Posts Tagged ‘submissions’

What are Agents, Editors, and Publishers Looking For?

The title of this post is borrowed from an informative article I read on the Muse It Up Publishing Blog. What DO Publishers and Editors and Agents want from a writer? If I could discover the secret to that mystery, I would be a rich person! The post on my publisher’s blog is informative and offers points for you, the writer, to look for when writing and then submitting. 

One point the author may have overlooked is luck. Yes, luck. Oprah defines luck as opportunity meeting preparation..something like that. When an email arrives saying a pub is looking for a certain kind of story, you may have the exact one they’ll want. You will be prepared to submit it because it’s been discussed with a critique partner, edited for grammar errors and spelling, and written in the format the publisher lays out in their guidelines. So that may be regarded as luck or as being in the right place at the right time.

I still believe in luck and a few prayers too….

What Makes a Great Publishing House?

How do you know what publishing house you should submit your work to? You have worked diligently to submit your best story you can write, so you need a publisher who cares about the author and is enthusiastic about the book business. You want someone who is experienced and connected to a publishing network.  You need a cheerleader on your side with editors who will gently shepherd your manuscript into a book with easy-to-read sentences/paragraphs, distinct point of view, correct grammar, and no spelling errors.

That sounds like a lot of points to check out before submitting, doesn’t it?  How do you, the author, find out about a publisher? If you find a book you like to read that is the same genre you write, try to contact the author and ask what her experience was with that publisher.  Talk to authors and  join forums such as the Writers Chatroom to see what the buzz is about a particular publisher. Preditors and Editors is a site with information on publishers.

Go to the publisher’s webpage and see the tone of the site. Cordial, friendly, or snarky and demanding? As a writer you will be able to get the feel of this publisher by checking through the site. Look at the cover art and decide if you would like your book cover to appear in their bookstore.

I believe publisher, editor, author Lea Schizas of Muse It Up Publishing sums up what a publishing house needs for a winning combination:

  •  a good writer’s voice/storyteller
  • an editor to partner with the writer
  • a cover artist who understands each book
  • readers who share in our glee and cheer us on

All the best wishes for success in submitting to a publisher. Oh yes, it’s a process with many rejections, re-writes, and lots of hope. Keep at it. Don’t give up.

I have been happy with the publishing process at Muse It Up. My mystery/horror ebook, Sunshine Boulevard, will be released March 1.

Signed a Contract for my book!

Good news! I signed a contract for my mystery/horror novella, Sunshine Boulevard, with Muse It Up Publishing! The ebook is tentatively set for release in March 2011. I am doing a happy dance.

As you may recall in a post on May 5 entitled Rejected Again, I complained about publishers leaving a writer hanging by not responding to the submission.  I emailed my full ms to Lea Schizas of Muse It Up Publishing. She told me she would notify me within two weeks of a decision. Well within that alotted time frame, she emailed me. She wrote, “The editorial department came back with an assessment. We loved your writer’s voice.” She went on to say the contract and other paperwork was attached….I stopped reading and started again from the top. I read it all again to believe that I actually had a contract for this crazy book! I can’t stop dancing!

Muse It Up Publishing is  a small and upcoming royalty paying independent e-publisher. The official opening is in December 2010. But don’t wait to look them up because they are on the web now with submission information, authors, and book titles. It is an exciting time for everyone at M I U Pub. I am sure readers are in for a feast for the eyes and mind and heart with the talented authors already contracted and diverse genres.

Check out the authors page. My pen name is J Q Rose. I’ll keep you updated on this new adventure. Okay I’ll stop dancing now..for awhile.

Rejected again..I think…

I am dealing with rejections again, I think. Within the past six months I have had two different publishers request full manuscripts on two books. I have not heard from them within the time frame allotted. So does that mean that my mss were rejected or that they were running out of time to notify me? Both of these mss were submitted via email. I would think it would be easy to just click reply and say, “Thank you, Ms. Glaser, we have no plans to publish your book although it is the most fantastic, well-executed story ever written.” Um, okay, I added the last part….

Four years ago when I began submitting books to pubs, I usually sent the query letter, 2 or 3 chapters, bio and used snail mail. I always enclosed an SASE (stamped self-addressed envelope) for a reply. And, lo and behold, I almost always received some kind of an answer (rejections).  Some had suggestions for pubs that might be able to use the book, great remarks about the ideas and stories, and some just a form letter stuffed into the envelope. But, hey, at least I KNEW. They didn’t keep me wondering.

I hate to send the ms to another pub if the one who has it has invested time and money in reading it and it may have a chance, albeit small one, that the pub may still have it under consideration.

I know the simple thing is to just ask. I did. Still no reply. I guess I might as well face it…They don’t want the books. sigh

The one thing I have learned after receiving a rejection is that I have improved the book(s) each time. In fact it makes me focus more on what I am trying to achieve with each book and make revisions accordingly.

I must give kudos to the new website for children’s stories… Smories. They closed their contest to choose 50 stories for the site on April 30 and told all the submitters they would let them know if the stories were accepted by May 5. In fact they did let me know May 4. Unfortunately my story was not accepted, but I enjoyed knowing where I stood. The rejection letter was very kind and supportive encouraging me to keep sending stories. (Okay, I know this same email was sent to every one of the thousands of writers who submitted, but give me a little break here.) It is comforting to know they responded, so I will probably consider submitting another story to them when I have a worthy one.

Rejections are hard, but having your story, your book, your article rejected by a pub/online/magazine is not the end of the world. Timing is everything. Just be determined to make it better and to submit it to the right publisher where it will fit with their guidelines. Good luck!  And yes, a lot of luck is what determines your acceptance.

Writing Projects at the Publisher

I try to be upbeat about my writing projects, but I am disappointed and befuddled at my latest experiences. My March 4 blog questions if a publisher is in business. I made another attempt to connect with this publisher after finding another email address to use, but once again, all email addresses come back as not deliverable.

I have a book at a publisher who asked for a full ms in October. I heard from her in November that it was under consideration. I emailed last week wanting to know where it was in the decision process. No answer. I certainly don’t want to send it out to another pub if my ms is still being considered. Remember all those warnings to make sure you don’t send out simultaneous submissions unless you include that info in your cover letter?

I have sent my ms to pubs who require exclusives, but I will do that no longer.

I understand why writers are turning to self-publishing where the writer is in control of the project. I truly would like to have a partnership with an editor at a publishing house who will help guide me and improve my writings. I want to deliver the best book I can to my readers.

Writer's Beware: A List of Publishers With Questionable Practices

An author friend listed a book publisher who was taking submissions. In this age of slow economic times many of the leads to publishers have fallen through because they are either not taking submissions or have closed their doors. I was delighted to find one actually looking for books to publish.

I filled out the short query form online. I wondered about that since most pubs want a query letter, table of contents, and one to three chapters of the book before they make a decision as to slush pile or possibility pile. AFTER I filled out and submitted the info, admittedly having stars in my eyes with dreams of having a possible publisher for my non-fiction children’s book, I checked Preditors and Editors website. Next to the pub’s name in red letters was “strongly not recommended.” Yikes. I also found an entry in the Writer’s Beware site giving the publisher “two thumbs down.” Oh yes, I will do some more fact-finding before crossing them off the list. But FYI, always check Preditors and Editors and Writers Beware so that if you choose a questionable publisher, you can go into a deal with your eyes wide open.