Saturday, January 7, 2012
Manuscript and Submission Preparation.
Photo by Louis. .75 U.S. stamp required on SASE. Other forms visible are for exemption from U.S. withoholding tax of 30 % as well as reporting to the ODSP, (Canada.)
So far I've spent two weeks preparing a novel-length manuscript submission. It invloved copy editing/rewriting the book from end to end twice, as well as formatting it in the SFWA's 'Standard Manuscript Format.' Note that short story and novel formats differ chiefly in that a short story doesn't require a cover page.
This morning I copied and pasted the first three chapters into a fresh document, and went through it converting to U.S. style.
This involves removing the letter 'u' from a lot of words like neighbour, labour, honour, vigour, etc. It also requires changing 'metre' to 'meter,' and 'kilometre' becomes 'kilometer.'
This requires attention to detail and careful reading rather than any great technical knowledge.
Now I need a big fat envelope to take about fifty pages, and I need a good cover letter. They probably require a longer synopsis. My two-page synopsis is okay, but it might get longer. The letter will have all the contact data, word count, title, the usual thing. My submission letters aren't exactly chatty--the KISS principle applies when in doubt. Next thing is to print it out, make up the SASE, and write a cover letter. I'll probably do that tomorrow.
I've set myself a deadline for actually mailing the thing. That way I can move on to the next challenge. Also, I searched around and found some U.S. stamps so that they can send me a rejection slip. You can't use Canadian stamps in a U.S. post office. Lucky for me, I'm fairly well organized. I might just jot down a little checklist so I don't forget anything, and of course the whole thing will cost eight or ten bucks for postage. Then we wait.
My new mystery novel, 'Redemption: an Inspector Gilles Maintenon mystery,' actually has two different marketing images. That's because, according to Smashwords, 'Some retailers are cracking down on even illustrative nudity.'
What this means is that you get one image on Amazon, and another image in domestic U.S. booksellers. It's all the same to me. I don't have any objections to illustrative nudity, and both covers look good.