STATUS: TGIF! Sara and I did a bunch of holiday cards today. Tis the season!
What’s playing on the iPod right now? WHITE CHRISTMAS by Bing Crosby
I don’t why it never ceases to amaze me how long it takes to put a project out on submission. It’s easily a two-day process.
1. First I always create the submission list. Yes, I have a database. Yes, I know lots of editors but I’m always super careful to tailor a submission list for each client/project. Sometimes I have to decide between one editor or another. In the children’s world (where they don’t like if you send to multiple imprints under the same publisher umbrella), I really have to choose who is the best fit.
That can take a bit of research or even my just ringing the editor to find out if this would be up his or her alley.
2. Then I format the manuscript. Basically this doesn’t take too long but I have a standard format and I include my agency info in the header on every page.
3. Up next is the submission letter that will go to the editors. I spend a lot of time on mine (as I hope you can tell). I write them mostly on my own. Sometimes I’ll grab the original paragraph from the writer’s query letter and use that as a place to start. Sometimes I ask the authors to create their own version of the pitch just to see what they focus on. For the most part though, I tinker, play, and rework the letter many times before it’s ready. I sometimes pop it over to agent friends for feedback if I want to get it just right. We’ll often read each other’s pitches.
4. Then it’s time to talk with all the editors. If I know them really well, then I’ll just pop out an email. If the editor is new to me or I haven’t spoken to him or her in a while, then it’s phone call time.
5. Submission goes by email. Every once in a great while an editor will request a hard copy. If that’s so, then I email the manuscript to my printer and he gets it to me by the next day. I send out via UPS ground. Thank goodness this doesn’t happen too often. Invariably I find that the editor needs to read more quickly and I send it by email anyway so I don’t want to spend a lot snail mailing it. I don’t charge my clients for this cost either. I just eat it.
6. Sometimes there is follow up in the next day or so. An editor was out when I called or took a couple days to get back to me. That happens.
So any one submission is easily a 2-day process without my being able to do much of anything else (except a very large fire). I should stop being surprised by that!