3 Big Mistakes That Authors and Writers Make (That Make Their Manuscripts Unpublishable)

I’m a publisher.

I publish books.

The first book I published was Charles F. Haanel’s The Master Key System.

After that, I published all of Charles F. Haanel’s books.

I wrote a book, The Master Key Workbook, and new authors were and continue to be published.

This article is aimed at the aspiring writers out there. I receive quite a few submissions from authors. While I always respect their efforts, I see the mistakes that many make. It’s my hope that my article will help you.

Even if you’re not an aspiring writer, this article will help you with things like office correspondence, writing letters, and wherever else clear written communication is key.

Writing is difficult. It takes talent, learning, courage, persistence, fortitude … So many things that it almost seems to be an impossible task.

That’s why I respect writers and look to help them as much as I can — even if I am not publishing them.

Thus, this article is for you. From all the submissions I’ve received — from the good to the bad — here are some of the most common mistakes that I’ve read that writers and aspiring authors make. If you’re about to work on the next great American novel, keep these in mind. Your work will be better for it.

(1) The “I”s Don’t Have It

One of the first things I tell authors who submit their work is this: eliminate about 80% of the “I”s.

Many self-help and personal development books are written in the first person. That’s fine. But writing in the first
person doesn’t excuse you for turning your book into an “I”-fest.

You have to learn how to engage your reader and draw him into your world. Using “I” ad nauseum doesn’t do that.

Remove the “I”s and somehow and someway relate your subject to your reader.

To learn how to do this, read autobiographies and self-help books where the authors successfully do this.

Short of that, just go through your manuscript and delete as many “I”s as you can.

(2) Including Everything and the Kitchen Sink

When an author writes, especially if it’s their first book, they sometimes feel the need to include every bit of knowledge that they have into their book. And the book morphs into a tome of almost epic proportions.

I call this “kitchen-sinking” the book. You know that phrase, “Everything and the kitchen sink…”

With a book — especially in today’s market — you should pick a topic, write about it and only it, and then let it go. The key is to stay on target!

Yes, I know that you can add so much more to it. I know that you have much more information that you want to share.

But you know what? That can always be put into your second book.

(3) Writing Is Easy; It’s the Editing That’s Hard

Sitting down and writing is pretty straight-forward. You have your outline; you fill in the blanks; and you let your fingers do the “talking.”

The most important step, though, is often skipped: the editing!

Editing is not only looking for typos and grammatical errors. You’re looking to trim the fat, change wording, move sentences and paragraphs and sections, and anything else that will improve your work.

Editing is the hard part. You have to look at what you wrote and judge it as objectively as possible.

In general, you’ll spend much more time editing than you will actually writing. That is, if you actually want to write something that’s good.

Edit! Edit! Edit!

That’s all for now. Keep these in mind as you work on your future bestseller.

Of course, if you have any questions, please contact me.

If you’d like to submit your work for consideration, then please click here.