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The Top Five Reasons I Stop Reading a Manuscript

Five reasons on why a literary assistant might put down your book on a first read. Take a moment to read and the be sure to follow Christine Herman on Twitter at @christineexists

Writer's Block Party

On any given day, I do a ton of reading. There’s my for-fun book on my commute to and from work. The unpublished manuscripts I read in the office as part of my job as a literary assistant. My after-hours beta reading for friends. And, yeah, okay, the occasional after-hours work reading, too — assistant life is busy!

So I’ve read a lot of books, many published, many unpublished (for now!). And today, I figured it might help those of you in the query trenches — or those of you who someday want to be in the query trenches — to talk about the most common missteps I see in requested manuscripts when I’m working as a literary assistant.

There is a lot of advice out there that focuses on how to make your query and first chapter shine — I’ve written some of it! But you must have a…

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