Your Sells. A book that is not formatted correctly or written properly does hurt your sells. Believe it or not, but we all want sells. How do you sign up for this class? Write me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Tell me you want to join the class starting next week. I’ll send you the PDF when I get your email. Be ready to start on Monday, because we’re hitting next week with a bang.