Wednesday, November 01, 2017

The Insecure Writer's Support Group, Tips for Writers & Others, Giveaway

It’s time for another edition of The Insecure Writer’s Support Group, founded by Ninja Captain, Alex J. Cavanaugh.


November 1 question - Win or not, do you usually finish your NaNo project? Have any of them gone on to be published?

I have never participated. Especially in the past 4-5 years, November has been crunch time for a lot of projects. We’ve also spent a couple Thanksgivings with my husband’s parents. Toss in the fact that I don’t have time to work on my own stuff now, let alone set aside 2-3 hours a day. Business to run, freelance work to do, and clients who need me! Maybe someday.


The Insecure Writer’s Support Group Anthology Contest ends today. Be sure to send your entry by midnight tonight.

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I’d like to share some things from the perspective of a publisher that might help some of you.

Sometimes a manuscript isn’t quite up to where it should be and the publisher asks for revisions. Once a revised manuscript is sent, unless the publisher says otherwise, that was it. If version 2.0 didn’t entice them, don’t keep revising and resending or pestering them. Submit to someone else or start a new project.

Most authors don’t have much say in their cover. With the big five, an author might be shown two concepts, and even when he/she picks example A, the publisher still might run with example B. Smaller publishers are more likely to work with an author on concepts and design, but the final say in the cover art always resides with the publisher. They call the shots since it’s their money being invested.

Don’t send the same query twice to a publisher. They keep records and will know if it’s a repeat submission. Repeat submissions when it’s not a requested revision will get you blacklisted. Same goes for mass emails.

It’s polite to respond to emails. Some publishers - and most book reviewers - don’t, and it’s unprofessional. DLP responds to every single query, no matter how bad. (Even though we state that if queries lack what we request, we won’t respond.) “We get a lot of inquiries and will only respond if we’re interested” - lazy! Between my personal email and DLP, I get 100-300 emails a day, and I still respond to inquiries. So to other publishers and book reviewers, I say suck it up, show some manners, and respond to emails.

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I’d also like to share a giveaway:



Goodreads Book Giveaway

Revolution 2050 by Jay Chalk

Revolution 2050

by Jay Chalk

Giveaway ends November 08, 2017.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter Giveaway


Is NaNo a big win for you?
Do you reply to emails?
If you missed it, I posted my Recommend Frightful Good Reads at The Circle of Friends on Monday.

62 comments:

  1. Hi,
    Thanks for your post. I don't know much about DLP but I will definitely send a query to them when my manuscript is finished. It sounds like they are a serious publisher with manners and I like that.
    Thanks also for the tips. They are helpful.

    Shalom aleichem,
    Pat G @ EverythingMustChange

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  2. I've never taken part in a NaNo, but good luck to all who are participating in the blogfest.
    More good tips here Diane. Thanks.

    Have a good Novemeber.
    Yvonne.

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  3. I hear you on NaNo. And such interesting tips. I'm so impressed that you get so many daily emails and respond to them all. I'm sure it takes a ton of time, but it really is more professional.

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  4. I agree. Publishing is a business and it is the publishers call on the design. I love your tips Diane. I wish I would have seen them years ago. And yes, I do think we all need to respond to other's efforts at achievement. Have a great Wednesday :)

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  5. I don't understand people who just don't respond to emails. I might miss one, but I always try to respond.

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  6. Hi Diane - I can't understand how people can be rude ... we don't benefit any which way by being rude ... particularly if we want help with our work, or promoting our work ... great post - thanks for reminding us ... cheers Hilary

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  7. Fantastic tips. And I agree it's just polite to reply to emails. I do so even if it's just a line or two. Perhaps one day you'll find the time to do NaNo. I'm waiting for the day when I can go back to it too!

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  8. Very interesting insights from the perspective of a publisher. I had no idea the author had so little control over the cover.

    Revolution 2050 sounds very interesting. Definitely entering that giveaway.

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  9. I appreciate manners like that, but I admit I don't always get to return e-mails within the 24-hour period that most professionals consider to be best. It depends on if I'm having an "off computer" day or not.
    I do like NaNo. It's weird, but it inspires me to really do some kick-in-the-pants writing. It only works for me though if I have something brewing already in a pre-draft form. This year, I'm going with book 2 for a series in which book 1 is still in need of revision. This means the world-building and character development is already underway.

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  10. This is really good information for writers, Diane. Thanks for sharing.

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  11. That is really, really great of you to respond to every email - especially with so many of them! Thanks for sharing the publishers POV. It's great to have that perspective in this group. :)

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  12. Diane, you get 100-300 emails a day, and still respond to inquiries? Thank you for leading the way as an example to show us how responsible and well-mannered publishers/book reviewers need to conduct themselves.
    Happy IWSG Day!

