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How Will I Know?

March 11, 2021-I’m really enjoying the variety of questions that are coming in from our readers, and I hope that you are too! We’ll continue the topic of answering your most asked questions about writing, being an author, self-publishing, and more. Here is the question of the day:

Q: “I’ve been working on my manuscript for a year and a half, it’s a middle-grade novel, and I think I’m finally finished it…or maybe I’m not…every time I look at it, I feel like editing it again from the beginning. How will I know when my manuscript is ready to be submitted to a publisher for consideration?

A: This is a great question! It’s a bit complicated, so let’s try to simplify the answer. It’s totally normal to obsess over every single detail in your book whether it be the very first line or the complexity of the plot or characters. My advice is that after about four drafts, you should stop obsessing. Also, if you’re finding that your changes are making the story worse and not better, it’s time to stop editing and start submitting for publication. For myself, I know my manuscript is completed when I can’t stand to look at it one more time; I’m sick of working on it, I don’t want to read one more word or do one more draft. Only submit your manuscript once everything is wrapped up with a bow and all of the readers questions are answered; don’t leave anything incomplete when it comes to the plot or storyline. Most authors will just know that their manuscript is ready, it’s a gut instinct. Sounds cliché, but it’s true! Only you will know when your manuscript is ready to be submitted. Be sure to check the submission guidelines and follow them explicitly. Usually, these can be found online on the publisher’s website that you will be querying. I can’t tell you how many manuscripts I’ve rejected on the basis of the author not following the correct procedure while submitting, don’t let this happen to you!

Our submission guidelines can be found here: Contact Info/Submission Guidelines – Pandamonium Publishing House and here are some additional resources should you need help: Mini-Course Crafting the Perfect Query – Pandamonium Publishing House    Advice From a Publisher (Insider Secrets for Getting Your Work Published!) An Amazon Best Seller – Pandamonium Publishing House


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The Positive Aspect of No

February 18, 2021-As authors, we hear the word “no” a lot more often than we’d like to. But what if I told you that there’s a positive aspect to “no”.  Let’s back up for a minute, rejection can be painful, but it’s part of life. You’re not the only one who’s ever been rejected by a publisher, magazine, blog site, or writing contest; rejection is common and I’m here to tell you to embrace it!

We fear rejections as humans because it’s part of our make up, our biology, and is reinforced by our instincts to keep us alive. That good ole reptilian brain is alive and well! Rejection lights up the same part of the brain that allows us to feel physical pain, can you believe it? Rejection=physical trauma according to brain scans done on subjects by the U of Michigan Medical School. There is an evolutionary foundation to the trauma associated with rejection. Being left out by our tribe during the caveman days would leave us to face dangerous animals, or challenging environments on our own and that could lead to injury or death! No wonder we hate rejection, it’s a built in survival tool.

I receive approximately 175 manuscript submissions per month and I reject most of them for various reasons. Perhaps it’s not a good fit for our House, or we have enough subject matter of a particular topic in our roster, or we’ve filled our schedule for the next two years with new releases. No matter the reason, it’s NEVER personal. Rejection is never a judgement on who you are. We need to rethink what rejection means; it’s merely a subjective opinion. The entire world isn’t evaluating your skills/abilities, it’s just me and maybe I’ve got it wrong.

Facing rejection is just a matter of trying again, it’s a statistical/numbers game. One of the first things that I learned while studying marketing, was that if you want one person to say yes, you have to get 99 people to say no. If we flip that around, all we need to do is ask 100 people for what we want before one of them says yes. 99 people may say no, but all it takes is one yes!

The most successful authors I’ve had the pleasure of working with, have always done one thing differently than others who have been rejected before them. They ask how. Not how could you possibly reject my wonderful writing, but instead, how can I improve my writing? How can I improve my chances of getting a publishing deal? How can I get better? That’s what separates the haves from the have nots.

So, the next time you’re feeling upset about being rejected (it’s going to happen more than once, trust me) remember these things:

  1. Have you asked enough people? Remember the 1/100 rule. 99 no’s will equal 1 yes.
  2. Is the rejecting person’s opinion subjective? Probably, because especially in the art field, art is always subjective.
  3. Are you taking rejection too personally? Rejection is not a reflection. Nothing in this business is personal.
  4. Have you asked how you can improve? What can you do to improve your writing? What can you do to hone your skills? Are you open to resubmission after I fix what you’ve mentioned? etc.
  5. Have you set the stage for yes? This means, have you checked the submission guidelines? Have you addressed the correct person for your query? Have you polished your final draft? Have you built your author platform? Have you followed the industry standards for your submission? etc.

So, I’m telling you to embrace the word no. Because every no gets you closer to yes. To check out my number 1, best selling book Advice from a publisher, click here: Advice from a Publisher (Insider Tips for Getting Your Work Published!): Bakker, Lacey L., Goubar, Alex: 9781989506141: Books –

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We Will…We Will…Reject You

January 31, 2019– Listen up fellow writers, what I’m about to tell you is absolutely imperative to set you on the path of successfully getting published, not only with my company but also, with other potential agents/publishers. Here’s the thing, writing is hard work, and we receive approximately 175 submissions give or take per month, so narrowing down the field of manuscripts is essential. Here is what will cause your work to be automatically rejected.

  1. You didn’t follow the submission guidelines.  When a potential author doesn’t follow the submission guidelines that are posted on every publisher’s site, you give us the clear indication that you cannot follow instructions. If you can’t follow directions, how are we going to work together longterm? Easy answer-we can’t. Here’s a link to our submission guidelines:
  2. You sent your entire manuscript in an attachment. I don’t open attachments. Ever. Next.
  3. Your query letter/synopsis didn’t grab me.  If you don’t know how to query a publisher, I suggest that you find information online that is accurate and trustworthy. Also, your synopsis is something that is your HOOK! It is exciting and makes me want to read more of your manuscript. It’s like a movie trailer for an upcoming attraction.  For expert help, you can click on this link to our products page to find out how to write the perfect query:
  4. Your opening pages were boring. The first few pages in your writing must be attention-getting not only for me but for your readers! If the opening of your story is dull, if it starts with a cliche (it was a dark and stormy night), or if it starts out as a dream, your chances of getting a publishing deal have pretty much vanished. Understand that yes, introductions to stories can be fixed, but you only have one chance to make a first impression. If I read your first five pages and I do not love it, what’s going to make me think that the rest of the book is any better? Start where the action is; the rest can be explained later and sprinkled throughout your story.
  5. You weren’t patient. You decided to call my bluff (or not) and say that another publisher was interested in your work, and you tried to rush me into making a decision. You needed an answer in two days or by five o’clock, or before Cinderella’s carriage turned back into a pumpkin, these things take time, and when I’m pushed to decide in a rush, my answer will always be no. Please understand that it takes between 4-6 weeks for me to review your work, sometimes longer based on how many submissions I have. Your patience is appreciated, and I will always respond, either way, so you know where you stand with your submission.

So, those are five ways to get rejected. We hope you’ll follow our advice, X LLB