I’ve been asked a couple of FAQs recently so thought I’d address them here. Please feel free to ask me about the publishing world, as someone who has done a spectacular job of not getting themselves published, I can tell you what to avoid. I’ve made the mistakes, so you don’t have to, so please feel free to ask about anything, I’m pretty open minded and don’t tend to get offended easily ;p
Ok, first question;
-Is it ok to send queries out to more than one agent/publisher as a time?
The answer you get to this will depend upon who you ask. If you ask publishers or agents, they will say no. But that is solely because they want first refusal on all work. If you were to send out one enquiry at a time, you’d be dead before you got around to all of them. Each agent/publishing house has an average turn around of about 8 weeks. That’s for the quiet ones. I’m still getting replies back from work I sent out over a year ago. I say send them out to as many people as you can afford to (as stamps, ink and paper are so expensive) If an agent or publisher contacts you about your work, just mention to them that it has been sent out to others at the same time.
-What is a ‘slush pile’?
Your work is a slush pile. This is the term used by Agents for all work they didn’t ask for, i.e the enquiry you spent hours and hours writing. Your precious work, that you have bleed, sweated and cried over, is nothing more than an annoyance to them to be honest. If you were sent about 300 enquiries a week (on average give or take) I’m sure you’d hate the sight of them too!
-Is it ok to break the rules of submission?
No. Never. Chances are they won’t even read it if you can’t follow the simple instructions on their website. It’s seen as lazy and will taken as a reflection of your character, They haven’t got time to try to work out what point you’re trying to make by ‘being different’. Follow the rules to the letter, or don’t be surprised when it’s returned very quickly with a rejection.
-An agent asked to see my full Manuscript, does this mean they’ll take me on?
Unfortunately not. I’ve had several agents take a great interest in my work, but I’ve then fallen at the hurdle of rewrites or lack of understanding. They might love your idea and want to get more of a feel for your ‘voice’. They may take it, they may not. It’s definitely a step in the right direction though!
-I have no qualifications, should I include this on my submission.
NO! Never put your faults! Just your strengths. If your idea and writing is strong enough, they won’t care what your past has held. Gloss over your education if you don’t have one, focus on experience instead, or your knowledge of the market or audience.
Keep ’em coming peeps
Hope you all had a great Easter
Love and hugs x