In my last post I mentioned that it has been a good long time since I’ve submitted anything to a romance agent or a publisher. A couple of mistakes and I lost my courage. Couple that with a proclivity to write but not much inclination to submit and well, you have the makings for a dry spell.
However, I am fully aware that if you actually want to see your romance novel in print, or on the electronic bookshelves, you have to submit to editors and agents.
I finally started submitting again. I realized that what I needed, besides some good old fashioned “suck it up” courage was a process.
(And yes, I am in the early stages of creating a downloadable checklist and tracking system so you can create your own submission process.)
Thus far the process looks like this:
Step #1 Create a list of all the publishers & agents in the romance industry, both electronic and print.
Step #2 Review each publisher and/or romance agent and make a second list for the specific manuscript you’re submitting. Make sure to check on Preditors and Editors – credibility matters.
Step #3 Rank them in order you desire to be published by. For example, if your dream publisher would be Kensington then they go at the top of your list. This is who you’ll query first.
Step #4 Create a submission process that works for you. I decided that it was best to start each week off with a huge step toward my dreams and goals and that meant submitting my manuscript on Mondays. What a way to start the week, right?
So each Monday I’m going to submit to another publisher. However, there is a caveat to this because some publishers don’t like to have you submit to more than one house at a time. In this case, make a note on your calendar when it’s a reasonable time for them to get back to you and then submit to another publisher or agent.
Step #5 Review the submission process for the romance publisher or agent at the top of your list. Follow it to the T. Lick that envelope or hit send on your computer – make it happen!
Step #6 Do you still have that calendar out? Great because you’ll need to make a notation on it about when to follow up with said editor or agent. This is where good notes are important. Make sure you keep records of exactly what you sent them, what they’ve requested and when you sent it.
Step #7 Pat yourself on the gosh darn back because sending your hard work out into the ether to be critiqued and reviewed is tough stuff!
It takes courage, faith, and the ability to push toward your goals and dreams.
I did it tonight and you can too. Go ahead, what romance manuscript do you need to dust off? Get cracking! It’s not going to get published if it’s just sitting around. (Oh, and if you want a little incentive, word on the street is that Twilight was rejected 40 times! That’s some perseverance that REALLY paid off)