Monday, October 3, 2011

Don't Rush Your Submissions

Every now and then I will receive multiple submissions from a single author either all on one day or in several consecutive days. I personally don't have any problems with the multiple submissions, but the author is making a huge mistake and really (in most cases) wasting a huge amount of time. The problem is simple. The author has not waited to hear back from the first submission.

After an author submits a story to and editor or agent, make sure to take the time to wait for a response. Each editor or agent has a time period that they say you should hear back from them. WAIT! The rationale is simple. If you get some comments back, you can either adjust your new submission to meet those parameters, or decide that the other projects may not work at all for what the person was looking for.

This last week, I had an author submit three projects to me. The first project wasn't romance or women's fiction, so therefore, it was an automatic rejection. The next day, the author submitted two more projects. I still hadn't responded to the first one so this author really didn't know that the next two projects were never going to work. Hmmmm? What does this say.

Now yes, I do understand that following this guideline does rely on whether or not the agent or editor sent you a response that wasn't a form letter, or even sent you one. Still. you can save yourself a bit of time.

There is another factor though that you should consider. Due to human nature, if we see multiple submissions showing up like this, we start having negative thoughts about your approach to submissions. If you are sending these out in this rapid fire approach to me, are you doing the same with other editors or agents? Along the same lines, if you are doing this, what does this tell us about your knowledge of the business? Regardless of the answer to those two questions, you are starting to leave us with some questions and some doubts over how much work you might be as a client.

The stronger approach is simple. Take what you learn, adapt to it and then show me that you learned and mastered my comments in the next project. Doing so will demonstrate to that editor or agent that you can take critique and apply those revisions to your future projects.


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