Q09: Sub Involvement

(This question is part of a larger subseries called Perpetual WIPs: Agented Writers. For the remaining questions, see here.)

How involved are you (or do you hope to be, if you’re not yet on sub) in your submissions? Do you give input on the sub list? Get rejections as they come in or get news in a weekly update? Or do you get good news only?


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I’m very involved, which is something I really love about my agent. She runs every potential editor by me first to ask what I think, and I’ve asked her to add specific editors to the list, which she’s done. I get all news as it comes in, which is also my preference. I absolutely need to know everything, and I want to know, even if it sucks sometimes.

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I will give a wish list, but I trust my agent to do a fantastic job finding a home for my book. She has an amazing selling history and one that makes me trust her ability to really know where my book would fit and who would love it. I’d want to know about both rejections and acceptance. Why? I don’t want to sit and wonder what was wrong with my book! Haha. I suppose I think like a guy that way. I want to know the problem so I can fix it.

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I had the choice of not receiving any rejections, but I like to see them. My agent keeps me informed of which imprints have the manuscript and their responses. She usually lets me know as they come in. And she always answers any questions I have the same day.

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I was not involved in the initial list because I didn’t know any of the editors. I get rejections as they come in, which was my choice.  My agent said I could have her send a weekly update, we could have periodic check-ins or she could forward the actual emails as they came in. She also prepared me that the early ones would be rejections, since it generally takes longer to get second reads/involve marketing/hold acquisitions meetings for the editors who were interested. That helped me stay calm when those first rejections came in.  Plus editors notes are generally pretty positive and detailed, and I do appreciate seeing them.

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I think I’m pretty involved. I get rejections as they come in. (This was my idea because I am anal-retentive. If there is ANY WAY you think you can survive the submissions process and NOT DO THIS, I very much advise it.) I didn’t make many changes in the first sub list or two but as time goes on and I meet more people in the industry and learn about tastes and whatnot, I think I’d have more ideas moving forward.

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I would hope I’d get the list of editors and that she would forward the rejections when I get them. Communication is key. Weekly update would be fine.

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I’m pretty involved. My agent shares the sub list, and has been very open to suggestions I’ve made. She forwards me the rejections as they come (which I personally love, even though it is hard to see sometimes).

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My agent and I worked on the pitch letter together. Every so often she’ll tell me who I’m out to, but for the most part I’m clueless. When there’s interest or an R&R offer she emails or calls me and I’ve received feedback from two rejections so far. I’m pretty sure I’ve had more rejections, so I’m thinking she sent those b/c they had useful feedback.

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I am not very involved. She showed me the sub list, and I trust her judgment. That’s her domain, and me butting in with comments and asking for updates every hour on the hour won’t help either of us. We agreed to a bi-monthly schedule for updates. Of course, if it’s good news, she knows to share it right away. But I’d rather get rejections all at once than in dribs and drabs. The way I see it, my book is in the hands of editors, and there’s nothing more I can do at this point. It’s up to them.

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Are/would you want to be more involved? Less involved? Good news only? Share in the comments!

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