Despite a common misconception, summer submissions sent to literary agents and editors DO get read! In fact, there are at least five advantages to making summer submissions that all writers should consider.
Many clients come to Writer’s Relief because we keep their submissions on track while they go on vacation (or spend more time focusing on their writing as opposed to their submissions).
If you’re looking for a way to streamline your submissions this summer but aren’t ready to join Writer’s Relief, here are some ideas that can help.
6 Ways To Make Your Submission Process Less Time-Consuming
Get organized. Okay—this first one isn’t technically a shortcut, but it’s a time-saver. We all know that being organized means putting a little more effort into your submissions at the beginning of the process. But trust us: Good organization will save you TONS of time down the road.
Submit online. When you submit exclusively online to literary agents and editors, you save time. No running back and forth to the post office or individually addressing letters and envelopes. With online submissions, a few clicks means you’re done!
For online submissions, use Notepad or a similar program. When you copy text from a program like Microsoft Word, there’s some possibility that you’ll have to adjust your formatting every time you paste. By using a program like Notepad, which doesn’t hold formatting, you’ll save yourself a lot of time when you’re cutting and pasting from one format to another.
Delegate. Can you offer your kids a little extra allowance money to help you stuff and stamp your envelopes or write the contact information (addresses) for each market on your letters? Can you ask your neighbor’s kid who is home from college on break to do some basic writers market research?
There’s always a danger in asking for help from people who don’t know the publishing industry very well, especially if you’re entrusting them with important tasks like going through submission guidelines. But every little bit of help…helps! Just be sure to go over your helper’s work with care.
Emulate others instead of spending long hours reading market books. To whom would you compare yourself as a writer? To someone you know? To a celebrated author? Check out that person’s bibliography to see if there might be some crossover between what you’re doing and what he/she has done. Then, try submitting to those markets.
Hire somebody. Of course, the easiest shortcut to making good submissions might be to get someone else to deal with it for you. And as you know, that’s what we do here at Writer’s Relief. We don’t take submission shortcuts; we do things the right way. Hiring Writer’s Relief to make submissions is a huge timesaver.
Here are a few submission shortcuts you should NEVER take:
Not reading submission guidelines. Many editors tell us that their pet peeve is writers who ignore their submission guidelines. This shortcut won’t lead to the happy ending you’re hoping for. Read More: The Number One Worst Mistake A Writer Can Make When Submitting.
Sending mass emails. As a rule, agents and editors hate being CC’d on submissions, whether you’re following up or submitting for the first time. This might be a shortcut, but it’s not the one you want. This shortcut leads right to the rejection pile.
Writing “Dear Editor” or “Dear Agent” if the proper name is available. Sometimes, literary journals don’t publically list the names of editors for upcoming issues—and in those cases, it’s fine to choose a generic greeting. But when names are available, use them. Spend the extra time that it takes to find the right name.
Facing Facts: Good Submissions Take Time
Don’t rush through your submission process. Care for the process of making submissions in the same way that you care for the craft of writing. The submission process deserves your respect and attention. After all, without making submissions, you probably won’t see your work published.
Learn more about how Writer’s Relief keeps our clients submitting and publishing regularly.
QUESTION: What tips do you have for writers who are trying to manage their time more efficiently?