Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Start at the Top

Fellow authors Madelyn Ford and Rosalie Stanton have touched upon this topic, but it is one of great importance.  As soon as you finish your manuscript, it's time to shop around for a publisher or agent. I know it's daunting and very scary, but there is one thing you must never do -- don't sell yourself short.

When I started, I wasn't aware of all of the presses out there, how they worked, or where to start.  I wrote a blog prior indicating places to check in the event you're looking for a home for you work.  However, the one thing I didn't stress enough is that it's very important to start at the top and work your way down.  I know it's tough when you have an extended wait on a submission, but it's always best to aim high and strive to place your book at the best possible press for your work. For this reason, I suggest you find your number one, two, and three publishers/agents and go for them first.  Rejections happen, so if this occurs, move along to the next on your list and so forth.  It's always fantastic to receive an acceptance letter, but you would be surprised at how quickly that happiness can turn to something else when one of your top choices expresses an interest and your manuscript is no longer available.

So please remember to be patient, to aim high, and to have confidence in your work.  Of course, I'm being somewhat of a hypocrite here, as I still harbor insecurities regarding my own material.  Still, if you don't try to land one of your top places, you'll never know what might have been, and that's a sting that continues to linger even after the contract has been signed elsewhere and there is little you can do about it unless you pay your kill fee and attempt to explain to the publisher who is interested that you're contracted somewhere else but really wanted to be with them.

It's terrifying to submit to the big dogs, but it's a necessary evil.  Just keep in mind that all opinions are subjective and you are often your own worst critic. You can do it if you just continue pushing forward.

Keep up the great writing!


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