So You've Finished Writing Your Annie Seaton you’ve finished writing your book and you are ready to send it as a submission to a publisher or to your editor if it is already contracted.

Three words of wisdom...

Don’t be hasty.

It is a tremendous feeling typing the last word, the last sentence and wrapping it all up.

What you do now may mean the difference in being published ... or getting a rejection letter.

Now that the story is finished, this is the time to go back in and polish it until it shines.

The very first thing I do, is listen to my story one chapter at a time. There are a number of free software programs that will allow you to copy and paste chapters of your work into it and read it to you.

This will pick up missing words, mistaken words ...I have a dreadful habit of mixing up through, though and thought...and of course a spell checker does not pick them up.

Listening to your work will also let you adjust the flow and pace of sentences.

One of the things I love is writing vivid descriptions of my settings. When I listened to Italian Affair before sending it off to my editor, I had many instances of geraniums spilling from baskets, and herbs being crushed beneath feet! I was able to adjust and rewrite before my editor picked these repetitions up.

So we only ended up with on...

It wasn’t a cottage. It was a small villa that was well cared for, and it was obvious from the pots of pink and red geraniums spilling down the sides of the wall overlooking the sea that someone still maintained it on a regular basis. The windows shone, and the pungent smell of thyme growing in the cracks between the cobblestones floated in the still air as it was crushed beneath his feet.
One of the other things I search for is instances of filtering. This is where you distance your reader from the action by using words such as watch, heard and gave. A quick use of find will pick up the use of these words and you can judge whether you have put a barrier between the action of the character and the reader.

Check your punctuation. Have you omitted any full stops and commas? Is your manuscript in a standard font?

Have you read the submission guidelines?

And you have any common words that you over use or misspell?  The importance of this point can never be overlooked!

By taking the time to really check your manuscript and send it off as perfect as it can possibly be, you will improve your chances of publication.  Without a doubt.

Annie has recently released Book 2 ...of the Affairs series ...Italian Affair with Entangled Publishing which followed Book 1 -Holiday Affair. The third book in the series Outback Affair will be released later this year.  You can find Annie on her website here and also on Twitter and Facebook.


Free-spirited sex therapist Brianna Ballantine has four days to find a fiancé so she can inherit her birth mother’s Italian villa. Commitment is not on the agenda. Writing her sex therapy book and signing legal papers are. And once all is said and done, she’ll return home to Scotland. For finance guru Tomas Richards, relationships have been a bad investment—give him stocks and shares any day. When Tomas offers a marriage of convenience to help Brianna secure her inheritance, the sizzle between the sheets promises an affair to remember, despite family complications at every turn.  But Tom must convince Brianna to stay, and make this Italian affair a lifelong commitment.

Reviewed at RBH Contemporary Romance Reviews

Amazon     Amazon UK


  1. Thanks so much for the helpful advice, Annie! I have found that reading the story aloud helps me, but I have never used one of those programs. They sound even better because of words like though, through etc. I also appreciated the advice about words like heard, gave, and watch. Thanks! Wishing you much success. The Italian Affair sounds great!

  2. My pleasure, Jess. I find when you read aloud you still miss missing words as your brain puts them there. If you listen, it is immediately obvious. Good luck with your writing! Annie

  3. Excellent advice. Pleasure to meet you!

  4. Great advice! I print off my ms after I (think/hope) am done with revisions. Then I read it out loud with a pen in hand. I've tried to download programs that read your ms for you, but haven't had any luck with it.


Join the discussion. What do you think?