Thursday, March 6, 2008

Five steps to submission for a writer

copyright Kim Smith 2008

There used to be an old saying that went, “watch out for that first step, it’s a killer”. Well, subbing your book is that way too. It seems like you will die from the fears, the waiting, and yes, even the rejection.

Here are five things to remember when you are subbing. I hope they help you.

1. Remember that you are not an island. Submission of novels is something that goes on all around the world. People from all countries are sending out their stuff. You are not alone. They feel as frightened and nervous about this process as you do so don’t feel like Lucy without Ethel.

2. It’s okay to fail. It’s a part of the whole writing experience. You write, edit, submit, get rejected. Eat chocolate and start again. It only takes one yes to get you on the road to a contract.

3. Take pains to move ahead. When you get a rejection, send out five more queries. You can’t let the first few no’s make you say no to yourself. That is a defeatist attitude and you don’t have one, right?

4. Get the word out. You have to play to be a player. You can’t win if you don’t play, so go on and submit to that agent you really want to hear from. When you get a letter requesting a partial or better, you will be so glad you did!

5. Follow directions. This goes without saying, but, respect the person(s) you are subbing to and send what they want. It would make me a little snarky to receive a non-fiction piece on boat-building when I only represent fiction and mystery fiction to be specific.

I am sure there are more good suggestions to writers subbing their work, but I think these are probably top dogs. I love to submit. It is like entering a contest. The competition is fierce and the other entrants are tremendously talented so you know if you get a nod, you have done something right.



Good article.
As a publisher I would say following directions is really important, it also makes a publisher’s life easier. Following the directions really does mean a submission has a greater chance of being read.
And good luck too!

Marta Stephens said...

Hey Cait! Nice to see you here. :0

You've made some excellent points, Kim. Rejection whether it comes in a critique, a publisher, or an agent feels like a swift kick in the shin, but you do have to keep at it. And oh, do I love chocolate! ;)

Kim Smith said...

Hey Cait! *doing finger wave* --

Ah yes, the required Dinstahl's or Lindor's. A must have in a writer's arsenal.

Kim Smith said...

Hey Cait! *doing finger wave* --

Ah yes, the required Dinstahl's or Lindor's. A must have in a writer's arsenal.

s.w. vaughn said...

I once died from waiting...


These are good points, Kim.

pat said...

Ok...this is "Sally Green Pen"here-signing in HAHA..."subbing"...I assume submitting...? I'll catch on, just need to get some of the lingo down. Maybe if I talk the talk...well, you know! I am so far from this "subbing" but I so enjoyed and appreciated all of your tips, Kim...have stowed them away...Thanks!