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Mother Hen's Bin


Lea Schizas

Five Points To NOT Get Published


Every article tells you what to do in order to get published. I decided to go the complete opposite and give you a humorous look on what to do to NOT get published.


  • Publishing houses have something called Submission Guidelines. They state their preferred genres, manuscript guidelines, how and where to send it to. Not sure why they post them since most writers prefer to skip this step and send them their ‘best-seller’, regardless if they only accept romance and you have a children’s book you believe will top the Potter series. Hey, you never know, maybe after reading that ‘best-seller’ they may decide to add it to their submission guidelines that nobody reads.


  • A first draft? Don’t send in a first draft? Why not? You’ve slaved over that first draft for the past ten years and you think it’s ready to go. So what if no one critiqued it? So what if another pair of eyes didn’t help edit the thing with you? It’s your manuscript, you knew what you wanted to write, and you did. So there. Send your first draft to a publisher and agent. Maybe to that publishing house above in point one where just maybe they don’t accept your genre but just may add it after they read your first draft.



  • Well, the nerve of that critique group to dare and give you suggestions for changes in your chapter. What do they think they are...your first paid readers? Don’t change a thing, afterall, they may want to help but only you really know the hidden message in the book. So leave it as is. And come to think of it, why did you join a critique group since nothing really needs changing in your first draft that you are going to send to that publisher in point one above who doesn’t accept your genre but will once they read your manuscript, right?


  • You sent your submission last week to the publishing house’s acquisition editors and haven’t heard back yet. Well, go ahead, email them every day until they respond. How rude of them. It’s not like you can wait until after their guidelines specified to contact them in four months if you haven’t received a confirmation from them. Yet again, you don’t read guidelines and figure this is the best option to find out the status of your manuscript you sent in last week to the publisher in point one who doesn’t accept your genre but will once he reads your manuscript, right?



  • And the final point: word count. Now why would a publishing house have word counts. How ridiculous. My novel at 789, 428 words, but not finished yet, is a great read. I know. My grandmother told me so once I gave her the story’s theme. I’m going to send it...yep, you guessed it...


To the publisher in point one who doesn’t accept that genre but will after the manuscript is read regardless if my critique partners – who really aren’t my first readers – told me it’s way too long and needs more editing. After all, what do these writers know. It was a fluke they were published anyway.

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