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Posts Tagged ‘She Writes’

Like many writers, I’ve sent stories, articles and poems out to magazines and anthologies – then heard nothing. The response time posted on the publisher’s website has long since passed, and I wonder do I query them about the status of my submission or just wait.

My solution has always been to give the publisher some extra time, then send a polite inquiry along the lines of: “I’m just checking to make sure you received my submission, [insert a title here]. If it was received, would you tell me the status of [insert title] so I can keep my submission records up to date. Thanks for your time.” I then add a salutation of some sort and my name.

First, I want to  make sure the publication actually received my submission. I know some publications have an automatic “We got it” email which is sent to the email from which a submission came. But not every publication chooses to send such a response. Before I huff and puff about the tardiness of the publication’s response time, I need to make certain they’ve actually received my manuscript.

Second, I want to check on the status of the submission. Perhaps, they’ve made a decision and either have forgotten to send me that rejection or acceptance email, or they sent it once and it was lost in the ether (or my spam box). Maybe, their personal life has become complicated due to illness, work, family responsibilities, etc., and they’re behind on reading and responding to submissions. If this is the case, then it becomes my decision whether to leave the submission with them, or to withdraw the manuscript and send it elsewhere.

Third, if the publication is going belly-up (a colorful way of saying they’re going to close), then I can move on and send the manuscript out to another publisher. I’ve even received an email with this sad information accompanied by note from the editor suggesting another market which might like my manuscript.

By the way, everything in this post and in the article I’ll be linking to at the end holds true for illustrators, too. I recently inquired after 4 illustrations, and heard promptly back from the publishers. All 4 will be used (and I’ll be paid for them). The reasons for the delay in responding varied, but the reasons were the usual things in life which delay each of us from creative endeavors.

I hope you enjoy another point of view about when to inquire in: The Art of Submission: Inquiring After Our Work by Emily Lackey (as posted by She Writes).

Keep writing and keep reading. (Maybe even read one of my books!)

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I hadn’t planned to do another post about marketing, but I read an interesting article and I got to thinking about why sometimes marketing doesn’t work. Among the problems listed were an author is too shy or too modest.

Which brings me to another one of my Keys to Success (I’m discussing these in relationship to writers, but they apply to many other people, too): Know thyself!

By this I mean, know your personality, limitations, habits, and strengths. If you’re an extremely shy person, you can avoid social situations or you can work to overcome this limitation. If you’re always late (one of my challenges), you need to discover strategies to help you arrive places on time. If you’re older and get tired in the evenings, either schedule author events for earlier in the day or set aside time to take a nap on the day of a late activity. If you’re an entertaining speaker but don’t do well reading from your book, give fun talks to groups, mentioning your book or briefly quoting from it. People will still be interested in buying it.

Here’s the link to 5 Reasons Your Marketing Efforts Aren’t Converting Into Book Sales by Christelle Lujan, first published by She Writes. I hope you find it useful.

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I’m always on the look out for creative book marketing ideas.

To begin with, I encourage other authors to build and maintain an author’s platform. (And I’m constantly trying to maintain mine). Included in the building blocks of a platform should be an Author’s Facebook page, a Twitter account, a blog/website, and an Author’s Goodreads page. There are lots of other items to add – including an Amazon Author’s Page/Bio, Pinterest page, and a bio page (which includes your books) on organizational pages (like the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators, your state Arts Council, etc.)

Then, I encourage other authors to participate in signings, readings, writing conferences, and other events where you not only get to promote yourself and market your books, but have an opportunity to engage the reading public. Readers really do like to meet and talk to authors! I try to participate in 6 to 10 events per year.

Free book promos and joint author promotions are other ideas which have worked. Here’s an interesting article from “She Writes,” Creative Marketing Ideas That Pay Off, by Tracy Slater.

Happy reading!

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