Wednesday, May 27, 2009

In The Know: Last Part

The final thing that I think is so important to be in the know about is the publisher you're targeting. Even knowing what the editor likes is important. Pen Pen mentioned reading books and discovering the author's agent through that; the same thing can be done for editors.

When reading a book similar in style to yours, check out if there's an editor acknowledgement. Go online and read editor interviews. Most of the time we only have one chance to submit to an editor so it's important that we pick the one most likely to connect with our writing.

You all know I just got a rejection back on The Bad Boy's Redemption. I learned a very valuable lesson with that story.

Basically, Love Inspired publishes books with plots revolving around small town and family. I've read tons of LI books and I studied the pacing, the length, the setup, but never the plotlines.

My mistake. The editor who rejected me was kind enough to mention stuff I should've already known, if I would've studied the publisher better.

You may have an awesome story, with spine-tingling writing, but if the publisher you submit to doesn't publish that kind of book, then it's a useless submission. The writing and the story won't matter.

Have you ever subbed to the wrong place? Or realized that no publisher is printing the kind of story you write? What's your favorite way to research editors? Or do you leave that up to your agent?

33 comments:

sherrinda said...

Ha, writing medieval really limits the publisher for me. I haven't really even looked yet...gotta long way to go and I am hoping others will pave the way for medievals by then. (GO JODY!!!)

Hey...I mentioned you in my blog today. Stop by for a look!

Jessica said...

Hi Sherrinda,
I saw! :-) Thank you so much.

I hope medievals pick up. I've always enjoyed them, dating back to Julie Garwood and Lyn Kurland. :-)

Danyelle said...

This is another area I'm more than happy to leave to my agent. One day. :D

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Jess -

I spoke to an agent, but found she doesn't rep the type of book I wrote. Obviously, I didn't research her preferences.

Thanks for the great tips.

Blessings,
Susan :)

Kristen Painter said...

The submission part of things is really my agent's job, so I leave that up to her.

Jennifer Shirk said...

I have subbed to wrong lines--kind of intentionally though because I thought my story was on-the-fence and I wasn't completely sure.
I should have went with my gut instinct. LOL!

Jody Hedlund said...

I think it's important to research editors as well as agents. Even if we have an agent, we can come across as more professional and knowledgeable, which will only help us in the long run! Ultimately we have to do the hard work of finding out who takes our genre, and then also be willing to take chances.

Marybeth Poppins said...

I don't think I've subbed to any editors or publishers. Do you recommend doing so?

Jeanette Levellie said...

Hey, you are one smart lady!

I'd say it's my agent's job, if I had one. Hopefully, soon.

Lin Johnson says the major reason books and article are rejected is that they're sent to the wrong place, just like you said.

Research is not my favorite thing, like dusting under teacups, but it has to be done to succeed in this business.

Jessie, you told me about six months ago that even though it's a ministry for us, this is a business and we need to remember that. Your comment has helped me many times.

Jen

Jessica said...

LOL Danyelle. Me too!

Jessica said...

Sorry about that Susan. But at least you know now. :-)

Jessica said...

I hope I get to do that someday too, Kristen. I'd prefer to have an agent sell my stuff, than me have to do it.

Jessica said...

LOL Jennifer.
It doesn't hurt to be adventurous. Yeah, we need to research. But sometimes we need to break out of the box and try something new.
So it didn't work for you that time. But you did get pubbed and you wrote a great book that made me laugh. :-)

Jessica said...

Hi Jody,
That's true about taking chances. And it def. doesn't hurt to have some knowledge about where we're interested in subbing.

Jessica said...

HI MaryBeth,
No, I really believe it's better to go the agent route first. Once you sub to an editor, if you get rejected, that's pretty much it for your manuscript at that house. If you do agents first, then you might get feedback and if no one reps you, you can utilize that feedback for a stronger story and then sub to an editor.
I'd recommend trying to go to a conference when you feel your manuscript is ready to sell. I've heard meeting and pitching to editors face-to-face is invaluable. They have a face with the name, you know?

Jessica said...

Hi Jen,
It's helpful to know that by knowing the business aspects of this writing stuff, we jump ahead of tons and tons of unsolicited submissions that know nothing about the business. It's hard to get published but those who pay attention have a better chance of hitting the right editor/agent at the right time with the right manuscript. :-)
I'm glad my comment helped. It's something I think about alot. :-)

Kate Karyus Quinn said...

I've never thought about researching editors, I guess I've been too caught up in trying to track down agents, but that is a good idea and definitely something that I will look into in the future!

Jessica said...

LOL about trying to track down agents...they're an elusive species. *snicker*

T. Anne said...

Jessica, I'm sorry you had to learn a lesson the hard way. I'm learning the same lesson and it makes my efforts feel like a waste. But then there's always hope...

Jessica said...

Yes, there is. :-) Once we're published, there's always the chance that an editor will be up to relooking over an older, rejected manuscript. Especially if we have good sales with our debut. LOL!

Terri Tiffany said...

I'm sorry about your rejection-- I think I have one coming that way too as even though I've read a ton and made it a small town, I don't think I have enough salvation etc. type message in it. How long before you heard back?

Irritable Mother said...

And this? reminds me why I'm glad I self-published.
Actually, I did look at one publisher who has a specialty in mom-books, but they weren't interested in me. *sigh*
Lots of work to get published! I'm hoping you find the right place for Bad Boy, because I really want to read it.

Krista Phillips said...

I submitted to an agent before that I realized later was so not even the right one for me. I haven't submitted to a lot of publishers though. focusing more thoroughly on agents at the moment!

Reading books in your genre to find agents/editors names are a great idea!!!

Angela said...

I find this kind of research difficult to do without an agent. Don't get me wrong--it's great advice, but with the constant shuffle between editors and houses (especially now with cost cutting) it's tough. The ed who worked on Book A may not be at the same house any longer, or might be acquiring completely different projects for the publisher or imprint. It's so difficult--I think this is one reason why I always suggest that agents are worth pursuing.

Happy Wednesday!

Christina Berry said...

I submitted a novel to a house that did only non-fiction! This was almost a decade ago. The funny thing is that the editor read the manuscript, liked it, and tried to convince the publisher to branch out that way! (It was a small press ...)

Jessica said...

Thanks Terri. You're probably fine with your faith arc. Some LI's have a stronger one than others. It was almost three months for me, on a partial.
Let me know what happens with yours! I didn't even know you were targeting Love Inspired.

Jessica said...

Thanks Karen! You never know, if your books start selling like crazy a traditional publisher may want to pursue you! LOL

Jessica said...

Hi Krista,
I've done that too. We learn. :-)

Jessica said...

Hi Angela,
Thanks so much for pointing that out! Even with an agent, it can happen. My friend had an editor LOVE her story, and then, like three days later, we found out the editor left the house. Still haven't heard back on the manuscript.
YOu're definitely right about the turnover. It's crazy.

Jessica said...

LOL Christina!
That is funny. :-) Hey, but they liked your stuff so that must've been an ego booster. ;-)

Warren Baldwin said...

I learn things from your posts that I never think of.

Jessica said...

That's because I'm a genius Warren.
SNORT!!!!'

I promise I'm kidding. :-) Actually, everything I post about I've learned from someone else. THis information I first learned at a conference where they actually put editors at the front of the audience and the editors gave us a whole bunch of info, #1 being that they all were looking for different types of articles and that writers needed to research what that publisher put into print. :-)

Irritable Mother said...

Ha! That would make my day! *grin*