In case you’re not familiar with the term “going on submission,” it means that you or your literary agent is actively trying to sell your novel to publishing houses.
As you might know, I signed with a literary agent a couple months ago. We are still in the revision phase, so I personally don’t know what it’s like to go on submission. I don’t plan on blogging about it, either — you’re not supposed to talk about going on submission when you’re on submission.
But I’m a curious person, as most other writers are, so I
obsessively researched what the submission process is like. There’s not a lot of info about the submission process out there, but a bunch of authors have been generous enough to blog or interview about their experiences.
Here are the best resources to learn about what it’s like to go on submission. If you find any more — or if you wrote a post about this experience yourself — please comment with the link.
Best Resources to Learn About the Submission Process:
- Submission Hell, It’s True (SHIT) Interview Series – author Mindy McGinnis has compiled a series of interviews with debut authors about their submission experiences. These are all success stories, since they’re all debut published offers, but you can see the wide range of experiences people have had selling their books.
- Natalie Whipple’s Submission Story – sometimes it helps to read a “worst case scenario” so you can brace yourself for disappointment down the road. While Natalie eventually does sell several novels, her posts are fascinating, humble, and honest. Also read her post What to Expect When You’re Submitting.
- Mandy Hubbard’s Submission Story – Mandy, like so many authors, struggled to get her first book deal. But now she’s a literary agent herself, so it’s interesting to read her perspective.
Other Good Blog Posts About the Submission Process:
- Stephanie Knipper – When Your Novel Is On Submission…
- Kiersten Writes – In Which I am The Bearer of Very Bad News
- Pub Life – A Survival Guide to Life on Submission
- Michelle4Laughs – Submission 101
There is no “normal” submission experience. Don’t bother asking yourself, “is this normal?” Editors can take anywhere from two weeks to months to read your MS. Your MS can sell in days, weeks, months, or years. You’ll agree with some feedback you get, but not others. Your agent may forward you editors’ replies as they come in, or every couple weeks. The process is different for every author.
You have to wait. A lot. The best remedy to the waiting game is to work on your next manuscript. Which, of course, is much easier said than done, especially if…
You may become a neurotic nutcase. You’ll check your email every three minutes. If you’re a stronger person, you’ll only check once an hour. And you’ll most likely Twitter-stalk editors who have your MS. However, it seems the authors who dealt with their anxiety best avoided the Google/Twitter editor stalking. So I wouldn’t recommend it.
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