Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Today's subject: Farting Dogs, Telemarketers, & Multiple Submissions

So I'm late today, but I made it back. It's been a challenge.

If it's not Grandma hollering, "SOUP!", it's the flatulent dog, scratching to go out for the hundredth time, which I'm all too happy to do in order to clear the air of his natural pollutant! (Pee-yoo!)

The cat's been meowing to be let out of the laundry room, so that she can reinforce her rep of perfuming my potted plants to the point of their extinction, and the phone has been ringing off the hook with telemarketers trying to convince me that I should vote for Obama. (Enough already!)

The doorbell constantly beckons me to let in the nurses, who parade down the hall to grandma's room, carrying their never ending supply of cheerfulness in the hope of raising her spirits to an acceptable level. I don't know how they do it, day after day...but I want some of what ever it is that keeps grinning!

That being said, you can understand my frustration. I will, however, get something done today, even if it kills me.

FYI, I got a question yesterday from another illustrator/author.
He was debating on whether or not it was smart to report multiple submissions in your cover letter. Here's what I told him;

I'll answer your questions, based on what I've learned through the submission process over the years.

Whether we like it or not, publishers are going to talk amongst themselves. Put yourself in their shoes for a minute. Consider this....

How would you feel if you were, say...an assistant editor. A great manuscript just landed on your desk this morning (and there's no mention from the author that it's a multiple submission). You run into your bosses office and place it on top of the pile of others waiting to be reviewed. You say, "I think this might be the one". You're smiling brightly, eager to please your boss. He picks it up and skims the cover letter for the synopsis. "I don't think so," says your boss with a frown. "Jerry mentioned this guy over at the other firm, they recieved it too, and it's being considered."

This scenerio would leave a bad taste in the mouth of the assistant editor. You weren't honest enough to let them know you sent it elsewhere as well, and not only will he throw it out, he'll probably never look at your work again. You made him look like an idiot in front of his boss. And what if that "other firm" decides not to take it? Now you're twice screwed. You lost TWO oportunities....remember, the assistant editor really liked it? He might have helped you get published if you'd been honest. Sometimes, a manuscript is good enough to fight for, but not if the author was someone who tried to fool you from the get-go.

Honesty is the best policy. Even though I'm still waiting for a sale, I've had 4 of my manuscripts make it to the editors desk. Every one of them were multiple submissions. I don't think it hurts one bit to have the courtesy of letting them know it's out there. On the contrary, I think it's a good thing, as they might be more eager to snag it up quick to keep the "other firm" from getting first dibs!

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