Question for writers: Is it still recommended to have friends read a first manuscript before submitting it to a publisher for acceptance/rejection?
I have a manuscript I’ve been working on (off and on) for decades. I would very much like to submit it for publishing. There is a publisher/self-publisher on my island who only accepts 10% of submissions, so I want to decrease my chances of being rejected, by heading off any obvious blunders, by having a fresh pair of eyes and honest feedback.
So, I asked a friend to read the first 45 pages and she agreed. I think she was hoping it would be light reading, but it’s kind of a meaty manuscript. She said she started reading it, but it was just too dense for her to finish. She did say it was well written and researched, but it was just not the kind of reading she would normally choose.
I don’t want to make anyone’s head hurt. I just don’t know anyone personally on my little island into talking about the problems of religion and our move toward a more secular society, as is the topic of my book.
Are there other writers out there finding it hard to find someone to read a first manuscript? Just curious if you rely solely on yourself or is it best to have a fresh pair of eyes look it over before taking the plunge and sending it to a publisher? Where do you find people willing to read it?
Since mine is atheistic content, I'm hard pressed for friends open to reading it. I attended a writers conference here a few years ago, but the writers all seemed to be pretty religious, so I didn't feel comfortable sharing my writing with them for feedback.