Submitting your work ensures publishing success. I’ve heard it said that you can’t win the lottery if you don’t purchase a ticket. In much the same way, your writing will never be published if you don’t submit it to publishers and publications.
How often do you submit or resubmit your work? Do you resend your query letters on a regular basis? If not, you might find yourself with the same unpublished manuscripts for many years.
Whether you are submitting queries letters for books or articles, you must be diligent about the following things:
- Sending out queries on a regular basis—weekly or monthly.
- Resubmitting your queries immediately to new publishers or publications when they come back rejected.
- Rewriting your queries if they get rejected too many times or receive the same comments over and over again.
- Sending out follow-up notes when you haven’t heard anything in a reasonable amount of time.
You can find new places to submit your work either by doing research on-line or by buying a copy of Writer’s Market. An on-line version also is available. Additionally, writer’s guidelines or submission guidelines for both publishers and publications will give you some idea of normal reply periods; if you don’t hear something in that amount of time (or a week or two longer—at most a month), you have the right to contact the editor or publisher asking if they received your material and have made a decision yet.
I have made the mistake of not following up or keeping to a stringent submission schedule with my work. I’ve always regretted this decision. You’ll publish a lot more writing if you make submitting and resubmitting your work a high priority.