Yes! When it comes to manuscripts the answer is simply yes. As Voltaire once said ” Perfection is attained by slow degrees;it requires the hand of time.” And so I ask you as a humble agent to please take your time when you submit a sample of your work to be considered by an agent.
I know perfection is tough to achieve but the very mention of the word “typo” sends chills up my spine.
I’ve been told that I’m a bit of a taskmaster when it comes to the written language, and indeed although you may find a few errors in this post ( if you do you can enter to win a great prize package- of what I don’t know but I’ll think of something), but I can’t overstate the importance of taking care to prepare your work BEFORE you submit it to an agent or publisher.
Now occasionally a person gets lucky. Take one of my esteemed colleagues for example. I have the utmost respect for this person and she is a perfect example of everything you need in an agent even though when she first started out she made some errors. ( She won’t admit to them so don’t even TRY to go that route) She didn’t see them as huge errors, but a misplaced comma or semicolon can make the difference between publication or the garbage bin.
Of course in her case she succeeded in selling the manuscript but I think that’s because she is a force to be reckoned with and no one ever wants to say no to her without a very good reason.
For everyone else in the world the rule is SEEK PERFECTION or don’t even think of sending out a manuscript or query letter or book proposal to an agent or publisher. Send it to as many friends, professional editors, or family members you can to catch all of your errors and then read it again.
So my tip today is TAKE THE TIME and go over your manuscript with a fine tooth comb. Or the typo man will be on your case.