I’ve been busy reading submissions.
Our new publishing company is developing nicely. We finished drawing up the contract and showed it to a few authors who pronounced it “very reasonable”. The website is set up and the shopping cart is in order. We’ve ordered ISBNs for the books, and our editor is already excited about the books already on her list.
I’m looking for proofreaders now. Anyone interested in proofreading and getting not-yet published books for free can contact me.
It’s funny being on the other side of the submissions process.
Usually I’m the one writing the query letters and submitting chapters. Every time I hit the “send” button and see my submission go, my heart flutters, so I know what the authors feel like when they send me their ‘babies’.
Luckily I’m not in acquisitions, but I do read the YA submissions and I can read others if I want, although right now I’m in charge of the YA, fantasy, and science fiction part of the submissions.
Here is what I’ve learned so far:
You can tell a great deal from just the query letter.
You can’t tell very much from the synopsis, and the first three pages are usually enough to go on.
I really, really don’t like synopsies that don’t tell the ending of the book. It’s not a blurb, it’s a synopsis. I need to have the whole story!
Out of ten queries:
I’ve requested the first three chapters for 4 out of the 10 queries I’ve read.
From these, I’ve requested 2 fulls.
I sent the 2 other ‘first three chapters’ to our editor to see if she’s willing to work with the author. (One maybe, one no.)
I’ve rejected 4 out of 10 queries after just reading the synopsis and first three pages.
Out of 10 queries, we have 1 definite yes.
1 out of 10.
2 fulls pending.
This is another thing I’ve learned. You’re not as excited about reading when you ‘HAVE’ to read. That’s why finding a great book is such a thrill.
It’s not easy to see the diamond in the rough. That’s the hard part.
So far I hope I haven’t missed any diamonds.
At any rate, being on this side of the submissions process has made me look at agents, editors, and publishers differently. There is simply no way I can be on the internet all day, no way I can intercept mail all day, and no way I can read all the submissions at once. And you don’t want me to! You want me to be relaxed, in a good mood, and in a quiet place before I open your query. Otherwise I can’t give it the attention it deserves.
The query was sent with a fluttering heart and has hopes pinned to it, so unless the time is right and I HAVE time, I won’t read it, even if it means letting it sit in my files for a week while I get other things out of the way. I want to be able to see the diamonds in the rough, as well as those that already sparkle.
I wonder if all agents, publishers, and editors feel like this?