Five Things That Tell Me You're A Newbie


Want to make sure everyone knows you're a new novelist and don't know the business? Just say one of these things:

1. "I'm writing a book." 

No. You're not. You're writing a manuscript. Once it's formatted and printed, either electronically or in hard copy, it's a book. 

2. "It's a fiction novel."

Well, duh. All novels are fiction. There's fiction and there's non-fiction -- and maybe creative non-fiction, but that's still up for debate. If you're getting this wrong, then i know you have no clue about where your work should be on a bookstore shelf, which means we're going to have a tough time selling it.

3. "My manuscript is 212 pages long."

Nice. Nobody cares. Page count straight out of your printer is irrelevant. Real writers talk word count. We know that the design, line spacing, and choice of fonts will change what the page length is -- if that's even relevant at all in an e-book.

4. "Introduce me to your agent?"

No. Never ask. And if you contact my agent and use my name without my permission, I will hunt you down. Listen, writers are among the most generous and sharing of creative souls, and when we think you're ready, we'll OFFER that introduction. You'll love us, our agents will love us, it's all good. But just because YOU think you're ready doesn't mean you are. Trust the process -- we'll pay it forward when we can recommend your work without reservations.

5.   "But...."

Any response other than, "Thank you," in response to a critique.  It's acceptable to ask for clarification, but not if you simply disagree or don't like the comments. Say thank you. You've been gifted with my time.

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