Author Heather Hummel specifies 5 problems that cause 96% of submissions to be rejected by agents and offers solutions for each one in this article. The problems she addresses are:
- Failure to follow submission guidelines
- Genre confusion
- Your query letter sucks
- Nonfiction is a different beast than fiction
- Spelling and grammar
Heather is a “photonovelist” who combines a love for photography with writing. Her published works include two novels, two non-fiction titles, and essays.
Of course, fixing the problems Heather lists are no guarantee of making it into the magical 4%. The nature and perceived marketability of your story still control the outcome. Back when I was submitting to agents I assure you that I made none of those errors yet, despite “I love the writing” responses I got, I also got “I don’t know where to sell it” responses.
Seeing as how my FtQ writing book is subtitled "Crafting a novel that sells," perhaps it won't be totally inappropriate to include here a new review titled "One of the best" that I found on Amazon.
"This is one of the outstanding "how to" books about writing. It is full of meaningful examples and clear, concise explanations of what to do, what not to do, and how to improve one's writing. So many books on writing promise to teach but the few lessons contained in the work are lost among too many words about the author, the point being made, or the author's experiences. FTQ is more like a handbook that you can refer to over and over without having to slog through hundreds of words that obscure the point being made. I keep it right beside two other favorites, Self Editing for Fiction Writers by Dave King and Renni Browne and On Writing by Stephen King.I highly recommend this book for aspiring writers and for experienced writers."For what it’s worth,
© 2013 Ray Rhamey