You’ve chosen your strongest manuscript(s). You’ve decided whether you want to obtain representation from an agent or send your submissions straight to publishers. (If you haven’t yet, go back to submission strategy part 1.) Now comes the next part of your submission strategy…how many submissions to send out at a time?
The consensus on this seems to be to send out submissions in batches of somewhere between 3-7. Then wait and see what the response is…
- All forms? Take a hard look at what you’ve been sending and try to make it better. Or consider who you’ve been sending to, find some more targets, and query on.
- Requests or personals? Not too shabby! Take all suggestions under serious consideration, revise if necessary, and keep going until you find that match.
Submitting manuscripts and sending out queries takes time! Lots of time. If you’re like most writers, writing isn’t your 1st and only job. You have other pressing things that you also have to take care of. You have to do what works for you. You have to make a submission strategy that fits your life!
Maybe you only have time to send one query or submission out. Do it, then move on to work on the next. Before you know it you’ll have a nice bunch of submissions out. It’s good to remember that the submission process at the agent/publisher’s end also takes time. Unless you’ve submitted to that rare agent who replies speedy-quick, you have weeks, if not months to get your batch of submissions out before you hear back from anyone. If it makes you more comfortable, you can work on getting your group of submissions ready, one at a time, then send them all at once. (Although there’s nothing like getting one out there to get you motivated to work on the rest! Just sayin’.)
No matter how many submissions you decide to send out at a time, you’ll never find that match if you don’t send any out at all! So create that submission strategy. It doesn’t have to be perfect! You might miss personal deadlines and goals, and your strategy is likely to evolve over time. That’s okay. Be flexible and keep your eye on your goal. Having a strategy will help keep you on track and motivate you as you work toward publication.