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Writer's Room => Picture Books (PB) => Topic started by: jojocookie on September 26, 2013, 03:59 PM

Title: How many manuscripts do you sub out each month?
Post by: jojocookie on September 26, 2013, 03:59 PM
I have been sending out three each month. It's kinda driving me crazy. Maybe I should send out more? What do you do?  :cupcake
Title: Re: How many manuscripts do you sub out each month?
Post by: LTMadison on September 26, 2013, 04:44 PM
I just sent a bunch out to the trash. It does depend what you're circulating and to whom. How about more details?
Title: Re: How many manuscripts do you sub out each month?
Post by: Franzilla on September 26, 2013, 05:15 PM
I just sent a bunch out to the trash. It does depend what you're circulating and to whom. How about more details?

He he he, this reminds me of the time I tried to steam open the envelopes with submissions in because I realised I'd forgotten to add the cover letter (late night mailing effort). But I thought I'd be clever and do it in the microwave for speed. They went up in smoke!! Silly me.

As for sending out MS. Do you mean to editors or to agents? When I was approaching publishing houses I would pick one MS and only send it to the handful of houses that I thought were a fit, then a few months later I might have another MS to send out. I gave up, though. I felt as though I was sending them out into a desert with only tumbleweeds for company. They never came back to me, even in a SASE, and no one ever contacted me to tell me they'd seen my stories. I picture them, the poor stories, climbing never-ending sand dunes, no water to drink, no trees to shade them. Somewhere out there in the publishing desert. Sad.
Title: Re: How many manuscripts do you sub out each month?
Post by: Cynthia Kremsner on September 26, 2013, 06:04 PM
That is sad Franzilla. My heart was swimming in my stomach in empathy.

I hadn't subbed to traditional publishers for so long. I just gave it a go again. I only sent to two this time. And talk about silly . . . I researched the ones with the quickest turn around time and that's who I subbed to. If they're going to give me the boot, I want it quick-like. The torture of waiting is more painful than a swift reject.
Title: Re: How many manuscripts do you sub out each month?
Post by: Luv2eatreadwrite on September 26, 2013, 06:35 PM
So share.  Which one has the quick turn around time?  I would like to know :trenchcoat
Title: Re: How many manuscripts do you sub out each month?
Post by: TMarie on September 26, 2013, 07:44 PM
Not sure if it's really a how many a month thing for me, I think it's more like , when one comes back, one goes out, kinda thing. Ya know? Hard to put a number on it. Like this month, so far, my calendar is marked for three submissions, but that could change tomorrow if I get a reject from a previous sub. I have a bunch of different mss out there circulating, so, whichever one comes back, I just send it out somewhere else. Forever in motion. You have to have a clear, concise, tracking system though. Always record what you sent to who and when. :writing3 Initially, if it's a new ms, I will pick at least six houses to send it to, and then the wait begins.
Title: Re: How many manuscripts do you sub out each month?
Post by: SYoon on September 26, 2013, 07:47 PM
Back when I was getting started in this biz and I needed sales quick... because I had quit my job to do this full-time, I made a goal of sending out approx 7 packages a month. (I did this mainly with the major houses, all FedEx, all with hand-made dummies inside, all unsolicited subs). That year was my most expensive shipping year EVER in the history of shipping for me,... because I foolishly sent many OVERNIGHT!!! (I couldn't bare the thought of waiting an extra day to save me half the money by sending 2-Day.)  I would bang myself over the head if I could! What a waste! But it was a very fruitful year of contracts the year after I did this. It didn't have to be so costly though!  GOOD LUCK!!!
Title: Re: How many manuscripts do you sub out each month?
Post by: Franzilla on September 26, 2013, 07:53 PM
Not sure if it's really a how many a month thing for me, I think it's more like , when one comes back, one goes out, kinda thing. Ya know? Hard to put a number on it. Like this month, so far, my calendar is marked for three submissions, but that could change tomorrow if I get a reject from a previous sub. I have a bunch of different mss out there circulating, so, whichever one comes back, I just send it out somewhere else. Forever in motion. You have to have a clear, concise, tracking system though. Always record what you sent to who and when. :writing3 Initially, if it's a new ms, I will pick at least six houses to send it to, and then the wait begins.

