Submissions support thread

(23 Posts)
medievalgirl Sun 01-Jul-12 20:38:41

I know there's a support thread for finishing the novel, but I just wondered whether anyone else is submitting and would like to join a support thread?

I'm about to start sending out my novel (completed as part of an MPhil in creative writing). This is the stage at which I usually grind to a halt! I wrote a previous novel, sent it out to one agent who then requested the full manuscript but eventually rejected it. I didn't send it to anyone else. I'm an idiot! Anyway I'm about to start submitting its successor.

Would love to share this nail-biting journey with others if possible. Who's with me?

toni76 Mon 02-Jul-12 11:04:39

Hi medievalgirl,
i'm with you. I'm a step further on - lucky enough to have an agent, but it's on submission to publishers. so far, 5 have turned it down. sad. Agent has sent it out to more, and I'm waiting for the rejections to roll in from them.
It's fecking horrible. Horrible. It feels like waiting for life changing exam results without knowing when they're coming out...

Don't give up though! Never give up....
i wrote a previous one that didn't get an agent, and this second, much better, one has. Is this one better than the last one?

Getting a request for a full manuscript is brilliant - it shows you can write. the figures about the size of slush piles mask the fact that there are lots of people in there who can't write.

Your MN name suggests Histfic?

The problem, as my agent tells me, is that the market for books is dire, and the publishers and agents are all scared shitless. they've got to really love a book; and that's subjective.....

medievalgirl Tue 03-Jul-12 14:33:53

Hi Toni, and huge congratulations on getting an agent. I just hope that this next batch of submissions to publishers yields something. Horrible horrible process... You're so nearly there. I bet you can't concentrate on anything else at the moment, though.

As for my work, I'm not sure this one is better than the last one, just different. (I've got plenty of older, rubbishy stuff sitting in a cupboard that will never ever see the light of day.) As for the histfic, my previous novel was, sort of, but this one is more mainstream.

Am just putting together a shortlist of agents to contact. I assume you're still only supposed to contact a few at a time? Not looking forward to this at all.

I really really hope that you have some good news soon. May I ask what sort of novel you've written?

toni76 Thu 05-Jul-12 10:12:31

Hi sorry, i disappeared - have been too busy for mumsnet, can you imagine! Mine's histfic - english civil war, which is apparently being pitched all over the place at the moment.

and no, I can't concentrate on much else - it's like waiting for life-changing exam results but not knowing when they're coming out. I'm trying to start the sequel, but failing miserably; keep sitting down to write and thinking its pointless to write a sequel to a book that may not be published...ah well...

as for agents, yes, I think a few at a time. it's a real bore..... Good luck!!!

medievalgirl Mon 09-Jul-12 15:27:54

Oooh, civil war stuff should get plenty of attention, I'd imagine? Any news yet?

Well I've just started this horrible process. First submission just gone off by email, after spending several hours obsessively checking every detail. Now going to try and put together a paper submission for another agency. It's quite fiddly, because they all want very slightly different things.

Fingers crossed for yours...

HeartsJandJ Tue 24-Jul-12 16:17:58

Are you still going with this thread?

I have two stories with an agent who is interested but not committed at the moment. If that's a no then it will be back to the literary handbook to find someone else. It's the length of time before hearing back that is the worst bit. I think I'd rather have a quick "no" (I lie!) than just sit here obsessively checking my emails.

I get into the groove of writing, rewriting and even doing the synopsis but then the silence ...

medievalgirl Tue 24-Jul-12 23:06:28

Hi Hearts, yes the waiting is hideous. I hope you get some good news soon. I've had a 'no' from two agents and am waiting to hear back from another two. Horrible, horrible process. And like you, I'm checking my email a million times a day.

HeartsJandJ Wed 25-Jul-12 07:39:17

Hello there - it's nice to hold hands whilst we wait. Can I ask you a couple of questions ...

Do you send always send your work to two agents at a time? And if so do you tell them that is what you've done?

medievalgirl Wed 25-Jul-12 08:09:27

HJ&J, I haven't really got an 'always' yet, as I'm only just starting to submit! I know a lot of people recommend you submit to about ten agents, but I just thought I'd dip my toe in the water and see what happened, so I've only submitted to four so far. I only tell them which other agents I've subbed to if their submissions guidelines mention that you should let them know.

How did you go about it? Is the agent who is interested in your work the only one you subbed to?

I hate this waiting. I've just checked my email again even though there's no way anyone will have got back to me since I last checked it at midnight last night!

