Thursday, April 15, 2010

SLUSHING THROUGH : The 3 P's of Manuscript Submission

It's official, Pink Heart Society editor Jenna Bayley-Burke is back in the slush pile! What, no applause?

Today I joined the ranks of aspiring romance authors everywhere and put a story in the mail, sure to wind up in a stack of submissions so tall an editor can use it as a coffee table.

It wasn't easy. I'm not referring to the months of pre-writing (how I love to procrastinate) and the months of writing and the months of editing...I'm talking about getting the darned thing off my computer and into the world!

I wasn't sure about submitting again. It means you might be rejected again. And who wants that? But, I'm using an old trick from when writing was going well for me. I'm sending the story on it's merry way so that I can work on something new. My 'deadline' is to have another story ready to submit before I hear back on this one. As long as I always have something in the pipeline, there's always the possibility of success!

To up the odds of success, writers need to make sure their submission is the best it can be. I rewrote my first chapter a half dozen times, until the friends I arm-twisted into reading it loved my hero as much as my heroine and I did. I don't reccomend it, but you gotta do what you gotta do.

Polish that story until it is something you are proud of. Your name is going to be on it, after all!

Print out your submission and read through it on paper, the way the editor will. For me, this took wasting twenty pages on a bad ink cartridge, two trips to Costco for ink (I forgot my wallet the first time, the kids were SO happy about that. NOT.), and one call to my husband to figure out how to remove said cartridges. (Yes, it's my printer. No, he's never used it. Yes, I figured it out...with the help of a large-ish boy) As you can see, make sure to allow plenty of time for the printing process. I began to wonder if it was a sign that I needed to bag the whole submission idea, but that would make a horrid Slushing Through post, so I forged ahead.

The Post Office is the final step in the submission maze (unless you're submitting the Mills & Boon who let you do it electronically because, well, because they're fabulous). As you're probably guessing, there was a bit of a problem with this too - namely one tiny diva and a cluster of people waiting in line. My princess was not at all interested in any of the books or toys I brought, she wanted "Down. Now. Please." So, you can imagine how my morning went! Was it a sign? A sign I need to use the flat rate mailer and print out my own lables!

Polish, Print, Post...and repeat. Until you're published!

Jenna is starting a new story...honest! Those pictures of Aiden Turner on her computer are all research, every one of them. Check out Jenna’s website, or blog for more of her stories.

Compromising Positions just finalled in the Passionate Plume Contest. Was it the Kama Sutra yoga class, the chocolate, or something even more decadent that earned the honor? What do you think?

1 comment:

  1. Congrats on the final and major congrats on getting that baby out the door!

    (the ms, not the princess)

    Cue HUGE applause! :-)