This is the first post in an occasional series on how not
to submit a manuscript.
I got sent a manuscript the other day from a would-be author. I'd agreed to read it, and happily stored the PDF file on my computer. A few hours later, I got another email, with another attachment. The first version, the author noted, had typos in it and wasn't quite ready for me. Could I read this version instead? he asked. I deleted the first file and replaced it with the second. A day or so later, however, I got yet another email from the same author saying that he'd had another look at the version he'd sent the day before, and had made a few changes, and could I read this, third, version?
Well, luckily I hadn't read any of the versions. But it's pretty obvious that, far from needing to tweak the manuscript, the author in fact simply hasn't finished the manuscript, and instead of sending daily updates of his manuscript, he needs to go away and complete it to his total and lasting satisfaction, instead of seriously annoying would-be editors by sending draft after draft.
Rule Number One: Finish Your Manuscript.