Thursday, November 8, 2012

Querying and Submitting Manuscripts After Sandy

So, I don’t pay attention to the news much. I’d heard the rumblings that a storm was coming but I didn’t know where or when. I was busy writing. Subbing. Doing the things I usually do to move forward with my writing. Focusing.

And then…I couldn’t help but find out what was happening in New York and on the east coast and eek! It was horrible.

And you know what else? I’d emailed a sub there just before the chaos ensued. I had no idea. But it’s there now, waiting, for whenever the person it’s waiting for gets to it. Maybe they have lost their house, maybe they haven't been able to get back to work and when they do will come back to an overwhelming inbox that I will have added to! I don't want to add to their burden. I feel guilty.

I’ve been listening to the talk. Those of us not affected by the storm and still in subbing mode well, it may sound bad, but we get antsy. It’s part of the subbing process—the waiting and wondering. It’s only natural. Now? I’ve seen some say to wait a week to sub and some say to go ahead. Hmm.

I'm nowhere near the East coast. From what I can gather, some people are back to work with things as normal—as normal as they can be at this moment anyway, and some are still getting their lives back together. How is one to know whether it is okay to sub after Sandy? You can check Twitter. A lot of people in publishing tweet and have talked about what’s going on where they work. (I have lists of agents, editors, and publishers on Twitter.) So, you have to use your judgement.

My policy right now? Wait at least a month before subbing to the East coast. People just suffered a major traumatic event, lost time at work, and who knows what happened in their personal lives. They need time to catch up, regroup, heal.

I know, it’s hard. When we have a manuscript and are ready to send it out we want to do it now. We want to sell it now. We want it to be a book asap! It’s not realistic any day. Especially not after a natural disaster. The one thing I always remind myself when I send out a sub: I’m just waiting in line. It’s a long line, but I’ll get to the front eventually.

And yes, the eventually may be a little longer now. Be sure to give at least an additional month for response time before you status query. I give six to eight extra weeks in general so I'm thinking an extra three months would be kind.

Querying and submitting. It’s not for wimps.


  1. Interesting thought. I've been busy submitting and didn't think about that. Thanks for your words of wisdom, and I can always use a push to be more patient.

  2. The best way to have patience is to get to work on something else! We can still be getting subs ready to go, even if we aren't sending them out quite yet. Or subbing to those not in the storm zone. Oh, there's always lots to do when you're a writer. Good luck with your submissions Carol! And your patience. ;)

  3. Thank you for this. It's a good thought. Also, one extra month or two is not going to hurt any of us writing. We can look at is as time to practice and perfect our own queries and start work on other projects, too. Our work isn't going away. :)