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Thursday, March 18, 2010

Writers and Formatting

Wow. Lately I've seen editors talking about people submitting queries in bizarre, hard-to-read fonts. All I can think is WTF? These writers must not want to be published very much.

I started writing when I was 14. By the time I was 15, I knew I wanted to do more than scribble in my notebook--I wanted to do this professionally. So I asked my mom to drive me to the library and I checked out a bunch of books on how to write and submit.

Yes, when I was 15 years old I knew better than to submit or query in Curlz MT or Comic Sans. This is why I have trouble with writers who are too lazy to do their homework. You want to be a writer? Do you want it badly enough to at least Google to find out proper format? If that's too much, then I don't think these writers want to be published. Not really. If I can get myself to the library before I was old enough to drive, they can get online or to their own libraries to check out a book. There's no excuse.

I hate to sound unsympathetic, but, well, I am. It's much easier to get information on how to submit now than when I was in junior high. Every publisher has a website with guidelines--all a writer has to do is take 5 minutes to check it out and follow them. It's not rocket science. It shows professionalism and that the writer cared enough to actually find out what to do.

If a writer doesn't love their own story to present it correctly, why should any editor or agent love it enough to buy it or rep it?