After taking time off from submitting stories, I finally did it. I dusted off the story I wrote about my mom and submitted to two publishers who accept unsolicited manuscripts. Two so far.
It made me really happy to do that. The process has changed through the years. I used to mail my printed manuscript with a query letter and an SASE (Self Addressed Stamped Envelope.) Then I’d anxiously await for the publisher or agent to reply by snail mail. If I was lucky, I’d get a letter that was encouraging. Or, in the case of a novel, I’d send in the first three chapters and the editor would ask for more. I even got a few acceptance letters from magazines and newspapers.
The funniest thing was I did get an offer to publish my “mom” story. At the time, I didn’t think the offer was good enough. It was from a small publisher who said they’d do an initial run of 500 or 1,000 and see how it did before another print run. How I wish I would have said yes! That’s why I’m excited to try again, all these years later.
On the down side of submitting manuscripts, I’d get a form letter or postcard in my SASE with a generic phrase, “We’re sorry but your manuscript doesn’t fit our needs.”
Now, we submit by email or through a form on the publisher’s website. They have submission guidelines and say if you don’t hear back in so many months, they aren’t interested. You’re not guaranteed to get a response.
Doing more research on publishers, I renewed my membership in the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI). I downloaded the market survey for small presses and discovered quite a few still use the old snail mail method with SASEs. I bet that cuts down on the number of submissions!
I received an email from one of the two publishers so far and it stated they are interested in my story and will give it careful consideration. I guess I passed the first hurdle. But, the email ended with “if you don’t hear back from us within two months, then we are passing on your manuscript.”
Eh, wait and see. In the meantime, I’m pleased to be back in the game.
What are your thoughts about submitting your writing?
I hope your story gets accepted EA. All the best.
Thank you 😊
All the best my friend
My goal is to submit something 4 times this year. I just have to figure out what
That’s a great goal. Good luck!
Oddly, I got a very nice rejection letter yesterday from something I submitted in November. Do you think everyone gets nicely worded rejection letters? I can’t decide if it’s for everyone or that they really did appreciate my style
No I don’t think everyone gets nicely worded rejection letters. They took the time to get back to you and it wasn’t a postcard with boxes checked. 😊
It’s not for the faint of heart. Which is why I went the self publishing route. Your mom manuscript is a keeper.
I dug out three notebooks of rejection letters I kept from the past 20 years. It was interesting to look back on them years removed.
Ooh, how exciting! Keep us posted!
I will. But I may hear nothing. I like getting rejection letters instead of a void.
That’s a big step, congratulations EA!
When (because I don’t like the term “if”) I finish writing my book, I might have to self-publish since it is a very, specific genre… Religion
There are some religious publishers out there. My cousin wrote religious romances for years. I have two non fiction projects that I’ll probably self publish.
Interesting EA. I haven’t heard much about submissions in a while. It’s interesting to see how it’s changed. Yes, it’s speedier (i.e. email), but seems to have taken a step back. In the “old days,” at least you got a note saying it didn’t meet their needs. Now, you’re not guaranteed a response. Too funny. In any event, best wishes to you on getting published!
Thanks for the good wishes! I don’t expect anything to happen, but just like in the old days, I get a little glimmer of hope submitting my work. I miss the days when I was guaranteed to hear one way or the other.
Yes, it’s sort of crummy that they don’t respond at all! At least, let you know. Geeesh.
No kidding! I like that some small presses went back to snail mail with the SASE. I think I’ll submit to them next.
I can’t wait to hear more! I am so glad you submitted. ❤️
Thank you! 😊
I’m so glad to read this – I hope it gets picked up quickly!! Looking forward to hearing more about this 🙂
It gives me a sliver of hope. And that’s exactly what I need right now!
How exciting! I’m so glad you jumped back in the game of publishing. Keep us posted on the progress. I sent off three submissions for Grow Damn It, one person wrote back immediately, the same day in fact, and said my manuscript wasn’t a good fit for him but he thought there was a place for it and recommended some publishers who were looking for my genre. So I sent it out three more times. It got picked up on day two, I sent in the whole manuscript and Reagan sent me a contract in two days. It was fast. I’m learning a lot about small publishers. Are you sending out entire books or essays on specific topics to magazines? Hugs, C
That is amazingly fast! I’m impressed! I’m sending out my children’s story about my mom I wrote years ago. I’m focusing on that for now. Some publishers accept picture book manuscripts unsolicited. It’s fun to see if it will be accepted or not. I have other projects in the works, but I’m not submitting them yet.
I have an old novel I’m thinking about revisiting!
You should! I have my NaNoWriMo project to give a fresh look and revise.