Listen to the Writer’s Market Podcast series. Each free episode includes a “Three Things” segment focused on helping writers find success with their writing. This one looks at three things writers should focus on with submissions.
KEEP ACCURATE RECORDS
First, keep accurate records. If you actively submit your writing, you’ll need to start keeping accurate records immediately. Include the name of your project, the place to which you’ve submitted, what you submitted (whether query letter or complete manuscript), whether you can simultaneously submit, expected response time, and when you receive a response—whether it’s been accepted or rejected. If it is accepted, keep records of when the final manuscript is due, how much and when you’re getting paid, which rights are sold, and any other relevant notes about the project.
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Second, follow up. If the guidelines include an expected response time, wait until that time has elapsed. But once it has, follow up. Editors are busy people, and while following up may present you with a faster rejection, it may also get you a faster acceptance. Just remember to stay professional and polite while following up.
Third, keep working. One trap some writers fall into is that they consider submitting their writing to be the last part of the process. So they submit their writing and sit around waiting for a response. Don’t be that writer!
Keep working, whether that means you move on to the next story, next book, or next submission. Keep the fires burning, because there’s a chance that the next project may find acceptance before the current the one.
So remember: Keep accurate records, follow up, and keep working.
Master these three things, and submitting your work should become a strength that makes the rest of your writing better.
Until next time, keep writing and marketing what you write.
Robert Lee Brewer is Senior Content Editor of the Writer’s Digest Writing Community. He edits the Writer’s Market and Poet’s Market books, writes a poetry column for Writer’s Digest magazine, maintains the Poetic Asides blog, co-hosts a podcast for writers with Brian A. Klems, speaks at conferences, leads online webinars and tutorials, and so much more.
Robert is also the author of Solving the World’s Problems, a poetry collection published by Press 53. A former Poet Laureate of the Blogosphere, he’s been a featured poet across the country at poetry events in Austin, Houston, Cleveland, Atlanta, and more.
Follow him on Twitter @RobertLeeBrewer.
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