I have been working very hard the last week setting up my new organizational system. Like I told you, I get the names of various publishers and agents that are looking for new authors on a weekly basis. In the past I have not been utilizing this information in a logical way. Sometimes I have just been letting these opportunities pass me by because it all just seemed overwhelming. This is why I've devised a plan of action to make it all just a little less daunting.
I have copy and pasted all of the agencies that I have been given recently onto a word document. Then I actually check out every single one of them and assign a book that I have written to each one of them. Then I copy and paste again onto individual pages for each book. Then I visit the website again and copy whatever information that is relevant for submission. This is where it gets a little tricky, some companies will not accept simultaneous submissions, so I need to be careful when submitting. This can be very frustrating as a company that will not let you submit to other companies is tying up your manuscript for as long as it takes them to review it. That can take up to 6 months, and then they will only contact you if they want to work with you. So... I will need to make certain that when I submit to one of these that I put the date on my new 'paperwork' so that if they do not contact me I can submit to someone else after their review time is up. The good thing here is that they do give you a time frame, if I do not hear from them in X amount of time then I should feel free to contact someone else. That sounds incredibly sanctimonious right? It is and I suppose that they can be as they have your balls in their hands. They still believe that you cannot get published without them.. and again in a way they are right.
As odd as it seems, even I, with an award winning publishing company of my own, want the recognition of a larger company. My company simply does not have the reach of the larger companies. I want that recognition. So I am still plugging away at organizing this information. The next step is to write the query letters. Once I have solid letters I can start submitting.
Another thing that I get notifications for is contests. Sometimes the contests are something that I can participate in and some are not. Even with these you need to read the fine print because many of these do not accept the simultaneous submissions either, and most contests charge an entrance fee. Most are $25 or less, while some are $75 and more. This is really a pick and choose kind of thing. I need to weigh the possible prize money and exposure against the cost of the entrance fee.
I have begun to organize these contests in the same manner as the publishers, but... here's the real kicker, I need to decide if submitting to a publishing house or agent is a better bet than submitting to a contest. I submitted Veteran of the Silent War to a contest once. It cost me $100. I did it because the contest promised a review. I figured that I could at least use the review on my webpage, so even if I didn't win, it wouldn't be a total loss. The review was crap. It said, "I like the cover... a lot. I wish the story had continued." Well we know that the story did continue, but I did not drop the end off of Veteran of the Silent War. I never do that in any book. I think it is a cop out.
With that bit of bad experience under my belt I shied away from contests for over a year. But, now I am looking at them again, but in a different way. I think that I am going to submit poetry and short stories only to the contests. That way my books will not be tied up with a contest and I can focus on publishers and agents for them. If I win a contest then, we will see if they are interested in only what I submitted or my actual talent.
Here's the fun thing that throws a small wrench in my plan... I don't write short stories. I never have. Usually when I start writing the story just keeps flowing. So... I am going to try to write some short stories that I can submit to these contests. On the other hand, I have lots of poetry. Much of it is trial and error stuff that is not worthy of publication, however, I have had a poem published before. So, I know that I do have talent in that area, it's just not what I had planned on pursuing. Still, getting published is exposure and I need the exposure.
My most popular book, Un Sabor de Mexico is still in revision. I'm hoping to submit it to a publisher when I have finished adding the rest of the pictures. It is still unavailable for download as an EBook with the rest of my work and the works that Sherechita Publications offer. Of course for those of you that still want an actual book to read from those are still available here.
Thank you for your continued support. I enjoy reading your responses to my work, so please keep them coming.
Live well and be good to each other.