When to submit your novel.

Oh, the jitters we get just thinking about putting our baby in the mail. So when is our pride and joy ready to submit?

Here’s a short list of thing to be done before you take that giant step for romance kind.

1.Finished the book
Most publishers and agents want to know that the book is completed. You don’t get to sell on an idea or proposal until they are sure you’ve got one book done.

2. Have you done your homework?
Do you know what type of book you’ve written? If you aren’t sure, go back to some of the earlier post on this blog that discuss genre.

Do you know which publishers publish the type of book you write?
No point sending an inspirational novel to Harlequin Blaze unless you really like collecting rejections. The easy way to do this is to go to a bookstore and look for the similar books to see who published them. Write down a list and take it home. Check the publisher’s guidelines on-line to see how they want submission.

If your target is an e-print or on-line publisher, finding their guidelines is simple, as well. Just go to their websites. Most have a link to How to Submit.

3. Have you had your book proofread by someone else to catch those pesky typos like
from and form that spellchecker won’t pick up on? You want thousands of people to
buy your book, so why won’t you let someone proof it? Fear that they won’t like it?
Okay, I understand that, but you’ve just got to suck it up and plunge in.

4. Make sure you have the correct name for the editor or agent you are submitting to.
Nothing makes a bad impression like seeing your name misspelled on a query letter.
If you aren’t sure who to send it to, pick up the phone and call the agency or publisher
and double check. They will tell you which editors are acquiring.

Okay. Are we there yet? I think so. Send that baby out into the world. Success is out there waiting.

Let's here some of your submission stories. What was it like that first time? What mistakes did you make, if any? What would you do differently?


Reese Mobley said...

When you finish that first manuscript you think it's the most wonderful thing ever written. You send it out and wait. And wait. And then when you get a form rejection it hurts. But, very few people sell their first manuscript first. Some sell it later. Some, like me, will never sell that first one. Looking back now I realize how awful it was.

Am I sorry I wrote it and sent it out just to have it rejected? Not in a million years. It was a necessary step in the process. With every manuscript you complete you grow as a writer. You develop your voice.

So, you write another manuscript and send it out too. Will it be rejected as well? Possibly? But these are the manuscripts you save back until you are published and then you polish and present them and hopefully this time they will be met with different results.

The main thing to remember is that if you don't submit then you'll never sell.

Joan Vincent said...

Good post, Pat. I find the hardest thing about submitting to be the waiting. It can take weeks but more usually months. With my last submission to Dorchester it took ten months to get the rejection. My advice to myself and others during the long wait is not to fret and stew, worry and wonder--get busy writing the next story or fine tune another manuscript, send out a query on it. Keep working, never sit and wait because it will just be time lost. I have a submission I'm waiting to hear about but have started a new manuscript--working makes the time go so much faster.

Roxann Delaney said...

I think my first (romance) ubmission was to Loveswept. Anybody remember them? I probably still have the rejection, a typical form letter. :)

The writing life is full of rejection. The first rule is to not take it personally. The second is to keep learning. The third is to keep writing.

Pat Davids said...

Reese is right. As much as we love our first books, they seldom make it to the shelves unless they've seen serious revisions.

Oh, Joan. I remember the waiting and running to check the mail box and my e-mail everyday. It can be paralyzing if you let it. Get going on another book is the best way to spend that time.

Rox, I do vaguely remember Loveswept. They were written on stone tablets, weren't they?

Roxann Delaney said...

Yes, carved into stone.

Penny Rader said...

The waiting is the hard part for me...once I actually pry the submission packet from my hands and put it into the mailbox.

Anyone else feel sick after popping their baby into the mail or sending it out into cyberspace?

Roxann Delaney said...

A pounding heart, sweaty palms, and a queasy stomach, yes. Still do. :) Oh, and a plethora of prayers to go with it. LOL