Monday, December 8, 2008

Is there a right time to submit?

We hear all of these urban legends out there about certain months to not send in a manuscript. In reality, unless the agent or editor said to send it NOW! it really doesn't matter.

Remember this people.

Agents and editors are reading manuscripts on their own free time. The odds of the manuscripts being read, especially by the editors, in their offices is slim to none. I know personally that Deb Werksman from Source Books reads hers on her hand-held PDA on the way home from work. So does Miriam Kriss of Irene Goodman.

You also have to remember that we don't open up the mail when it arrives and sit down immediately to read submissions. In some places, they get logged into a computer and moved to the TO BE READ stack. In my case, I time stamp the outside of the envelope, leave it sealed and move it to my TO BE READ stack. Only then do I open it.

It will get read, when it gets read.

But Scott, what about right after Nationals? Aren't they swamped? The answer is no. Many editors use that time after the summer conference season to catch up on their work. They are in the office then. Besides, the majority of writers we make a request from at Nationals NEVER submit. They were never ready in the first place. I know I have said this in the past, but I requested 2 fulls from a single writer last year at Nationals, I had just talked to an editor who coincidentally was looking for that exact type of story, and I never saw it. I spoke later to the editor who was wondering why I hadn't sent the stories, the publisher was actually tentatively holding a spot for this writer. My answer - I never saw it.

So, when is the best time to send it? When it is ready to go. Immediately after a request. That's when.

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