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Kennedy Devereaux, owner of Kennedy Devereaux Designs, is a sight to behold in her signature pink colors, accented with custom designed jewelry. Intriguing enough that Joel Kingsley, the man building the new business next door, can’t help but keep coming around, just to get to know the woman in the designer clothes. He finds she’s not such a mystery, and his charm easily wins her over--until she finds that he’s forgotten to let her in on the secrets of his past.
“Who’s smitten with me?” Oliver asked as he set his box on the table. “Oh, tell me it’s that gal next door.”
Joel discarded the rest of the bar mix in his hand into the bucket they’d placed for trash under the table. Oliver’s words had felt like a kick in the gut, and Jeff must have noticed. Without hesitation, he kicked again.
“Which gal next door?” his brother asked. “The blonde in the pink and heels?”
Ouch, Joel thought as Oliver took a seat.
“Are you kidding me? Too pretentious. Too stuck up. I’ve been snubbed by the cheerleading squad and the prom queen before.” He began to unload the box he’d set on the table. “I’m talking the other one. Not the pregnant one either,” he said holding up a finger in objection before one of the mentioned her. “The leggy one with the mess of auburn hair. Sexy as hell. Like maybe, she was the wannabe jock that fit in with the pretty girls and balanced them out. You know.”
They all howled in laughter at his analogy, except for Joel who was able to finally breathe. Good, he thought. No one had their sights set on Kennedy except him. But Jeff was right. If she ended up hating him, it could be bad for them.
As Oliver cracked open the first growler and passed around the plastic cups, Joel decided he couldn’t afford for Kennedy to hate him.
Five Mistakes Writers Make When Querying Publishers
By Bernadette Marie
When I decided to publish my own work in 2011, because depending on an unreputable publisher had taken its toll on me, I promised myself I would only publish myself and no one else. I had gone through the steps to set up a business and run it, and like most promises to myself, I broke this one too. By my second year of business, I had already contracted other authors.
In the past ten years, I have seen a lot of queries, and I’ve rejected or deleted ninety percent of them. If a query is done correctly, but not right for my publishing house, I will respond. However, too many of them make these crucial mistakes, and they are instantly deleted. It’s not that I’m a big ole meanie, you’ll find this is common practice when authors don’t follow the rules.
Mistake #1:An author submits without checking the submission guidelines. Most publishers who are taking submissions have those guidelines listed on their website. They will give you everything you need to know to submit. When an author randomly submits work that isn’t asked for or attached when asked not to it gets deleted.
Mistake #2: Don’t say, “Hey, I need a publisher.” Seriously, don’t start your query like this! You are basically asking for a job, if you will. Your query is your resume, and you need to sell the publisher on the first hello. I cringe when I get emails that start, “Hey, I need a publisher,” or “Don’t you want to publish the next bestseller?” Take time to be personable and professional.
Mistake #3: Don’t mass query in one email. When you send out an email to multiple publishers at one time, I don’t take you too seriously because you’re cutting corners. If you’re going to work with me, I want to know you want to work with me and you’ve done your due diligence in looking into what my requirements are. Usually, when you mass submit, you’re not following someone’s submission guidelines.
Mistake #4: Proofread your query. We’ve all been there. The minute you hit send, you find a typo. It’s human nature. However, you’re submitting your work for publication. You’re asking them to represent you. Punctuation, capital letters, and spelling all counts. Sure, sometimes things slip through, but an entire email sent with mistakes is going to catch our eye quickly. On a side note, sending a query letter that looks like a text or a tweet, so not cool! Use full words.
Mistake #5: Not following up. Guess what, we get busy and our email eats queries too. Most publishers will let you know how long it takes to get a response. If you’ve been waiting a long time, or the time frame has passed and you haven’t heard anything, email and ask. Maybe your query ended up in junk or fell through a hole. It’s okay to ask if they got your query. It’s also okay to say thank you to a rejection. What’s not okay is to follow up a rejection letter with your critical comments of the publisher. Sometimes projects aren’t right, and that’s okay. But telling the publisher off because they didn’t request your book, that’s not going to make you any friends.
As you can see, most of these mistakes are lack of common sense. Take your time and do your homework before you hit send.
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Bestselling Author Bernadette Marie is known for building families readers want to be part of. Her series The Keller Family has graced bestseller charts since its release in 2011. Since then she has authored and published over thirty-five books. The married mother of five sons promises romances with a Happily Ever After always…and says she can write it because she lives it.
Obsessed with the art of writing and the business of publishing, chronic entrepreneur Bernadette Marie established her own publishing house, 5 Prince Publishing, in 2011 to bring her own work to market as well as offer an opportunity for fresh voices in fiction to find a home as well.
When not immersed in the writing/publishing world, Bernadette Marie and her husband are shuffling their five hockey playing boys around town to practices and games as well as running their family business. She is a lover of a good stout craft beer and might have an unhealthy addiction to chocolate.