13 April 2006

Conflicting Information

I started looking up manuscript submission guidelines (in the hopes of getting something published). From Daw Books' submission guidelines: "Very important: Please type your name, address and phone number in the upper right hand corner of the first page of your manuscript. Right under this, please put the length of your manuscript in number of words."

They also request a cover letter, so I looked for some tips on writing one. Here's part of what one page had to say: "Never, never, never list the word count. Not even on short stories. It's says, HACK, in bold letters. It is a lie perpetuated by Writer's Digest Books. No one cares about the exact word count. Editors and agents can see that a 300 page manuscript is, well, a 300 page manuscript."

:^) I think I'll go with the actual publisher's guidelines if I submit... (And if that publisher won't take it, and another publisher requests something else, I'll go with that publisher's guidelines).

On the bright side, all the cover letter info agrees on the basic format:

Paragraph 1: Brief introduction to the manuscript, including title and and a very very short description.

Paragraph 2: Publication credentials / Personal history (ideally relevant to the manuscript you've sent)

Paragraph 3: Contact info and closing remarks. Should also contain preferences about what to do with your manuscript when the publisher is done looking at it. (Same place that said NEVER include the word count says NEVER ask for the manuscript to be returned; *shrugs*)

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