Monday, April 5, 2010

Question from a Writer - Submissions

Most of the information I've learned on querying suggests a round-robin approach where you only query a small amount of agents at a time, wait for a response, and then repeat firming up the query as suggestions are made.

Given slush piles must be formidable at the publishing houses that even accept queries from unpubbed, is it advisable to add editors to the round-robin approach or just focus on agents alone?

Great question Leslie. Sounds like you are getting ready to make that next move with your writing.

When it comes to submitting, the first thing to remember is that your story is not going to fit at all agencies or publishers. Take the time to find the location that your story, and the voice of your story fits the best. I always like to use the example that Vampires at Dorchester are different than Vampires at Avon or Berkely. Find the one that fits best to you.

With that said, I would always recommend starting with the agents and there are several reasons for this.

First, many of the publishers only accept agented material. Therefore, you might as well get heading in that direction.

Secondly, and this is a big one with me. If you submit to editors and they reject you, then there is nothing an agent can do for you now. That door is closed. Sometimes an agent is able to make something happen with a publisher that an unpublished author can't do. When you submit the project, it may simply end up in that infamous slsuh pile. It may not. As an agent, we can potentially get it to those people who are higher up in the food chain.

With that said though, this is not a fixed rule. If yo have an opportunity to pitch and you can do it well, there might be a chance. I guess in the end, it is all that gambling and crap shoot thing we have talked about in the past.

Oh, and as for submitting to agents and just waiting, I really don't think you need to do that. Just remember that some people will get back to you faster and you better be prepared to say yes. If you submitted to them, it means you would want to be with that agency.


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