You know, when I read about experiences like yours, I can't help but marvel at how badly I must have written my address on the SASE, because I've sent out dozens of submissions (not dozens of different stories, but dozens of submissions in total) and not had a single rejection. Not one. Seriously. It's like they just disappear. POOF!

I get lovely rejections from agents but editors? Nothing. At least not yet... maybe all those subs from last year and the year before will suddenly turn out to be acceptances! Ha ha ha.

PS Cynthia, maybe my stories have found a little oasis. A little paradise with a natural spring, lush green plants heavy with juicy fruits. I feel better about them now!

PPS After reading Salina's post, I'm thinking maybe I should've paid to have my rejections FedExed to me!! Now THAT would be a depressing way to spend some money.
Title: Re: How many manuscripts do you sub out each month?
Post by: bugaboo on September 26, 2013, 08:03 PM
Don't worry about your manuscripts getting lonely.  They are probably partying somewhere with mine.  I have recieved rejections from small publishing houses, but NOTHING from the few big houses I sent to. 
I have no idea off the top of my head how many I actually have out right now.  I keep a list somewhere on my computer, but I never really dwell on what's been sent out.  I try to do a wave of them to agents every 6-8 weeks (since so many agents say they will get back to you in that time), and I also tend to send out revenge queries whenever I get a rejection. 
 :goodluck
Title: Re: How many manuscripts do you sub out each month?
Post by: TMarie on September 26, 2013, 08:08 PM
Haha, aww, Franzilla, I hope you hear something soon!
Title: Re: How many manuscripts do you sub out each month?
Post by: jojocookie on September 27, 2013, 04:21 AM
I try to send out two stories to traditional publishers and one to an agent. My first choice is to look for those who accept e-mail submissions. I'm always missing something in the envelope. Never tried to steam them open though. Glad to know others had done the same thing.

Yeah, I do feel like they are being sent into the desert. Usually, no response of any kind. One traditonal publisher sent me a form rejection after two years.

But it's the waiting that bugs me the most. So I write to get my mind off of it. Then I have more manuscripts in my file waiting to be sent out. Now I can afford to send out more than three a month but I sort thought maybe it would be a no-no. Because this is a buisiness requiring patience. Something that I never had.

Sorry for rambling.  :2brickwall
Title: Re: How many manuscripts do you sub out each month?
Post by: Jean Reidy on September 27, 2013, 06:40 AM
Hey Jojocookie! Are you talking about 3 unique manuscripts? Or are you talking about 3 copies of the same manuscript to different editors or agents?
Title: Re: How many manuscripts do you sub out each month?
Post by: Tammi on September 27, 2013, 07:48 AM
Wow. I suddenly feel VERY unproductive.  ::-)
Title: Re: How many manuscripts do you sub out each month?
Post by: Erin Bylund on September 27, 2013, 08:09 AM
I've sent a few out over the last several years to different agents/editors and have never ever heard a word from any of them.  I'd like to even just get a rejection so I feel like I'm part of this business, that my manuscripts exist.  Comments or criticism would be even better.  Is it okay to send the same manuscript out to different places at the same time?  I get tired waiting the designated number of weeks/months for a no response before I send another one out. 
Title: Re: How many manuscripts do you sub out each month?
Post by: Franzilla on September 27, 2013, 10:49 AM
I've sent a few out over the last several years to different agents/editors and have never ever heard a word from any of them.  I'd like to even just get a rejection so I feel like I'm part of this business, that my manuscripts exist.  Comments or criticism would be even better.  Is it okay to send the same manuscript out to different places at the same time?  I get tired waiting the designated number of weeks/months for a no response before I send another one out. 

You don't hear from agents either? I've found most agencies to be pretty good at getting back to me. Like you, I'd rather get a rejection (even a form rejection if I must!) than nothing at all. But I understand a lot of people are too busy to respond to all subs. What does get me, though, is what on earth happens to all my SASEs? Are publishing houses who still demand them secretly steaming off the stamps and using them to send out their own mail?!?! He he he. 
Title: Re: How many manuscripts do you sub out each month?
Post by: LeslieG on September 27, 2013, 11:13 AM
What does get me, though, is what on earth happens to all my SASEs? Are publishing houses who still demand them secretly steaming off the stamps and using them to send out their own mail?!?! He he he. 

