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Editing Prompt: The Clock Is Ticking

Hey there Swooners!

We are once more counting down the minutes to our next submission deadline. Many of you have submitted your fabulous novels already, and we are so excited about the Season 8 prospects that if we could pour all of your manuscripts into a pool, we would swim around in them Scrooge McDuck-style, laughing with maniacal glee (probably).

scrooge mcduck swimming in money gif

For those of you who are still putting the finishing touches on your own submissions, that’s OK! You still have until 11:59 p.m. EST tomorrow to get those in.

At this point, your writing and revisions should be finished. If you feel like your manuscript still isn’t ready, it might be a good idea to hold off and wait for the next submission period in a few months. We would recommend not posting until you truly believe you manuscript is the best it can possibly be.

But if you’re all done and you’re feeling good about it and feel like it’s as good as it can be, there are still just a few detail-oriented tips for you to keep in mind when you go to submit (and this is something that those of you who’ve already submitted can also keep in mind).

1. Read all of the submission guidelines and the Terms & Conditions. Please make sure that a) your manuscript fits the description of what we’re looking for in submissions and b) that you’re OK with all the terms you’d be agreeing to.

2. Make sure you haven’t accidentally left personal information on your document. It’s common practice to put your full name, address, and phone number on a manuscript that you’re planning to submit to agents. But please don’t forget to take that part off before you submit to Swoon. Or else anyone who reads your manuscript will have your personal info!

3. Upload a cover with your submission. Trust us on this one. It is very, very difficult to get your manuscript noticed if there’s no cover on it. All manuscripts uploaded without one are given the same stock cover, so there is nothing individual-looking about them. You don’t have to be a Photoshop pro to make a decent-looking cover. We’ve provided you with helpful suggestions for creating one on our submissions tips page. 

4. Double, triple and quadruple-check your spelling. Make sure you spelled everything in your title correctly, and make sure you spelled everything in your descriptions correctly, including using the right punctuation and grammar.

5. Triple, quadruple and quintuple-check your description word counts. This is one of the most common errors we see in description copy on submissions. Please check that neither your short nor long descriptions are getting cut off, especially if you are cutting and pasting from a Word doc. For your short description, it can be no more than 100 characters long (please note that this DOES include spaces and punctuation) and long descriptions can be no more than 850 characters.

6. Check your formatting. Once you’ve chosen the document file to upload, the site will give you a chance to review a section of your manuscript to see how it looks in our e-reader. Please take a minute to go through this and make sure your formatting looks OK. If your manuscript hasn’t been broken into chapters or there are wonky symbols happening, these aren’t going to go away in the final version.

7. Don’t hesitate to reach out if you need help! We always expect issues the day or so before a submission deadline. With so many people submitting at once, sometimes the site can get bogged down or glitchy. We’ll be checking the Swoon Mail regularly, so if something is going wrong with your submission, don’t panic! Use the Contact Us page to shoot us a quick note and let us know what’s going on. Swoon IT will get right on it! Also, if you’re going through your descriptions after submitting and notice you missed a typo or missing word, or you want to add a cover, unfortunately you won’t be able to fix that yourself, but Swoon IT can fix it for you. We’re here for you!

We can’t wait to see what you all have in store for us this season!

Author spotlight

Emily S.

Swoon editor, IT girl, customer service representative, Small Council member, the-one-who-makes-the-coffee-but-mostly-just-on-Monday-and-sometimes-Thursday, etc.

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