Feedback on submission of a full

(41 Posts)
blackcoffee Tue 04-Mar-14 11:55:11

I was asked to submit a full in January and my finger are bitten to stumps by now! how long? (busy agency)
Also, book is part of a series, am now in position to submit first part of second book, is it worth doing that to chase up? aaaargh!

Frizzbonce Sun 09-Mar-14 14:51:39

Two months is not that long in publishing alas! After three months you could send a gentle reminder. If it's a big publisher they can get up to 50 ms a day.

There is nothing to stop you sending your book out to another lit agent, or if they ask for three chapters send that but in the covering letter mention that you are writing the second book. Agents and publishers like a writer who can deliver series.

blackcoffee Sun 09-Mar-14 17:23:08

No, I guess it's not, and I recognise that existing clients take priority.
I think I'll do as you suggest and continue submitting elsewhere. I am always most enthused by the book I am actually writing, so mainly working on that, but at the same time I'd really like to make a go of the series which means placing the only already written.
Thanks frizz.

BigPawsBrown Thu 20-Mar-14 15:20:49

My full request took from early august til late October hmm

blackcoffee Thu 20-Mar-14 22:10:07

So that's spot on 3 months. What happened BPB?

Congrats. A request for a full is definitely a good sign.

I had a couple of requests for a full. One replied/declined within about 3 weeks. The other took a little over 3 months. I nudged after 3 months and got a No a few weeks later. Sigh. Back to square one.

Keep writing anyway and have the second book polished and ready to go.

blackcoffee Thu 20-Mar-14 22:33:42

Thanks! yeah it's my second full request, too. The first one asked me to rewrite, I did and then it was a no. Rightly so, in retrospect. Long process, eh!
I'm about a third into book 2 now. I'm doing a CW MA which helps keep up the momentum.
Are you still subbing, Raza?

BigPawsBrown Thu 20-Mar-14 22:40:19

Quite a bit - see my thread!!

BigPawsBrown Thu 20-Mar-14 22:59:21

Blackcoffee are you on twitter? Always looking for writer types smile

thoughtsandall Tue 25-Mar-14 14:30:49

Blackcoffee, is it with an agent or publishing house? Have you chased it up yet? I currently have a full manuscript sitting with a children's publishing house and its been 6 weeks. I am worrying about all sorts of things i.e; did I email my full ms to the right e-mail address? Is it ususal to confirm receipt of a manuscript or not? I am wondering whether to also leave it 3 months before I chase them up or to send them a politie email asking them to confirm they have received it? Oh, what to do, what to do? Waiting is hard (drums fingers on the desk)- although no news is good news hey? hmm

blackcoffee Tue 25-Mar-14 21:51:44

three months on the nail! suggestions (blooming good ones), will look at rewrite. Rewind ....

blackcoffee Tue 25-Mar-14 21:53:48

thoughts it looks like 3 months is par for the course. I'm busy on something else so not too wracked, but now am have the dilemma of whether to do immediate rewrite of the one I submitted or plod on with the new one .... Help!

BigPawsBrown Tue 25-Mar-14 22:35:16

If they've offered you an r&r, rewrite! They already like the concept and otherwise what are their suggestions for?

blackcoffee Wed 26-Mar-14 07:30:11

The advice I'm being given on my course is work on one book at a time.It will take me tll Xmas to finish a decent draft of the current one, so rewrite for agent would take about a year. I WILL rewrite, am thinking of stopping current book and doing it now instead?

blackcoffee Wed 26-Mar-14 07:31:40

and am kicking myself because I resigned from my consuming job in favour of something a little less full on, and was persuaded to go back! argh!

thoughtsandall Wed 26-Mar-14 08:42:24

Congrats blackcoffee- that's great news. If it were me I would get the rewrite done first and strike while the iron is hot, so to speak. Your other book isn't going anywhere and it sounds like the agent is keen but markets can change pretty quickly. Is it a dramatic rewrite if you think it will take a year? All very positive though, you must be really pleased grin

chansondumatin Wed 26-Mar-14 14:57:19

I'd put the new book on the backburner and get the rewrite done pronto. That way, the agent is more likely to remember you when you send it back and market conditions have had less of a chance to change. I got my MS accepted on the basis of an R&R.

I think agents like it if you can show you're willing to work with them and take feedback on board. If you leave it a year they may think you weren't that bothered.

You may well have to wait another three months for feedback after submitting the revisions (I did), so plenty of time to crack on with Book Two...

chansondumatin Wed 26-Mar-14 14:57:47

And congratulations [smile}

blackcoffee Wed 26-Mar-14 18:12:32

Thanks, chanson and thoughts, that's the conclusion I've come to as well! It would take a year if I carry on with current draft and do it after, whereas it will probably take a couple of months to rewrite if I start now. So I am going to take MN advice instead of my course advice. Exciting!
This agent seems to have some great ideas and I'm really enthused about making the changes. Dc are with their dad for a week at Easter, I am going to live and breath novel. Please let this be it!
Appreciate the support!

blackcoffee,
sorry only came back to thread now.
Yes I'm still subbing but no fish is biting.
I'm also writing short stories and subbing them and have had some success. I feel my writing improving each time I complete a story which makes me doubt my novel now, but who knows!

