Post-submission options

So, I’m at a crossroads or is it a crossroad? If it’s angry, it’s probably safer if it’s alone. Either way, I could take a spin – a great smoke-inducing, environment-cluttering burnout – and call them the rageroads instead of the crossroads, but I’m actually dealing fine – even though I normally can’t resist  playing with words and embellishing the truth… But to be truthful, I’m in the middle of an octopusroad, or whatever an intersection would be called if it where based on a thirteen-armed creature. Yep. It’s that scary.

What do I do with my time, now that I can cross step one off my list?

1) Contact local literary agents

This involves redoing my synopsis as some require a 300-1000 word synopsis and mine is only 300. Technically, I would be complying with the terms, but I’m sure they want more than 300 words.

I tried to just add more information to my existing one, but this was a bad idea. I need to start from scratch.

2) Contact overseas literary agents

I have sent off for a number of books that can help: Writers and Artists Yearbook 2015, 2015 Guide to Literary Agents: The most trusted Guide to Getting Published and The Writer’s handbook 2015.

It was also suggested that you can purchase The Directory of the American Book Publishing Industry but wow, is that expensive!

I know that I can look to the internet for a lot of this information, but I like my time away from the screen and can look at this information more clearly in book format.

3) Submit to digital publishers

Thankfully, having subscribed to QLD Writer’s Centre, I am able to see a number of digital publishing opportunities that I wasn’t aware of. Do agents also sell to digital publishers? I guess so – more research!

4) Research the submission proposal and queries further

I have ordered a few books to help here from the library. An Insider’s Guide to Publishing and Write the Perfect Book Proposal: ten that sold and why.

5) Seek out writing training

I have ordered Penguin Writer’s Manual to see what it offers.

There is also a mentor opportunity – which I have to pay for – which will also highlight my flaws.

6) Have my manuscript assessed

I did not know this service was available until two weeks ago! One I checked cost  about $600 for the amount of words in my MS.

Apparently, having this done, and including this, along with any other workshops attended/memberships held, in your query letter can help highlight how serious you are about your career. I should have done this!

7) Research mythology, fighting and weapons for book two.

I have a ridiculous amount of research to do for book two. While I am unsure what I should do, I could maybe take a few weeks off to solidly research.  This will at least satisfy some of book two’s need for attention.

8) Continue to write book two

Really, I should still be writing 500 words a day to keep the flow, but I am struggling. I still think book one and I need some time together.

9) Network and attend workshops

This, I will try and do as they become available. As per my previous post, I am baby-stepping my way into networking. There was a lot to be gained just from an hour and a half last night! Thank you Louise Cusack!

10) Investigate publishing overseas

I’ll be seeing what I can glean from the above books.

11) Invest more time into blogging and building a platform

12) Rethink my pitch

I’m trying to sell my book proposal as urban fantasy. Upon thinking about young adult and trying to find comparative novels, it became obvious that this may be a hard sell. I have romance throughout, but I played this down. I think I need to rethink the way my proposal is packaged. I’m not selling my soul to any devil here. There are romantic elements that may make my book more marketable if I show they are there. The romance stays the same; it was always there.

13) Revamp my MS

The first ten pages has to be engaging. To me, it was, but I have to think on this again. The prologue, as well received as it was by beta readers, might have to go – even though it is short and has you wondering – who the hell just killed that guy and why! Even the synopsis might need to be changed to suit a more paranormal romance tone – if I decide to repackage.


In hindsight – more like, as I grab hindsight by the throat and threaten to harm it should it speak up – I should have done even more research. I felt like I’d done enough, though.

What do I prioritise?

I could treat my writing like I did my professional career as an account manager. Divide my day into increments and do a little of everything. I mean, the customers don’t stop calling just because I’ve allocated a day to paperwork. Some activities just need to be attended to – every day. Should this be book two? If you should write every day, then surely this should mean that every day I write at least 500 words. The rest of the day could be research for book two, blogging, revamping my query, synopsis and MS.

There is a lot to consider, isn’t there?

We are told to get the story out first. And now that it is out, like a newborn, the world it is introduced to is vast, unpredictable and confusing.

If anything stands out that I am missing or you would like to share your thoughts on where you are, please do 🙂




22 thoughts on “Post-submission options

  1. I’ve decided to just self-publish mine and not put myself through all these hoops! Though, when the time comes, I bet I’ll still submit it to all the ‘online unsolicited manuscript’ Australian publishers. Just to see. 🙂

  2. You should always be working on something, so if I were you I’d go for book two – or even start another project altogether, because if book one never gets picked up you’ve spent a lot of time on book two for nothing but your own satisfaction..
    Other than that, have you had your manuscript read through fully by beta readers? Have you edited it more than once? I’ve heard one Australian literary agent say don’t send anything until the fifth draft.
    With the manuscript appraisal you could spend all that money if you have it, but it isn’t going to make a big difference with a lot of publishers and they aren’t that necessary.
    Good luck with your decision. If you are happy with your manuscript and really think it is ready than keep querying, I’ve heard of writers that have been rejected over 200 times before they get picked up, and while you are querying don’t stop writing.

    • It’s quite daunting but even after one day, after writing it all down, I’ve worked out my next course of action. I need to regroup, give book one some more love, and push for an agent – local or otherwise 🙂

  3. Wow, there is definitely heaps to consider for your writing career but I think the key here is to focus on your manuscript and turn it into the best it can be, and then picking a few other things to focus on. Good luck Lorelle! Looks like you’ve done your research.

    • I do need to spend time with my book proposal and certainly the first few pages of the MS will need to be reexamined to see if it has all the correct elements to hook them early on 🙂

  4. I wish I had advice, I’m still caught in an editing loop myself. It’s so hard to know what to do! Maybe just start fresh, start an entirely new book. I know, that sounds terrible, but maybe it will help with the writing. (I so need to follow my own advice.)

    • I find I’m lacking inspiration to start another world. but I forgot to add another option which is to start a novella or short story involving characters that will be introduced later or about existing characters at an earlier time. There are so many short story competitions you can enter and have published, so this is certainly another option I didn’t add :S

  5. You have such good information here, very thorough. It really does take a lot of work to get published, and it is very difficult to do when it takes all of your time and you don’t have any left over to write. I put my book up on Amazon, then took it down….guess I need to map out a strategy. Best of luck!

    • Since I wrote this post, I have read 50 pages towards my research. It’s not going well, but it then again, it is school holidays. That’s not excuse of course! I think that if I blocked all of this out for 2 hours a day while I write something, then I would have it all worked out 🙂

    • Since I wrote this post, I have read 50 pages of research :S It’s not going well, but then again, it is school holidays. That’s not an excuse, of course! I think that if I blocked all of this out for 2 hours a day while I write something, then I would have it all worked out 🙂

  6. Thank you for following my blog. Nice to meet you.

    Do whatever is in your heart and you will not regret it. Most important thing is to check over your book again and again and get your baby out there for the world to see. Best wishes for success!

    • Thank you, Janice 🙂 I am thinking of going over a few more things, especially after reading, ‘The First Five Pages.’ I still love the concept and still believe in it, but I just need to tweak a few things to take the industry into account!

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