Tuesday, June 8, 2010
Posted by Saranna DeWylde
I was thinking today we could talk about one of the most frustrating things a writer has to deal with--submission times. Writing always feels like hurry up and wait. Well, I hate waiting. I'm not a patient woman and I refuse to ask my preferred deity to give me patience. Why? Because if you ask for patience, you will learn it. The old fashioned way. It doesn't just suddenly make you patient, you have to wait. And wait. And wait some more. Then, when you think you can't wait any more, you'll still be sitting there with your thumb up your bum like a plum pie. But I digress.
We're in the convention season now, so everyone we're submitting to has a plate that's stacked high with a few more trips to the buffet on the docket. That's what conventions are for these editors, a huge smorgasboard where they pick and choose old favorites and/or try new things. Would you rush a fat girl at a buffet? I wouldn't. Because *I* am a fat girl and if you get between me and my food, I will cut you. So, that analogy really drives it home for me.
But that doesn't mean not to follow up. I had a publishing house who had one of manuscripts for two years before it was read. In that time, someone else sold something similar and it was already on the shelves by the time this editor read my book. How frustrating was that? Yeah, I screamed and cried and made a general ass out of myself, but hopefully where no one could see me.
My advice? Not that I claim any expertise, but this is what other, "more thoroughly published" friends have suggested and it's seemed to work.
Follow the writer's guidelines. Usually, they will state clearly how long you should wait before expecting a reply.
If there is no timeline given:
Query- 3 months
Partial- 3-4 months
Full- 6-8 months
If the timeline is given, you must allow a grace period. My own editor is amazing, but his desk is so full, patience is the key. There's that word again. Patience.
Further? After you've submitted, start your next project. Whether it be writing, home improvement, or self-improvement, do something so you're not staring at your phone screaming "Ring, damn you!" while waiting for The Call. It will only make you crazy.
In my next blog, we'll talk about do's and dont's of the follow up. :)