I’m very pleased to welcome Lauren Boyd author of the contemporary romance Baking Love (see my Goodreads review here). She is sharing some great advice on what to do before submitting…welcome, Lauren!
So your manuscript is finished and ready to query? Congratulations! Before you do, here are a few helpful hints you might want to keep in mind:
Make sure to follow the guidelines of the literary agents and publishers you’re querying. Agents and publishers generally lay out what they are—and are not—looking for on their websites. Submitting your work to an agent/publisher who doesn’t specialize in your genre, submitting your work to more than one agent at a literary agency, and/or submitting your work to an agent/publisher who is currently closed to queries could all result in a rejection letter. Which leads me to my next point…
In this business, rejection is common—dare I say, the norm. If you’re a writer, it’s almost a certainty that you will meet rejection in one form or another along the way (and quite possibly, on multiple occasions). I know I did. Back when I wrote for kids, Highlights for Children accepted four of my stories for publication—but rejected more than twenty others. I submitted almost as many children’s picture book manuscripts to agents and publishers. A couple of those manuscripts came close to being accepted for representation or publication, but ultimately, none of them were. Rejection is a tough part of the game, but totally worth it when that agent or publisher accepts your work.
Don’t call a literary agent (or a publisher, for that matter) to check on the status of your query. You’ll find this statement on the website of most literary agencies and publishers. The good news is that these websites also normally tell you how long you can expect to wait before hearing from them with their decision. Based on my research, if you haven’t heard from them within the time frame they request, a follow-up email is reasonable. A phone call, however, is not.
I wish you the best of luck along your path to publication!
Any advice you can add? Any experiences you’d like to share?
Baking Love blurb:
Three years ago, Kate Sullivan fell in love with her best friend, Eric Wagner. Before she could tell him, he abruptly ended their friendship. Now Eric has walked into Kate’s bakery and back into her life—but why? Is he here to confess his love for her?
No. He’s here to order his groom’s cake. He’s getting married…to another woman.
Lauren Boyd writes romance that entertains and provides escape from daily life–and sometimes, you might just learn a thing or two. Connect with her at www.laurenboyd.webs.com.