Writing is the front side of the romance publishing industry. On the other side, are the editors and the agents. It is here where you meet them through follow-up, feedback and the dreaded rejection letter.
If you write romance long enough, you will encounter at least one rejection letter. Write even longer than that and you might get two or three. Some writers find rejection letters to be badges of honor and others are devastated.
Think of a rejection letter as par for the course. If you are really serious about writing this will spur you on to hone your craft and try again. At the very least, put your existing romance manuscript to the side and start a new one, revisiting the first after a few months have passed.
Once you polish your work and submit your romance manuscript query, then you wait. Hopefully, you will get a letter that asks for more information in the form of your completed or partial manuscript. Sometimes, you’ll get feedback on why they are not interested at that time.
Feedback is helpful even though you might not think so now. If an editor has taken the time to give you some bits of advice, use them. What that says is you can submit to them again when you correct what is falling short with your work. No, you won’t be published that year, but that is not to say that it won’t be the year after that.
Let’s say that you have gotten a letter back from an editor and they want to see your manuscript. After you finish jumping up and down, reread the letter so that you know when and how they want to review it. Comply as quickly as you can so that you don’t miss out on your opportunity.
But, after that, things seem to move in slow motion. Three weeks go by, then four and you still haven’t heard anything. A month is a pretty standard amount of time to wait considering that editors and their publishing houses represent large numbers of writers.
But, after about six weeks, you may want to follow-up with the editor or agent who is reviewing your manuscript to see what they think. There is a way to go about that. First, make sure that you have the correct contact information for the person you are trying to reach. It is okay to send them an email through their personal email the message goes straight to them.
Keep the follow-up short and sweet. Remind them about the manuscript you sent (insert title here) and when you sent it. Tell them that you were just inquiring and would appreciate hearing back from them.
You can also follow-up on a query letter after the appropriate amount of time (as determined by the agent or publisher) has passed. If you are submitting to multiple publishers at once and you hear back from someone, immediately follow-up with the others. Inform them of your new status and ask for their feedback on the manuscript or for them to withdraw your request.
There is a lot to know about the romance publishing business besides how to write a book. Learn how to make contact with editors and agents reviewing your work.