Thursday, December 22, 2016

Recommendation - Send one manuscript at a timei

I had a ton of authors in this last round of new submissions sending multiple projects at one time. While this might seem like a great way to show that potential agent or editor that you have a lot to offer, it is also a great way to lose out on a learning moment. What generally happens is that you don't just get one rejection, you get a lot more, and those later ones might have been projects to have been saved.

When you get a rejection letter, the first thing you need to do is to reflect on what happened. Was this an issue of sending it to the wrong person? Was it an issue in your writing and one you could fix? Was it a plotting issue? Characters? The list goes on and on. Now, I do understand that with some agents and editors you just get a "NO" or no response, but you can still go back and revisit what that problem might be.

Now, here is the issue with sending a lot of projects. Say you send a story to me and I like the initial premise, but the voice is something that might feel a little "dated" or "forced." It isn't the story so much but the writing. This is something that might be able to fix. But here is the thing. This is probably an issue in all of your other pieces of writing. Should that be the case, then maybe you need to spend some time going over those other projects before sending it off to me. The thing is, you now know what I am looking for.

The key is to learn and go. Demonstrate you can take those revision notes. Let me give you another spin to this.

Let's say I reject you on a project. I tell you this is an issue of say a heroine not being strong enough, or the hero being someone who comes across as a jerk. When you do send the next project, to me, take the time to mention in the query letter that the last time you submitted a project, these were the issues that were mentioned. Then go on to clearly state in that query letter how you really focused on making those changes in this new project. Not only does this show a dedication to the agent you want to send a story to, it also shows that you are being professional and learning. You can take revision notes and hopefully do something with those points.

In simple terms, slow down. Take your time. Relax. We will be there for you in the future. You don't need to send a ton in one submission, or even send the next one the hour you receive that first rejection.

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