Good luck with the changes over Easter. Keep us updated.

And good luck to anyone else drumming fingers out there grin

blackcoffee Fri 28-Mar-14 18:32:01

Raza - improving's improving, it all feeds into the same place. Very best of luck. I've had some great ideas, but I'm a bit daunted about whether I can pull it off. I really hope so. Day job is vile right now, too! Ill certainly keep you posted. Anyone know a quietly inspiring place for a short Easter writing break? (UK)

thoughtsandall Mon 23-Jun-14 10:03:37

Hi Blackcoffee, just wondering how you are getting on/got on with R+R. Any news or developments?

Guilianna Mon 23-Jun-14 16:23:39

Hello, I am blackcoffee, named changed after all that password hoohah. Agent came back with suggestions and I'm waiting, rather pessimistically, to hear about the rewrite. Meanwhile I have another full out and a couple of (non -standard) rejections. Think I'd have heard by now if it was going to be positive. So, close but no cigar! How's everyone else?

thoughtsandall Tue 24-Jun-14 09:53:05

You never know with these things, so whilst you haven't heard there is still a chance. How long have they had the re-write? Was the re-write collaborative or were you pretty much left to your own devices? Great news about the other full- you are certainly moving in the right direction.

I had 'such a near miss' with the publishing house my ms was with. They took a long time to get back to me but they were really positve and encouraging but the ms was too short and a little young for their list. I thought this may be the case when I subbed it for the open submissions but I just wanted it read and thought I'd take a chance. Have now got a contact in the publishing house who I can pitch ms ideas to prior to writing, so all is not lost.

I currently have interest from an agent and I am waiting for her to send me thoughts on my ms. She see's a lot of potential in my work (her words) but wants me to strengthen the plot so I am just waiting to see what she wants and then I will be attempting a rewrite.

Please keep us posted with any developments- always love to hear success stories.

Guilianna Tue 24-Jun-14 10:45:32

There were a couple of indications but rewrite was left to me. Thanks for being so encouraging! since I replied I've had another rejection which however gave me about 2 pages of suggestions and said I could revise and resubmit. The trouble is they all want slightly different things! I loved some of the ideas from the recent agent and I am excited (in a weary kind of way!) about kicking it into shape once more over the summer. I really think it could be a good book, once the final bit falls into place!
Thoughts, you are really close now! that's exactly how it feels, the final sprint at the end of a cross country race with legs like jelly. Good luck with your agent and I hope the advice you're given is helpful!

thoughtsandall Tue 24-Jun-14 12:54:24

Wow- great news (again!) and two pages of suggestions is great but I bet it does make you a little weary, especially if they all want slightly different things. I guess you need to change the things you are happy to and stick to your guns with others so that you are not losing the essence and your vision for the story. It's within your grasp again Guilianna! How long has the new agent given you for the rewrite? Are you going to go back to the agent your rewrite is currently with to let them know you have another agent interested?

The agent I'm working with has told me that the work on the plot is to be very collaborative and we are in it together. She wants to see how I handle her first set of notes (I'm reading am I flexible and open to direction and can I deliver?) and then we will meet. She hasn't offered rep at this stage but has said that she only works with a handful of new clients each year and will only put time into those she wants to rep. It seems very positive and hopeful, but I know it's not a done deal till you sign on the dotted line. And they say writing is hard- it's nothing compared to the ups and downs once you enter the submission circus!

Guilianna Tue 24-Jun-14 15:19:45

No timescale but realistically it'll be a summer hols job. It's a topical novel (by sheer random coincidence) so although there's a fair bit of work it would be good to finish soonish!
I wasn't planning on contacting the agents with fulls because as it stands it's a rejection.
I like the sound of the collaborative work on yours. Sometimes you can tell the agent has an enhanced vision of where it could go which actually needs spelling out.
One change I'm still mulling is lose the title. Ow!
It's so good to talk about this, thoughts. All my mates just think, oh guilianna and her rejections, nearlys, and of course they all love it uncritically because they are my mates and say thing like 'well when you think of all the crap that DOES get published' grin

thoughtsandall Thu 03-Jul-14 11:47:57

That's great news- have you got a preferred agent out of the two who have asked you to R and R? Just think - one more and you may be at the finish line! I will be cheering you on! I received a 4 page report from my agent on mon and it is full of really good suggestions- things I was aware of but not sure how to put right. She is so encouraging and positive and has offered lots of directions the plot could go but ultimately told me to follow my heart with them.

Have just e-mailed with my plot point revisions and I am hoping that they work for her. It's so exciting! I am trying to not worry about whether she will rep me more or not. Either way I feel like it is a win- win situation: representation at the end or a much improved book, not to mention how much I am learning in the process. It is the first book I have ever written and I have learnt so much already.