Actually, Siski, an associate editor who spoke at a local SCBWI conference a few years ago said that's exactly what hers did. Except I think she said they opted for peeling instead of steaming.  ::)

Title: Re: How many manuscripts do you sub out each month?
Post by: 217mom on September 27, 2013, 11:20 AM
When I was approaching publishing houses I would pick one MS and only send it to the handful of houses that I thought were a fit, then a few months later I might have another MS to send out. I gave up, though. I felt as though I was sending them out into a desert with only tumbleweeds for company. They never came back to me, even in a SASE, and no one ever contacted me to tell me they'd seen my stories. I picture them, the poor stories, climbing never-ending sand dunes, no water to drink, no trees to shade them. Somewhere out there in the publishing desert. Sad.

This paragraph is worthy of a PB (for adult writers) all its own.
Title: Re: How many manuscripts do you sub out each month?
Post by: Cynthia Kremsner on September 27, 2013, 11:26 AM

PS Cynthia, maybe my stories have found a little oasis. A little paradise with a natural spring, lush green plants heavy with juicy fruits. I feel better about them now!


I think it could be a possibility.  :sun :busstop

Sad to say, I thought having a contract for illustrating and another for writing would boost my chances of it being a catylist to interest an agent. I guess I'll have to wait until they're out in the marketplace for that. Until then, I've resolved to subbing to more publishers than agents.
Title: Re: How many manuscripts do you sub out each month?
Post by: W.E. Larson on September 27, 2013, 11:41 AM
I try to send out two stories to traditional publishers and one to an agent. My first choice is to look for those who accept e-mail submissions. I'm always missing something in the envelope. Never tried to steam them open though. Glad to know others had done the same thing.

I don't really understand subbing to publishers and agents at the same time. I'd think it would be best to look for an agent first and let her or him do the subbing to publishers instead. The agent can help you get it fixed up before putting it in front of an editor. Mine is helping me out a lot to put my best foot forward before subbing to publishers.

With agents I sent out queries at a trickle, maybe a couple a week. I skipped any that wanted exclusive submissions (only 1 on my list). I didn't hear back from all of them, but they often have something on their blog or agency page about says where they are with queries. I think in general it's a lot easier to sub to agents than to publishers.
Title: Re: How many manuscripts do you sub out each month?
Post by: Cynthia Kremsner on September 27, 2013, 12:08 PM
I don't really understand subbing to publishers and agents at the same time. I'd think it would be best to look for an agent first and let her or him do the subbing to publishers instead. The agent can help you get it fixed up before putting it in front of an editor. Mine is helping me out a lot to put my best foot forward before subbing to publishers.

I think it's about timing too. While I've received contracts from a couple of publishers as there interests can cover the gamut, agents have very specific tastes. If something is on submission and an agent is interested in the person's work, they may be able to get the story further along if it's being considered or better yet, help negotiate the contract should it become a sound offer.

There may be stories and/or illustrations that publishers take interest in that get passed over by agents. I'm very grateful that that's been the case in my submitting/contract history.  Some agents are not editorial and some are. However, there will still be requests for revision by the publisher and hopefully, before a work is submitted directly by the creator, they will have received some feedback to be sure it's been fine tuned as much as possible. Having an agent is a wonderful achievement  . . . someone to collaborate with and walk through the negotiations while the creator does their work. Submitting either way, publication is the fundamental goal.  It sounds like you have a wonderful agent.
Title: Re: How many manuscripts do you sub out each month?
Post by: Erin Bylund on September 27, 2013, 12:53 PM
so, when you are submitting to agents, do you need to write in your query that you are submitting to other agents too? Or do they just assume you do? I just don't want to commit any newbie mistakes (even though I'm sure I already have.)  :eh2
Title: Re: How many manuscripts do you sub out each month?
Post by: Franzilla on September 27, 2013, 01:27 PM
This paragraph is worthy of a PB (for adult writers) all its own.

Aww, thank you!

