A friend who owns a publishing company offered some tips for our online writer's club, The Writer's Meow. They were so good, I would like to add them here as well! Thanks so much, Robert!
Some common sense advice regarding writing:
I'm always amazed that many people fail to realize the importance of professionalism that editors and publisher expect from writers. Now, I'm not taking about common typos that one might create while typing an email or a typo that is obvious but when an editor receives work that is filled with major grammatical errors (sorry for the grammar lesson, but I'm also an English professor) such as subject-verb agreement, verb tense, subject-pronoun agreement, fragments that are not warranted or simply sentences that don't make sense a writer needs to know how these affect the very busy editor. That is, most editors might simply stop reading after it becomes obvious that the work is poorly written. That said, I have to confess that there are times I have read work that had energy and something to say and was well written but which also had a few errors that could easily be taken care of.
Bottom line: Each time you send out work, you are basically applying for a job and most editors/publishers, who receive countless mss on a weekly basis, simply will use the lack of professionalism as a reason to reject a ms outright, often without reading the complete ms.
Robert L. Giron
Editor/Publisher, Gival Press
Poetry Editor, Potomac Review