Just in case last night’s post freaked out any of my regular readers (smutty writing about politicians and Top Gear presenters? Why would that worry anyone?? 😉 ), I thought I’d return to more recognisable form tonight and talk about how the submissions process is going for Far From the Tree.
I started submitting the manuscript to agents, and some publishing houses that accept direct submissions on 23rd February. Most agents, it seems, will accept submissions in a pretty standard format by email. It seems to be: covering letter, synopsis of a certain length and then first 10k or 3 chapters. Thankfully, I’ve got several versions of a synopsis on Scrivener, and the chapters are good to go, as well as a covering letter that can be tweaked and personalised where needs be. One thing I learned very quickly is that it’s very useful to have several versions of a synopsis, of varying lengths. Agents can call for anything from 300 words to ten pages, it seems!
What’s interesting is that I’ve also installed Sidekick to my Chrome browser. Sidekick is an extension that you can attach to your email to see when, and who, opens their mail. While I wouldn’t use this as a matter of course on general emails, it’s been very useful to see which of the agents opens my submissions, when they open them, how many times they read the emails and, tellingly, if they’ve opened them at all! To date, I can report that, of the ten submissions I’ve made over the past three weeks, four of them have opened the emails, one has replied to me personally (a rejection), and the other six have yet to open the emails I sent. I’ve also submitted to another agent via their website, which obviously I can’t track in the same way, so I’m not sure of the status of that one.
So it’s a waiting game, for a while. I’ve entered the novel into a couple of competitions, whose closing dates are over the next couple of months or so, and I’ve decided that, for every rejection I get, I’ll send out two more submissions – after all, you’ve got to be in it to win it! I’m not one to brood on rejections, either – it’s all a learning process, and I’m not precious about such things. I’m not quite sure what my policy will be on non responses yet…
Fingers crossed, over the next few months, I might get Far From the Tree where it needs to go. I can think of nothing more exciting than being able to see it up for sale, and the thought of people reading and (hopefully) enjoying it. Watch this space!