Guilianna Thu 03-Jul-14 21:21:22

I don't have a clear favourite, no. I am quite excited about making changes but still mulling over the final shape it will take. Thanks for the encouragement! much appreciated in this waiting period .. Sounds like your agent is pretty keen, giving so much feedback now. Did she just ask for synopsis of plot revisions, then? agent 2 said similar to me but I'm not sure I can get it right without full rw first! I want to be done this summer ...
Also I've just started a writers' group and one of the members was quite dismissive which made me think, also ..

thoughtsandall Tue 02-Sep-14 12:46:58

Guilianna, Just wondering whether you managed to 'kick your manuscript into shape' over the summer? You said you had a couple of R + R's, so which one did you decide to go with? Have you heard anything yet?

I've had a summer full of writing and editing, editing and writing, and you were right... my R+R did feel like 'the final sprint at the end of a cross country race with legs like jelly'. The agent suggested some excellent ways to develop the plot and add complexity (4 pages of notes) and I then offered suggestions on the direction I wanted it to take and how I was going to go about it. I did a fairly extensive rewrite on my MG ms at the beginning of July and it doubled in size in 3 days.

The book is much, much better as a result and I really enjoyed the process. The agent loved it and offered representation and I have just signed the contracts, so I guess it is official. I can't quite believe it and I am still trying to take it all in. I am just waiting for the line edits to come through and need to get the ms is ready for submission in the run up to Frankfurt Book Fair. The next agonising wait will be to see if a publisher wants to buy it...

Please let me know how you (and anyone else who is in the submission process) are getting on.

thoughtsandall Tue 02-Sep-14 12:47:51

Guilianna, Just wondering whether you managed to 'kick your manuscript into shape' over the summer? You said you had a couple of R + R's, so which one did you decide to go with? Have you heard anything yet?

I've had a summer full of writing and editing, editing and writing, and you were right... my R+R did feel like 'the final sprint at the end of a cross country race with legs like jelly'. The agent suggested some excellent ways to develop the plot and add complexity (4 pages of notes) and I then offered suggestions on the direction I wanted it to take and how I was going to go about it. I did a fairly extensive rewrite on my MG ms at the beginning of July and it doubled in size in 3 days.

The book is much, much better as a result and I really enjoyed the process. The agent loved it and offered representation and I have just signed the contracts, so I guess it is official. I can't quite believe it and I am still trying to take it all in. I am just waiting for the line edits to come through and need to get the ms is ready for submission in the run up to Frankfurt Book Fair. The next agonising wait will be to see if a publisher wants to buy it...

Please let me know how you (and anyone else who is in the submission process) are getting on

thoughtsandall Tue 02-Sep-14 12:52:39

Having computer problems so apologies for posting twice.

BigPawsBrown Tue 02-Sep-14 22:54:50

Thoughtsandall I got an agent in July and am submitting in the next two weeks!

Guilianna Wed 03-Sep-14 20:11:54

Thoughts, that's wonderful news! how very exciting. When is Frankfurt, October time? I used to work in publishing, I should know, but it was a long time ago!
Thanks for asking - I finally let go of the revisions last week, after giving them a lot of thought, and I've sent the ms to both agents who requested it. Waiting now ....
Good luck, BPB! hope it all goes well for you.

Guilianna Wed 03-Sep-14 20:14:54

also, and I know I'm going to regret asking this, but how long did your agent take to sign you after the rewrite?

thoughtsandall Thu 04-Sep-14 09:32:45

Congratuations BPB. Are you able to say who your agent is? What kind of book have you written? Hope the submission process goes well. I can imagine that is as agonising as the rewrite/subbing to agent wait. Please keep us posted on your progess.

Guilianna, well done for getting it done. Did you write two different rewrites or send the same one to each? I read on another thread that you had a bit of a wobble when you sent it- did you resolve that? The waiting for feedback from a rewrite is so hard. I waited a few weeks and then emailed to ask for some feedback as it had passed the deadlines she had given me. She responded straight away with some general feedback so I asked her when in the process I could expect her to offer representation... and she did. She has been very open throughout the process and said she had asked for the rewrite with a view to offering represenation once she had seen how I handled the feedback etc. I guess everyone's experience is different but mine was fairly quick and I felt able to ask her the question due to her openess and encouragement throughout. Fingers crossed for you- please let us know as soon as you hear anything. What genre are you writing?

BigPawsBrown Thu 04-Sep-14 18:52:31

Thoughtsandall - do you want to PM me? It's women's fiction.

Guilianna Thu 04-Sep-14 20:24:47

Thanks! the actual rewrite was quite fast, then I sat on my hands for a bit! I sent the same thing to both agents and since I hadn't heard from agent one on what I'd sent already asked her to look at it instead, which was fine.
Your experience seems very smooth, thoughts.
It's a psychological thriller - at least I hope so!

Guilianna Thu 04-Sep-14 22:37:54

I meant to say, the support is much appreciated! (back to 'day job' this week and v absent minded!)

BigPawsBrown Thu 04-Sep-14 22:54:46

Giuliana, I took a week off to sort out my agent situations and meet up with some etc and going back to my day job after that was tough, even though I like it!

Guilianna Fri 05-Sep-14 21:20:04

Six weeks in this case - no prizes for guessing what I do! I like what I do too, but I'd forgotten how exhausting it can be!

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