Do’s and Don’ts

This is a list of commonly made errors and tips for the aspiring author.


  • Do have your piece shined up before approaching a publishing agent or trying direct submission.
    • Just because there may be hope of a professional editor doesn’t mean you won’t be judged
    • Nothing looks more unprofessional than spelling mistakes and bad grammar
  • Do take advantage of pitch days on Twitter
    • They happen periodically and are a great way to get noticed
    • Follow the rules
    • Don’t spam pitches
  • Do research on each of the agents before you submit
    • submit only if they represent your book’s genre
    • know about success stories
    • check social media for profiles
  • Do conduct yourself as a professional
    • Use appropriate language
    • Properly format all correspondence
  • Do enter contests
    • winning notable awards can increase your chances of getting noticed
  • Do find references
    • Taking classes from creative writing professionals may lead to a better chance


  • Don’t concentrate on a dream list of few publishing agents
    • They may overlook you if you’re new
    • Diversify and you may get noticed
  • Don’t submit to more than one agent at a time
    • Make your submissions unique
    • Make the agent feel special
  • Don’t spam agents
    • Send periodically unless you get a flat rejection
    • Not a good idea to agitate publishing agents as they are a tightly knit community
  • Don’t fear rejection
    • Keep on trucking with other agents
    • Fix mistakes if a resubmit was called for
  • Don’t give up hope
    • Keep trying and meanwhile improve your piece
    • try different approaches with Letters of Submission

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