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  13. I think it's great that you reply to all emails. It's so nice to know that a query didn't get lost in a Spam folder.

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  14. That is rather pathetic that someone would resend the same one. Pestering would get annoying too. But yeah, people who don't answer emails, especially non junk mail ones or nagging people, are a bit umm stick up their bum. I always respond, not that I get 100-300 a day or week or month lol

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  15. Pat, please do.

    Natalie, it takes a while, but it's the right thing to do.

    Ellen, thanks for entering.

    Tyrean, good luck.

    Thank you, Michelle.

    Tamara, as long as I remember to check the spam folder. LOL

    Pat, I have a couple pestering me now.

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  16. Excellent tips all around! It's very impressive that you receive so many emails each day and still manage to respond to inquiries.

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  17. I do think it's rude not to respond to emails/letters etc, even if its just one to say thanks but no thanks. Great tips. Have a super November.

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  18. Great inside info. Thanks for sharing. LOve your ethics on responding. Very kind of you.

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  19. I respond to all correspondence. I'm glad you called out the publishers/agents, or whoever that don't respond. It's rude, yes, but also confusing. Did they even get it? Do I send them an emailing asking?
    Thanks for all you do for writers.
    Mary at Play off the Page

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  20. I love that you respond to all emails. That's awesome, and it's what all publishers/agents, etc should do.

    Did you mention the cover art because of me? lol

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  21. Thanks for those tips, Diane. I hope you find time to work on your stuff some time soon.

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  22. It is wonderful that you reply to all subs and emails. You show respect to all the writers who submit to you. So many publishers don't. They state in their guidelines that they don't accept simultaneous subs and then don't reply with the negative. A writer is left dangling, guessing if she should wait a bit longer (and how log?) or submit to another publication. Very vexing.

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  23. That's great that you respond to all your emails. I did a round of queries a few years ago and some agents had automatic response tickets and others didn't even have that set up. It's so easy to set up. I think it helps alleviate confusion and repeat emailers.

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  24. I have done NaNo every year since 2013 and yeah doing it this year although I almost didn't, but changed mind. Thanks for the tip.
    Juneta @ Writer's Gambit

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  25. I really wish other publishers had your work ethic. Thanks for that. :-)

    Anna from elements of emaginette

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  26. Considering how easy it is to create a standard reply for rejected submissions, I do wonder at why some don't respond. But then again, I can see the other side of it, too.

    I don't do NaNo either :)

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  27. I've only done NaNo a few times and never published anything. I only think one of those projects was even close to publishable, and of course that's the one I lost somewhere.

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  28. I appreciate an email whether it's a no or a yes. It just seems like a common courtesy and in this age of "never enough time" I doubly appreciate that contact.

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  29. It's basic manners to respond to emails. I'm staggered by the state of your inbox - no wonder you don't have time to work on stuff, but I do hope you try NaNo one day. Appreciate all the tips.

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  30. NaNo is fun - but real life comes first. Even when I participate in NaNo I can't afford to stress about it. It's a fun incentive, but I can't let it be more :)

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  31. Like with you, November is always super busy for me. I've never participated in NaNo either. I do respond to emails except those from African princes whose names I don't know how to pronounce. Except I am way behind now. I will get there, though.

    Happy November!

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  32. November is the beginning of all the holiday madness, so I know a lot of people who are crazy busy this time of year. I might try NaNo some time, but I’d need to be really prepared. Thanks for the tips, Diane!

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  33. Thank you! Writing/publishing tips from you are gold!

    You sound busy, but I think its a good busy! :)

    Heather

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  34. It seems more and more agents and editors are going the route of not replying. It is unprofessional.

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  35. I've never tried NaNo and have no plans to any time soon. I'd be worried all the time about not reaching my goal. Too much pressure.

    I agree about replying to emails to publishers and reviewers. I get quite a few requests for reviews and always reply. It may be awhile, but I think they deserve to know my decision. And a lot of the authors email me with thanks for letting them know. I've requested many reviews and never heard from the reviewer. Nothing I can do about it.

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  36. I've done NaNoWriMo, but even though I've written 50,000 words in a month and "won," I haven't managed to complete one of those books. I don't think it works well for me, but each to her own.

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  37. Thanks for your tips, L. Diane! I sure wouldn't want to be blacklisted! So far I have enjoyed all the DLP books I've read. One day I hope to send you a query, and I certainly hope it won't be bad! Have a great November!

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  38. This is so helpful. I feel like I have good instincts about this stuff, but I like to be sure. Thanks for sharing! I tried entering for the giveaway, but alas, I'm Canadian. :)

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  39. I'm kind of bad at replying to emails myself. If I don't answer them immediately, they get lost in all the other emails I receive. I could use a little more organization in my life. Maybe when my book is finished. :)

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  40. What if I sent a manuscript to a publisher 15 years ago?

