Sending out submissions can make anyone crazy. It’s a jungle out there. There are a few sure fire ways to avoid the easy pitfalls though.
Here are my five tips for submitting fiction manuscripts.
Submitting Fiction Manuscripts Tip One: Don’t Fear The Free:
If you’ve ever read my blog, you know I’m an advocate for writers getting paid what they’re worth. At the same time though, I also think it’s critical to equate the value of your work as more than just money.
This fiction writing game is about making fans both in the editorial office and between the covers. You want readers and it is wise to consider whether holding out for money is better than going for exposure.
I wouldn’t argue with someone who says that $250 is a big deal for a story. Heck, I’ll take $50 for my latest short story. Ask yourself this though.
Does that magazine get any real readers?
Is anyone talking about it?
Check out the #askanagent or #askaneditor hashtags on Twitter for addition self publishing held. You may re-consider your definition of “value” after that.
Submitting Fiction Manuscripts Tip Two: Be Thorough:
There are a whole lot of sites that list magazines with open submissions. Try Duotrope. Or Ralans. Or Google to find the host of others out there (I just bookmarked The Writers Life) teeming with opportunities.
Be sure to have a few of these sites bookmarked. You will want to start the submission process with the broadest, most comprehensive picture of the fiction market for your type of work.
Submitting Fiction Manuscripts Tip Three: Avoid The Blanket:
I have an editor friend and she loves to talk about “blanket” submitters.
What makes someone a blanket author? An author who is so thorough in submission that they send everything, everywhere, all the time. No discretion.
Editors read hundreds of submissions daily. You’ll stick out if you draw this kind of attention to yourself. If someone turns down your fishing story once, don’t go back. If someone doesn’t take fishing stories, take it elsewhere.
Submitting Fiction Manuscripts Tip Four: Avoid The Weekends:
As an addendum to that bit of advice about blanket submissions, try and avoid sending your manuscripts out on the weekends. Really, this is a thing in life.
Sure, the weekends are when most people have the most time. But try and picture an editor’s email box on Monday morning: it isn’t a pretty site. Make submission a mid-week task. It increases your visibility.
A little self publishing help? Save those manuscripts for Tuesday.
Submitting Fiction Manuscripts Tip Five: Keep Records:
Ask anyone in my world: I keep detailed records. Every single article query, poem and fiction manuscript that goes out the digital door, I log and notate and characterize the response.
You don’t have to get crazy, but it’s a good idea to avoid shooting blind. Keep notes. It takes no time and knowing when and where you’ve gone with a piece is critical.
Are you stuck on something in your writing? Do you need self publishing help from a professional? Why not Ask A Ghostwriter?
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If you’re serious about having your fiction, screenplay or non-fiction story professionally written, or you need self publishing help, please contact me via email, or call for a free 30-minute 1:1 consultation.