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Saturday, 20 August 2011

How long would you wait for an Agent or Publisher to respond to your Submission?

I think this is a question many authors ask themselves when they start submitting their work. We spend such a long time perfecting our manuscript that when we eventually feel confident enough to send it away, we find it difficult to sit back and let time pass us by. Many of us are impatient. We want to know that our work has been received by the right person and read as quickly as is humanly possible. But we also know this isn't real life. Sending out chapters, synopsis, query letters etc, is all very exciting but it's also hard work. Many agents and publishers ask for different submissions, i.e., 3 chapters and a synopsis or the first chapter and a query letter, some just want a sample, others just ask for a query letter. It can be quite disheartening can't it, when we spend months and sometimes years making our ms just so, only to find out the agent we feel would be perfect to represent our genre, only wants a query letter and a short synopsis. How can a person judge a book by that?


It's why we need to ensure whatever we send out as a submission is absolutely perfect. What a shame it would be if your ms was comparable to one of the greats and your query letter was full of errors, not to mention had been addressed to the wrong person.
So we've finished the book, typed "The End" and decided it's the next best thing to hit the shelves since J.K. Rowling was discovered. We now do our research, pick out the ones we feel may just take an interest, then start gathering all the information needed in order to complete the required submission. This process can almost be as hard as writing the book itself. But we have faith; we always have faith. If we didn't have faith, we might as well change our career path.

The competition is fierce. Talented authors are being turned down because they aren't well-known enough or don't meet the criteria of the agency. I recently heard about someone who was turned down because her book genre, romance, wasn't selling as well anymore. I'm no expert but I honestly can't understand why she was told that by one agent, yet she has since been accepted by another after being told her book is wonderfully-written and that the romance genre is selling like hot cakes. A difference of opinion perhaps. But I think knowing the right people can help as well.

Authors are waiting months to have their submissions looked at. I still haven't heard from six agencies I submitted to back in February of this year. I've given up on them now of course, even I'm not that desperate, but an acknowledgement would have sufficed, just to say "no thanks". We all know that agents and publishers are inundated on a daily basis with manuscripts, most of which end up on either the slush pile or in the shredder. We authors do have respect for the people that may one day represent us and achieve that book deal of a life time, but we would also like a little respect in return. It's hard work being a writer, even though the rewards can be incredible. I'll never give up and I'm quite sure none of you will, either.  Would you wait six months for an agent/publisher to respond to you? Or would you move on to the self-publishing world like I did?

1 comment:

  1. I feel that low for silent rejection but when that's the way, nothing to complain. The waiting sucks but in the self publishing way the selling sucks. I'd rather wait because the selling is real pain.

    You're right when you say, everything should be researched about query guidelines or sample requirements as that can mar.

    Thanks.

    ReplyDelete