    I recently unearthed an old box of rejection slips and a manuscript that's been sitting in The Closet for years. I've considered polishing it again and sending it back out just for the heck of it, maybe even to those same publishers who rejected it the first time. :-P

    IWSG November

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  41. You do have a full plate of work right now. But someday, all this experience will find a place in your own stories. Just keep notes to remind you of all the crazy things you do right now. I know you'll have a great story to tell! I too am amazed at how "business people" can be so arrogant to think they don't need to answer inquiries. They are in business for Pete's sake. I appreciate your thoughtfulness toward writers and recognize them by answering their inquiries. Best wishes for success in all you do.

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  42. NaNo is fun to try out at least once, but I do recommend picking a NaNo when you have less on your plate.

    I must admit I'm guilty of not replying back when asked to review a book unless I know the person or am not feeling so overwhelmed by emails. A big part of that is that I stated on my website/blog/etc. that I was no longer accepting review requests and yet still getting them. A little research goes a long way. :)

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  43. It drives me crazy when a publisher/agent/ whatever doesn't respond to an email. Even form responses are better than no response at all.

    It's great you are so busy, Diane!

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  44. I do my own version on NaNo. :) On my finished piece, the beginning moves to slow, so I'm redoing it before I go further in the process.

    Thanks for the insider insight. I'm surprised agents/publishers don't have specialized software to help them out. I have seen more place using (ugh what is it called?) -- query tracker?

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  45. Even an automatic response saying, “Thanks, we got it. We’ll respond if we are interested” is helpful. Then we are not left wondering if the query got lost in cyberspace. Thank you for your informative post.

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  46. I'm with you, Di. It is really tacky not to respond to an inquiry and there are some advertisers that take the same line. If they don't respond that's it for me. They won't be getting my business in future.
    Enjoy your evening:)

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  47. Fortunately I found two amazing and incredible people to help me with my books in editing and formatting. You can't do this yourself people need to spend some money to polish their manuscript if they want to be successful in writing.

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  48. It's refreshing to see a publisher actually respond to emails.

    NaNo is a crazy thing to do at a crazy time of year. That's probably why I do it. I'm insane.

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  49. I've never finished a NaNo project but it's always been great for spurring me on:)

    How are those kitties doing? :)

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  50. Yikes! That's a lot of emails:)





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  51. I think NaNo is a great way to get writers writing. Having a deadline or challenge to work for is motivating. I've never done it myself, because I'm always so busy working on my own stuff, but I've heard from a lot of writers that they've gotten things published because of it.

    Those are all good thoughts you've shared from a publisher's perspective. I wish all publishers were as conscientious as you!

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  52. Those are good tips!

    November is one of those super busy months. It does raise an eyebrow as to why they picked that month for NaNoWriMo.

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  53. YES to all of those. I felt guilty because I received some book review request emails around having my baby/recovery time, and it's the first time I haven't responded to requests. Maybe I still will? Months late. LOL. I guess I've had people get back to me months after a request and I didn't mind. Whew! Will the work never end? ;)

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  54. Hope your Wednesday was productive and pleasant.

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  55. This was such a good share. Great tips about publishers. As for NaNoWriMo, I only tried it once and dropped out the first week. Instead of motivating me to write it paralyzed the flow of my thoughts. I was thinking word count instead of story. I applaud those who jump in and finish, though. Really admire them.

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  56. Holy cow! That's a lot of emails you have to sort through each and every day. It's no wonder you don't have time to do NaNo. I didn't even think about it also happening during Thanksgiving. Whew!

    Have a beachy week!
    Elsie

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  57. Good tips on how to keep from getting blacklisted L. Especially the list in case you lose track. Responding to emails is a common courtesy in today's society but I guess not everyone agrees.

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  58. I've never done NaNo. Slow and steady is all I can do lately.

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  59. As a general rule, I really don't do NaNoWriMo. I always want to and always think about doing it, but as the years roll on I kind of accept that I'm always neck deep in projects. haha

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  60. Thanks for all these awesome tips. All the best with everyone doing NaNo!

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  61. I totally agree about responding to emails. Not only is it rude to not respond, it's impossible for the writer to know if the email got lost in the shuffle or not. I hate this new policy of not answering. The bigger publishers and agents could get a student intern to send out the form responses.

    This is my fifth year doing NaNo. I should be writing that much every day, but there's something about the organized challenge and pressure that makes it work for me. And it feels so damn good to "win."

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  62. I like to think I'll NaNo at some point, but I still have not.

    Great tips for submitting writers.

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