There was a point in time in my life where I truly believed editing was straight from the devil–actually, it was just a few weeks ago. However, I’d forgotten how horrible the submissions process can be. It’s been a while since I’ve submitted anything anywhere and it’s totally slipped my mind how much crap goes into submitting your work to a publisher. That being said, I’m still in the submissions process and feel like if the next few months do not fly right past me while I go through the horrible will they take it or not blues, I may just spontaneously explode at my desk.
STEP One– Write a really awesome, super duper rockin’, mind blowing novel.
Edit the novel.
Step Three– Edit the novel. This time add coffee.
Step Four– Edit the damn novel!
Look up publishers through the interwebs or otherwise. Find houses who will hold an interest in the type of book you’ve written. Please refrain from sending erotica novels to horror-only companies and vice versa. Chances are, you’ll get nowhere that way.
Read through the publisher’s guidelines with a fine tooth comb and if they make suggestions to submitting authors, by gum, READ THROUGH THOSE SUGGESTIONS AND PUT THEM TO USE. They will ask you to format your manuscript in a certain way with this font and that margin size and you’d better do it, too, because they want to know that you can follow the darned instructions.
Send along cover letter, synopsis, blurb, full manuscript, a partridge and a pear tree. Cross your fingers.
Step Eight– Wait.
Wait some more.
Get rejected and start over at step five OR do a victory dance and call your mother and your best friend because you just got a contract with publishing house x.
Write another book and start completely over at step one.
**Also, I’m really full of crap and you should take everything I say with a grain of salt because, even though submitting is time consuming and sometimes painful, submissions is important and worth it in the end. Remember–even if a publisher gives you a big fat NO, that doesn’t mean your book sucks. It means they don’t want it. Keep looking. If an editor gives you feedback, THANK THEM and take their advice seriously. After all, most of them send form letters and having an editor take their precious (dead serious here, editors are busy folks) time to give you some feedback on why your story isn’t up to par or how it could be better is a pretty awesome thing. **