HeartsJandJ Wed 25-Jul-12 11:20:16

Yes this is the only agent so far and I've submitted two stories. The feedback on the first one was they liked it but could I change the main character. So in the second one I've done that but it's a different story entirely.

My main thinking for doing that was because I really like the first one the way it is so I'd rather sit on that and see what happens with No 2. This is probably a really bad idea!!

DisorderlyNights Wed 08-Aug-12 08:20:07

Have any of you got any news?

I was on a course recently about e-publishing. Interesting to see how the publishing houses are running scared. Have decided that in my genre (middle grade kids) it'll still be worth going a traditional route if I can get anyone interested, but I'm going to reassess that decision each year, things are moving so fast.

Just finished first novel, btw.

HeartsJandJ Mon 20-Aug-12 16:49:27

Nothing here. Gah!

Congrats on finishing your first and good luck with the submissions.

IShallPracticeMyCurtsey Sat 25-Aug-12 12:50:24

May I join? I don't have a novel with an agent at the moment, but I do have a publisher interested in a story collection. I haven't finished said collection yet, and I have several individual stories under submission at different places. It's really the most horrible thing, isn't it? And such a tricky market at the moment. Very best to you all.

HeartsJandJ Wed 05-Sep-12 11:53:06

But that's brilliant to have your stuff direct with a publisher, hopefully it will be much quicker for you. Best of luck!

LadySybildeChocolate Mon 17-Sep-12 20:05:33

I submitted three chapters of my children's book to a publisher and an agent about 5 weeks ago (agent also has 3 picture books). The agents usually return with a 'thanks but no thanks' if they are not interested, but I had a message on Twatter saying she's conscious that she needs to get back to me. Is that good, do you think? She would usually just return it if it was dire, right? confused

Tamoo Tue 18-Sep-12 13:28:05

I'd take that as a positive. Sounds like she's buying a bit more consideration time. Maybe she needs to run it by others in the agency before accepting? <clueless guess> smile

LadySybildeChocolate Tue 18-Sep-12 22:46:09

I think she's just been really busy. I think she'd just spit it back at me if it was dribble, maybe.

TandB Fri 21-Sep-12 21:03:55

I'm in a slightly odd submission situation but could still do with some support as I have no idea what I am doing!

I was a finalist in a competition and sort-of won (judges' vote and audience vote - I won the judges' vote but not the audience one) and had an unexpected amount of interest afterwards. One agent asked for the full and the other for the 1st 6 chapters. Agent 1 has offered representation and I am meeting her next week. Agent 2 has asked for the rest of the manuscript and is trying to finish reading before my meeting with agent 1. I am now in a bit of a flap about messing one agent around and sort of hoping agent 2 decides to pass which will mean no decision to make.

It's all happened a bit fast so I am feeling a bit out of my depth!

LadySybildeChocolate Fri 21-Sep-12 21:43:52

Oh, congratulations!! smile From what I gather, you need to tell the agents who are interested that you've had an offer for representation from X. If they are interested they will hurry up! Just because one agent has offered to represent you, it doesn't mean that you should accept straight away. Take your time; it's pointless signing with one which isn't right for you. Do your research as well; who else do they represent, what is their fee, can you work with them? You can take your time, any agent worth their salt will understand. Always remember; don't part with any cash!.

TandB Sun 23-Sep-12 08:01:11

Thank you!

Both of them know about the other one - one of the judges at the competition took me aside afterwards and told me how to deal with more than one request for the full, but it still all feels a bit odd.

I've done all the research I can possibly do - they are very different propositions. Agent 1 - very small, new agency but extremely experienced agent. Agent 2 - one of the big name agencies, but much younger agent. Agency 1 likely to be very hands-on re editing etc. Agency 2 likely to expect me to fend for myself much more. My gut is telling me agent 1, but I am under strict instructions from various people not to jump until I know whether agent 2 is interested. I am worried about wasting their time, but I suppose the reading takes up the most time and that is mostly done.

Cash not an issue - they are both reputable "proper" agencies!

ninah Sun 23-Sep-12 10:19:16

Personally I'd go for agent 1 if terms are comparable. Congratulations!

LadySybildeChocolate Sun 23-Sep-12 12:22:00

I'd also go for agent 1. It's very difficult to knock a book into shape, even more so when you're expected just to get on with it with little guidance. smile

TandB Mon 01-Oct-12 08:56:45

I went with agent 1. Agent 2 made things much easier by wanting a fairly major re-write of the second half.

Things have moved quite fast. The final edits were done last week and it is going out on submission today. There are apparently some advantages to submitting before the Frankfurt book fair and asking for responses after the fair.

[tries to sound like she remotely understands what is going on]

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