I hate that feeling. You know the one. You’ve finished multiple drafts of your manuscript. You’ve written the query. Everything is posh, polished and ready to go. So you pull up the agency/publisher’s website.
You feel like a door has slammed in your face.
Fortunately there are ways to get your work in front of even an editor or agent who is closed to submissions. Or, should I say, normally closed. I make this distinction because I’m not recommending that you ignored the “closed” sign and slip your work under the door regardless. Instead try the following tricks.
Google the Name of the Agent or Editor
When you do this add one or more of the following to your search string – workshop, conference, or agent day. Many times publishing professionals who speak at industry events then open themselves up to submissions from those who attend.
Again, no cheating! Don’t try to submit to them and pretend you attended the event. Instead pay and attend. Learn what they like. Learn what speaks to them. Follow their advice and then submit.
Besides, they generally give out cheat codes, lines of text that must be included in the subject line of your submission to keep it from being deleted. Last night I took part in a webinar. Today the regional advisor sent out the key phrase.
At large events, such as the SCBWI Summer conference online, they may not take submissions from all attendees. And with thousands of people in attendance that makes sense.
But at these events you should look for paid critique opportunities. Yes, you’ll have to pay an additional fee. And, no, this is no guarantee, in fact very very few people get offers following these sessions, but you’ll get feedback.
And, who knows? You might be one of the few.
If you are an SCBWI member or you subscribe to CBI, there are agent and editor interviews for readers/members only. These agents and editors then open up to submissions for a very limited time.
Don’t put off reading these pieces because the window may be a month or less. I just missed out on such an opportunity because I was working on deadline. Alas. And this editor/publisher is PERFECT for one of my manuscripts. But all is not lost. I just need to wait for a . . .
Twitter Pitch Party
During Twitter Pitch parties, editors and agents search on specific tags, looking for manuscripts to request. Throughout the day on which each party is held, writers post carefully crafted pitches. If they get a “like,” they get to query that agent or editor.
In the same newsletter that I put off reading, an author wrote about signing with my dream editor following a twitter pitch event. These events happens throughout the year so check out this calendar as well as the sites for specific events. You want to be ready when an opportunity comes around!