No, I'm not suggesting you have your pug write your book. Although my pug, Homer, does make a contribution by being my muse.
I have 30 books of varying lengths published. I do get contacted by aspiring authors from time to time.
Here's my list of do's and don'ts for aspiring authors:
1. Never send a manuscript of any length to a published author unless he or she has requested it. Always ask first. It's presumptuous and downright rude to assume that the writer is doing nothing except sitting around, waiting for you to dump your 200 pages on him or her.
2. Are you sure you want their critique? If the writer agrees to read your work, are you willing to take the hard truth about your writing? Or are you expecting the pro to tell you your ms. is the most brilliant piece of writing since Gone With the Wind and you should submit it to a top publisher immediately, without changing a comma? I can guarantee that's not going to happen. If you can't take the criticism, then don't ask.
3. If the writer is too busy when you ask him or her to read your work, do not take offense. It isn't personal. Professional writers are not sitting around sipping coffee. They are writing, editing, researching, marketing, rereading. They are an extremely busy group. I never read ms. sent to me by aspiring authors. I simply don't have time.
4. Before you ask a writer to read your work, what have you done for them? Have you read his or her book or books? Have you left nice reviews? Have you liked and shared their posts on Facebook? No? Then I wouldn't even bother sending a request. Life is a two-way street. If you are only traveling one way -- asking for an enormous favor for yourself while giving nothing in return--you're more than likely going to get turned down.
Comments welcome. Thanks for stopping by.