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.

52 comments:

Pat Garcia said...

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

nashvillecats2 said...

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.

Natalie Aguirre said...

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.

Erika Beebe said...

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 :)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

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

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

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

Christine Rains said...

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!

The Cynical Sailor said...

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.

Tyrean Martinson said...

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.

Karen Walker said...

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

Nicki Elson said...

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. :)

Michelle Wallace said...

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!

Tamara Narayan said...

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.

Pat Hatt said...

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

L. Diane Wolfe said...

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.

M.J. Fifield said...

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

Nicola said...

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.

Em-Musing said...

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

Mary Aalgaard said...

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

Chrys Fey said...

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

J.L. Campbell said...

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

Olga Godim said...

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.

Michelle Athy said...

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.

Juneta Key said...

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

emaginette said...

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

Anna from elements of emaginette

Liz A. said...

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 :)

J E Oneil said...

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.

cleemckenzie said...

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.

Nick Wilford said...

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.

Jemi Fraser said...

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 :)

Carol Kilgore said...

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!

Gwen Gardner said...

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!

Heather M. Gardner said...

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

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

Heather

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

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

Beverly Stowe McClure said...

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.

Sandra Almazan said...

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.

Fundy Blue said...

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!

Raimey Gallant said...

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. :)

Chemist Ken said...

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. :)

C.D. Gallant-King said...

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

J Q Rose said...

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.

Cherie Reich said...

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. :)

Lynda R Young said...

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!

H.R. Sinclair, Southpaw said...

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?

Liza said...

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.

Sandra Cox said...

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:)

Stephen Tremp said...

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.

Jay Noel said...

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.

Sandra Cox said...

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

How are those kitties doing? :)

Sandra Cox said...

Yikes! That's a lot of emails:)





Sherry Ellis said...

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!

Loni Townsend said...

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.