Thursday, May 10, 2012

What I Know About Being On Submission

Not much. I've been on submission two weeks. I know that I'm not supposed to think about it. I'm supposed to be working hard on my next book and ignoring the fact that editors, somewhere out in the ether, are considering my work.

It would be easy (no, it IS easy) to careen off the rails and obsessively think, they hate it. they love it. they are using my ms to wrap their fish. Which is ridiculous, because I don't think people wrap their fish in manuscripts anymore, that's very last century.

There is SO much information on the querying and writing process, so much so that a newbie writer can become pretty sophisticated fast. But what happens between getting an agent and getting a book sold is a little murky.

It's almost a blessing that there isn't that much information on the submission process out there. It means that there's less to revisit and analyze compulsively. So I'm trying to change the way I think about being on submission. I'm trying not to think of it as a step - one that I'm hanging on to, precariously, praying that I make it to the next step. I'm trying to think of being on submission as a state of being, like being 40. (Crap. let that cat out of the bag) It's just what I am right now, and I have to get used to it and move on.

Having said that, I've included some links below on submission. I remember reading Natalie Whipple's post particularly and it helped me a) admire her more and b) understand the process more.

Agent Query
What to Expect When You're Submitting 
And Natalie's amazing post on being on submission for a long time.
Nathan Bransford's How Long it Takes to Sell a Book

The biggest thing that's helped me so far? Talking to other writers in the same situation. You can cheer each other on and cry when it goes horribly pear-shaped. You can #sendsubmissionvibes. That's what's helped me the most get back to concentrating on my WIP.

When you get to Publisherland, there are a different set of challenges (which I'm completely ignoring for now.) For really great insight on what happens when you're working with your publisher's editor, check out Stephanie Knipper's recent blog series on what she's learned in the editing process. Really insightful

So, how do you deal with the writerly unknown?


  1. This is fantastic...but I won't think about it with you. *puts hands in ears * La la la!

    In a way it's good that there is always another scary step to take. Because the sense of accomplishment when you make it is going to be totally worth it. And the rest of us will be here cheering for you!

    1. so sweet of you Jen. I hope I get there and have that 'yay' made it moment. but I bet they'll be another challenge to overcome - there always is :)

  2. Congrats on being on sub, Alex. And my condolences. ^_^ Thanks for sharing the links to Natalie's posts. The only way I cope with being on sub is to keep myself moving full speed ahead with other projects. Now, if I could just get some advice on how to cope when waiting for your house to sell. . .

    1. UGH. house selling. I bought my house three years ago and the thought of having to sell it makes me want to live her forever (I also have a killer garden...) So, I can't help you there. It's good advice, keep moving. I just am having trouble concentrating, though it's getting better!

  3. It's a nice problem to have! It's amazing how as soon as you get all your little heart desires, new problems crop up. :) I'm no expert, but I bet agents submitting publishers is a lot like writers submitting agents, with hopefully more connections and schmoozing. But who knows?

    1. It is a nice problem to have, you're right. I'm hoping agents submitting to publishers includes some bribery, like a box of brownies or a case of wine. That's how I'd do it ;)

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