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Please feel free to print this copyrighted checklist,
which you may use personally to help sell manuscripts you have written.
You may not resell this checklist in any manner,
nor allow it to be distributed in conjunction with any profit making venture.
Copyright 1997, 1998, W. D. Mitchell

A successful manuscript submission is deceptively complex. If you send out several at a time, it’s much too easy to neglect a crucial detail and muff the whole thing.
Use this checklist every time, so your manuscript will stand out from the others your addressee receives in the same mailbag.



O DON'T use a recycled query or submission package letter! Rewrite anew.
O Contents:
O Return Address. Make it very easy for them to contact you.
O Phone number, e-mail, website information, etc.
Hint: Is your phone number toll free? Professionals use toll free numbers.
O Address double-checked. Have they moved? Same suite?
O Addressed to the correct person. Use their name, not "Dear Editor,"
O Consider a 25 cent phone call to check.
O Nothing informal. This is business.
O Times Roman 11 or 12 point font.
O High quality white paper. 20# bond at least.
O Your own letterhead stationery.
O Don’t have letterhead? The professionals do. (hint, hint)
O Business style format. Let your modern word processor help you here.
O Laser printed if at all possible. Ink jet is okay. NOT a 9-pin dot matrix printe.
Hint: Sweet talk your boss into printing it for you on the company laser.
Hint #2: We know where to get new, quality laser printers for $199. E-mail.
O A "reminder" introduction used, if and only if it applies. "When I queried you..."
O No more than two pages.
O Absolutely nothing negative or amateurish in the letter. Avoid such errors as: "Although I'm not published..."
"All my friends love it..."
"Since everyone else has rejected it, you're my last hope..."
O Sell, Market, and Sell. Sell the benefits, not just the bare facts.
Hint: Do you know a great marketing rep.? Let them look over your letter.
O Any impressive awards your manuscript has won.
O Great "hook", even if you must rewrite it fifty times to get it perfect.
O High-impact, concise "blurb".
Hint: See my "High-impact Thesaurus".
O Superb "clincher" at the end.
O Signed. (duh!)
O P.S. included if feasible. A postscript nearly always gets read.
O Spell checked, by computer and visually.
O Grammar checked, by computer and visually.
O Aged at least a day, and proofed again.
O Correct letter in the correct box!
O Double check this before sealing every box.

O Double Spaced, even between paragraphs.
O Don't quad-space between paragraphs.
O Begin new chapters at mid-page.
O Banner page.
O Title page.
O Pages numbered at upper right.
O Table of Contents.
O Appendicies.
O Author name and title of work on each page.
O Underlines instead of italics.
O Single-space between sentences.
O Courier font, 12 pitch.
O Well organized.
O Illustrations included.
O Any photos included.
O Spell checked.
O Grammar checked.
O Eyeball checked.
O Critiqued by another person if possible.
O Rubber band around ms.
O Boxed well.
O Diskette included if requested.
O Use correct word processor program.
O Use correct diskette format -- PC vs. Mac, Word Perfect, Word, etc.
O Send the correct manuscript !!
O Any other inclusions?

O Other competitive books in print.
O Why is your work different?
O Your audience.
O Projected sales.
O Special needs your book has.
O Niche markets.
O How you will promote it.

O "Why are you the one to write this?" This is your book's resume', not your own.

O Mailing return label
O Correctly addressed to you (not to them!).
O Their correct return address.
O Proper postage.
O Loose stamps work well.

O "We received your manuscript."
O "You can expect a reply by: __________"

O Legal sized envelope.
O Addressed correctly.
O Return addressed correctly.
O Stamped.
O Courtesy piece of bond paper inside.

O Inscribed on the outside "Requested Material", or as instructed by addressee.
So it won't automatically go to the dreaded slush pile.
O Correctly addressed and return-addressed.
O Sufficient postage, so they won't hate you when it arrives!
O Securely packed so the carrier doesn't half-destroy it in-transit.
O All enclosures included:
O Cover letter on top.
O Business card clipped to it.
O Manuscript (with rubber bands around it.
O Market Analysis if appropriate.
O Author's Biography.
O S.A.S.E. for ms. return, or note for them to recycle it.
O Postcard.
O S.A.S.E. for ordinary correspondence.

O E-mail to letting us know of your success! That's our optional fee for letting you use our own personal checklist. We love to hear success stories!



Updated: January 12, 1998
By W.D. Mitchell


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