Closure Smosure

Think you need to hear back when you send out a submission? That you need closure?

Frankly, you’re not always going to get what you want when you send out submissions. You’re not even usually going to get what you want (which of course is an offer of publication). And you need to learn to be okay with that. There are many, many publishers, as well as some agents, whose policy is to not to respond to your submission or query unless they are interested. This is nothing against you!

Why not? Well, there is only so much time in the day and while responding to your one little submission with a form letter might only take a minute, multiply that by thousands and there ya go. Really, it all comes down to money doesn’t it? If you ran a business would you want to be paying someone to do something that brought little, if any, return? Yes, I think a nice form letter can make a writer or illustrator look more favorably upon a publisher which could possibly translate to a bit of brand loyalty and bring about book sales and perhaps favorable reviews. After all, writers are avid readers and quite a number of us do book reviews on our blogs from time to time. But I digress.

What I want to tell you here is not to overlook subbing to someone just because they have a no response policy! You are only selling yourself short. Many larger publishers, for instance, have a four month no response policy stated in their submission guidelines. The ones that are still open to unsolicited submissions, that is. What’s in it for you?

  • No self-addresses stamped envelope = no bothering with a return envelope and postage.
  • No waiting for a response = No checking and rechecking your mailboxes. Put the non-response date on your calendar and forget it. If you hear from them it will be a happy surprise.
  • No heartbreaking from rejection = no bad feelings that you at least didn’t get any personal comments on your rejection.

Yes, yes, I know we like to know that our submission arrived at its destination and was read. But there’s a freedom in sending off a submission and being able to just let it go. Let things be what they will. If it is meant to be it will be. Etcetera.

My opinion? Closure is over rated. Unless it’s the closure of a contract. Now that I can get into.

So I challenge you, all my closure loving friends, to let one fly into the unknown. Send it off with great fanfare if you want. And trust that it will be okay. Then move on to your next submission!

14 thoughts on “Closure Smosure

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  1. Heather…thank you for a great post! I am taking up the challenge and plan to submit several more manuscripts this week. You brought out several positive points about submitting to agents who don’t respond…and wasn’t it the Rolling Stones who said, “You Can’t Always Get What You Want”?


    1. That is so funny, Vivian. You don’t know how many times I have sung that song in my head. A good reminder indeed! Good luck with your subs!


  2. I want what I want when I want it too. I just know I’m not usually going to get it.
    I do love a good subbing debate! Can’t wait to hear you expound upon your disagreement.


  3. What you say makes so much sense, Heather. I’ve read the ‘dust-up’ on facebook and have to say, that I side with you. (Sorry, Lisha!) While I appreciate the points Lisha makes, I don’t think this is about changing what other people do but how you react to it. We all make our choices and are free to sub to whom we wish!


  4. Hello there! This blog post could not be written much better!

    Looking through this post reminds me of my previous roommate!
    He constantly kept preaching about this. I most certainly will forward this article to him.
    Pretty sure he will have a good read. Thanks for sharing!


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