Thursday, September 3, 2015

You Are Not The Only One Writing

Writing is a solitary activity. You sit for hours in front of your computer, the dog or cat at your feet, your M & M's neatly curled up in a bowl next to you. And the only conversation taking place are the characters talking to you. But you have to remember, that, all around the world, there are other authors doing the same things. Some are ahead of you in terms of their goals and some are behind you. Some have contracts, and some are still working for a contract.

But the world also extends beyond that...

If you have an agent, although you might feel that it is a true monogamous marriage, that agent has relationships going on with all of his or her other clients. That agent might also have other jobs that are taking up part of that time. And the editors are in the same situation.

I bring all of this up, because one of the toughest jobs of being an author is to understand that there will be times you have to wait your turn.

When you send in a submission, unless there is a technical glitch and the story didn't make it to the person, the editor or agent will get to the project. I promise you, we don't like our inbox with 500 emails to answer.

But also remember, for new authors, you are still not in the system yet. That means that, and don't take this the wrong way, you are a second class citizen. The editor's current writers take priority. They are working under deadlines that have to be met. If you have a request from an editor or agent, that doesn't mean you are really any closer. They will get to it when they have that free time.

You have to remember that editors and agents are reading those submissions in their personal free time. The NY Editors are reading them on the subways or the trains home. They are sitting at home, in the evening, trying to carry on their own lives while playing catch up and reading those submissions.

This is just a reminder that while you might be eager to have an answer, and while you might feel that things have come to a grinding halt, there is a reason for this!

Just don't panic! We do want to read your story. When we say we are "eager to read this" in that response you just got, it is the truth. But also remember, that the other authors who sent their projects also got that same message. It isn't just a generic email. We are eager to read their stories as well.

Have a great Labor Day Weekend people!


  1. Quick question and because I'm curious.
    I was told that many agents and editors have "professional readers" who read the submitted manuscripts first. And if they think a manuscript has possibilities, recommend it to the agent or editor to read. Is this true? Do you use "professional readers" for what is submitted to you or do your eyes take all the heavy labor? Thanks! Kate M.

  2. Good question.

    Yes, there are agents and editors who use freelance readers. They do this for several reasons:
    1) because of the volume of manuscripts they see
    2) because they saw something in the partial so they send a full out for that first feedback.
    3) because they read the full manuscript and want a second opinion.

    Here at Greyhaus, it is only me!