Only a small proportion--5 to 10 percent--are accepted the first time they are submitted, and usually they are only accepted subject to revision.
A major faux pas is submitting your manuscript simply to get it reviewed, says Newcombe. Beef up your cover letter Many authors don't realize the usefulness of cover letters, Newcombe says.
She's heard authors say, "This is a small experiment that I know would never get published in that journal, but I would like to get some feedback." Not a good idea, Newcombe says, because it wastes editors' and reviewers' time, and those who reject it from the journal may also be the ones who have to review the paper when it's submitted to a different journal. In addition to stating "here it is" and that the paper conforms to ethical standards, Newcombe says the letter can contain the author's rationale for choosing the editor's journal--especially if it's not immediately apparent.
After you've gotten that fresh critique of your work, says Newcombe, listen to the pre-reviewer's advice.
If the reviewer down the hall "didn't really understand page six and therefore got lost in page 13," she says, "don't just say they didn't read carefully--other people are going to make that same error." For a final check, some editors suggest having the manuscript professionally copy-edited (see Further reading).
Don't panic The overwhelming majority of initial journal manuscripts are rejected at first.
"Remember, to get a lot of publications, you also will need to get lots of rejections," says Edward Diener, Ph D, editor of APA's .
The good news is that experienced journal editors and authors are willing to pass on their secrets of success. That concept isn't always familiar to academicians who often write because they have to for tenure or promotion, she says.
But, she advises, while "academic wisdom [says] 'publish or perish,' ancient wisdom says 'without vision, the people will perish.'" Once you have a vision, says Neal-Barnett, write it down and keep it in constant view to remind you of your mission.
It is not a novel with subplots and flashbacks, but a short story with a single, linear narrative line.
Let this line stand out in bold relief." Newcombe also admits that neatness counts.