I am not a publishing expert and I don’t pretend to be. Hell, we all have our own opinion of what is good literature and what is not. But, because I am not a talking and walking spell checker and or grammar genius, I never feel confident enough to send out my work before it has been read and critiqued by other people (not just my friends and family).
For instance, AGE OF EDEN, it was critiqued by five (unassociated with me) published authors and it went through several rounds of critiques from authors in SCBWI (Society for Children Book Writers and Illustrators). It went through several rounds of edits by Jennifer and me. It was great before but now it’s even BETTER and as long and exaggerating as this process may sound (and it is) it is still necessary to do if you plan on sending out an unblemished grammar correct manuscript.
Not to mention; setting issues, plot holes, and world building disasters. Those are all things that need to be modified (or identified) before sending out your final manuscript to agents and the only way you can do that is by subjecting your manuscript to an unrelated critic, someone who is not “Pro-Stacey’s Writing Career!”
I know we all want to be published. We all want to see our names at the top of the New York Best Seller’s list. But, I don’t want my name associated with a book if it isn’t worthy. I’d rather wait and put it through a dozen expert critics to be sure that everything in my novel is up to par with today’s best sellers. If that means delaying my paparazzi crazed spotlight, progress in querying and finding an agent then so be it. Of course, some authors feel that they are the next Stephanie Meyer and have no patience in the writing process. Good for them! They would rather shoot first and ask questions later. But, what they are really doing is shooting their selves in the foot.
Okay, I’m stepping off my soap box. With one last closing argument, if anything…at least get your query letter and first three chapters critiqued. You can do that by using Query Tracker.net forum, Agent Query Connect forum, Nathan Bransford Query forum, Writer’s Digest Community, and Writer’s Digest Forum. These are all places you can post your query and pages to get them critiqued. And if you’re serious about getting published join a professional writer’s guild as in SCBWI or RWA, where you can subject your manuscript to the best in the business.
I hope I helped. Everyone have a fantastic Wednesday.