I remembering seeing 'adult picture books' on an agency's wish list a while back... Maybe I should give it a whirl!!!
Title: Re: How many manuscripts do you sub out each month?
Post by: W.E. Larson on September 27, 2013, 01:51 PM
Quote
so, when you are submitting to agents, do you need to write in your query that you are submitting to other agents too? Or do they just assume you do?

They assume it. No need to mention anything.
Title: Re: How many manuscripts do you sub out each month?
Post by: jojocookie on September 28, 2013, 04:17 AM
One month I send the same manuscript around three times. The next month a different manuscript, three times. And so on.

I have a minimal amount of patience receptors in my cells.  :mail2
Title: Re: How many manuscripts do you sub out each month?
Post by: RebeccaH on September 28, 2013, 07:40 AM
I love Franzilla's image of manuscripts rolling across the dunes. I'm convinced my manuscripts are floating inside glass bottles, bobbing somewhere in the endless ocean.

BTW, I once had to chase down the mailman because I forgot to put in the SASE. The mailman took pity on me and gave me back my letter. (It was worth it because this editor did respond, using my SASE.)

But many editors don't, and I really hate the lack of response. I'm planning to query agents soon, and it's encouraging to hear they are better.



Title: Re: How many manuscripts do you sub out each month?
Post by: 217mom on September 28, 2013, 10:24 AM
I love Franzilla's image of manuscripts rolling across the dunes. I'm convinced my manuscripts are floating inside glass bottles, bobbing somewhere in the endless ocean.

It just occurred to me the manuscripts are rolling there along with all the socks that never made it out of driers all over the world. Who said we don't know what dark matter is?
 :slaphead:
Title: Re: How many manuscripts do you sub out each month?
Post by: awful waffles on September 28, 2013, 11:25 AM
  It was really helpful to join Julie Hedlund's challenge, 12x12, because once you join, you get to sub one manuscript a month to an agent (a different one each month) who has agreed to respond.  I submit things on my own, too, but it's nice to know I'll at least get 12 responses this year.  So far they've all been no's,  :banghead but I'm persistent.
Title: Re: How many manuscripts do you sub out each month?
Post by: jojocookie on September 28, 2013, 12:54 PM

Tell me more about this Julie Hedlund challenge.

Title: Re: How many manuscripts do you sub out each month?
Post by: jojocookie on September 28, 2013, 12:59 PM
One time I forgot to put in the SASE in my submission to a traditional publisher. They actually got their own envelope with postage to send me my manuscript back along with the form rejection. But that was a long time ago.
Title: Re: How many manuscripts do you sub out each month?
Post by: Franzilla on September 28, 2013, 08:53 PM
Lemon pie? Where? What?!

Confused. 

I'm sure there was a scratching-head smiley here somewhere... I couldn't find it, but while looking I found one of my stories! Here it is! :alone
Title: Re: How many manuscripts do you sub out each month?
Post by: Wynna on October 02, 2013, 05:15 PM
I am a newbie too....do you all query the same agents/publishers over and over each month? 
Title: Re: How many manuscripts do you sub out each month?
Post by: Donna J. Shepherd on October 02, 2013, 10:04 PM
Quote
Lemon pie? Where? What?!

Confused.

I'm sure there was a scratching-head smiley here somewhere... I couldn't find it, but while looking I found one of my stories! Here it is! :alone

 :lol4  :applause
Title: Re: How many manuscripts do you sub out each month?
Post by: jojocookie on October 03, 2013, 04:18 AM
I don't.

Not the same agent or same publisher month after month.
Title: Re: How many manuscripts do you sub out each month?
Post by: anningalls on October 03, 2013, 10:22 AM
I typically send out one or two a week. Please keep in mind that many of these are poems. It's a lot to keep track of but seems to be worth the effort so far.

Ann
Title: Re: How many manuscripts do you sub out each month?
Post by: jojocookie on October 03, 2013, 12:32 PM
How encouraging vanderwerp! Yes, good idea.  :yup
Title: Re: How many manuscripts do you sub out each month?
Post by: iyerani on October 07, 2013, 10:05 AM
Wow! Some of you are super productive.

One a month will be great for me.

Not counting the queries I send out....they take a lot of time  :writing3....