Tip of the Week September 6

Tip of the Week: Keep track of all of your submissions.

And by track, I mean in something like a spreadsheet even if it's a handwritten one in a columnar ledger. You need to remember who you sent a manuscript to, when you sent it, and their response. Part of this is so that one of your manuscripts won't languish for years in someone's slush pile. We won't name names. Okay, probably mine. You have no idea how easy it is for a manuscript to slip through a crack. Literally. Yesterday while packing for the Great Move, I found a 17 month-old manuscript hiding between my file cabinet and a book case. Also, you need to know where you've sent the stuff. Unless an editor or agent specifically asks to see a rewrite of that particular manuscript, you don't get to send it to them again. Nothing is more annoying than getting an unasked for rewrite of a suspense manuscript when the main reason you rejected it was because you already had acquired 12 suspense manuscripts for the next 3 years. And finally, the nice little chart of your submissions will help you to visualize your submission process. Do you always submit to the same places but only recieve form letters? Try somewhere else. You get the picture.


Anonymous said...

So here's what I've always wondered. If agents and editors really do receive a ton of slush (and I believe they do), they how would they ever know if something got submitted to them twice? And they may have never seen it in the first place if it got screened out by an assistant. ?? Also, is it ever permissible to submit to the same agent or editor twice? 1 year later? 2 years later? You get the idea.

Anonymous said...

Off the subject question on punctuation. I read in an article that tag line should be of the format 'said Jack.' rather than 'Jack said.' Here is the article.
What are your thoughts?


The Buried Editor said...

Well, generally what happens is that we see a manuscript and go, gee this sounds familiar. Didn't I read something like that? Then we search our files for the form that is attached to every manuscript when it comes in. On that form is a brief summary, etc. Now, of course, I rarely go after that form, but if I'm thinking that something is familiar than I either assume I've already seen it, or that it is a very common idea that is lacking in originality. And the same goes for readers and/or assistants. If they've seen it the first time and rejected it, it doesn't have a better chance the second time around. Now, if you're certain that the company has had turnover and that the same person won't be seeing it again, then I would chance resending, but otherwise it's just a waste of time.

The Buried Editor said...

I love the punctuation question. It's the Question of the Week now.