Thursday, March 6, 2014

To Sub or Not to Sub, That IS the Question!

“Submission.” This simple word strikes fear into a many a writer’s heart. Fear not! The GROGGERS are here to calm your nerves! Every Thursday this awesome group of 15 writers (some published, some not) will tackle all aspects of the dreaded “sub.”
Now let me confess that I have NOT subbed yet, but I’m a plotter, not a “panster” when it comes to this crucial career step. I have amassed a mound of files on my laptop, AKA "The Big Green Meanie” with agent lists, sample queries, pitch tips, my pitches, and sample bios for the day I am ready to submit my ms to my top 5 dream agents.
So how do you know if you’re ready to sub? Check this list.

  1. Ms. has been critiqued by at least 2 groups. (I belong to both an online & f2f group.)
  2. Ms. has rested so that even to your eyes it looks fresh.
  3. You’ve beta tested w/readers in your target group. (I’ve read my pbs to kids at community centers. Even w/out illustrations, it’s amazing to see when kids are interested/bored. Or, contact your local school or public library to see if you could read during “story hour.”)
  4. Your ms has been revised AND professionally edited. (Don’t let extra commas be the end of your drama!)
  5. You have an agent/publisher list in a spreadsheet or via QueryTracker 
  6. You follow agents and know their likes/dislikes/personality via twitter and online interviews they’ve given.
  7. You belong to online communities such as Sub It Club  and Agent/Editor Discussion  (Please note that both of these are closed FB groups. Just ask for permission to join.)
  8. Your query has been polished and honed and is equal to your fab ms!
  9. You have a hook and a pitch. Try it out on Twitter during a Pitch Madness  ‎ session. (Even if you just follow Pitch Madness, you will learn so much!  Brenda Drake is awesomeness.)
  10. You have at least 3 perfect mss in your arsenal just in case an agent/editor wants to see more of your work.

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  1. Thank you for the post Kathy. Our stories will continue to sit in the nest of our computers. If we don't give them a push to fly, they will never hatch!

    1. So true, Janie. I have one or two almost ready, but I need to get number three done!

  2. Great list, Kathy. I'm sending one of my little darlings out into the writing world today. Each time I do, I remind myself of a quote from Steven Pressfield's The War of Art which reminds me that rejections are merely "the price for being in the arena and not on the sidelines." If you can check off the items on Kathy's checklist, jump into the arena, fellow writers!