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Manuscript & Submission Process

I started submitting my manuscripts earlier this year. And I thought writing the book was hard! Fitting your whole novel in a two page synopsis is horrible! And writing an enticing book blurb is just as hard too! Then there were the agent guidelines that differs for every single agent! It took me hours to submit, and stick to the guidelines of each agent – I.e one page synopsis / two page synopsis / paste in the body of the email / attach as PDF / attach as Word / attach as RTF / attach a random chapter / state this {info} in your covering letter etc….

I had to amend and save so many different versions of my manuscript, synopsis and covering letter. The covering letter was another of the hardest thing I’ve ever written! If it’s not done correctly, it’s likely the MS won’t even get read. Then there was researching companies and who does / doesn’t accept what genres. It took me weeks in total!

I submitted my contemporary / chick-lit novel, and my erotic romance novel. Some agents I received an automated response, and some I didn’t receive anything back at all, not even a confirmation email. It’s heartbreaking, and the waiting game of 6-8 weeks, sometimes even 12 is extremely painful, getting your hopes up, checking your inbox every single day, praying for good news. And plenty sent me rejection responses, which I don’t think I could ever get used to, but it’s all part of the process.

6 agents requested my full erotic romance MS. Here is some feedback I received from agents that were interested and I want to THANK them all for their feedback as it helped shape the novel and taught me a few things:

‘Good opening paragraph that is enigmatic and alluring. Overall you set the scene well, both the lead characters nervous response, as well as the atmosphere of sexual Liberty she is entering, that is shadowed by her misconceptions. It’s a much stronger chapter than I usually read from new authors, so you intrigued me. I like the intensity in your erotic material, and think there’s potential here.’

‘Your work showed immense potential and the editor really enjoyed your writing style, plot line and characterisations.’

‘Thank you for allowing us to consider your manuscript. The short description included with the email is interesting. Would you please send the complete manuscript?’

‘I’ve reviewed your work and find it intriguing, since it’s a serial, I need to see all parts before I can move forward with the submission process. Feel free to email me when the work is complete. I wish you the best of luck with your work!’

I have since received three offers for this novel for publication.

This is the feedback I received from my women’s fiction / chick-lit novel:

‘I really loved the blurb and idea for the story. I was really excited to start reading it and think it could really work if executed well.’

‘I’ve really enjoyed what I’ve read so far of {book} Is it possible to read a full manuscript?’

‘I read your submission with interest and thought your writing had a lot of potential commercially. I thought your submission had great pace and was very readable.’

I received many responses along the lines of it being an interesting read, but needed a bit of work. I have since edited the opening chapters, and when I have time will edit it more and resubmit.

This is the feedback I received from my crime / drama novel, which I only submitted as my sister obtained a business card – I’ve yet to finish this book:

‘Both of your projects look fantastic and do deserve to be published, but we don’t publish fiction. I can happily recommend agents that I feel might be interested in taking you on.’

I am still to complete this novel. It’s my favourite of all! I will submit when complete.

So, there you have it. The submission process isn’t easy, but keep going after what you want, and hopefully you will eventually get there! Never give up! :)



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