1. deadrats

    deadrats Contributor Contributor

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    follow up on submissions

    Discussion in 'Traditional Publishing' started by deadrats, Aug 1, 2018.

    Have any of you ever followed up on a submission after waiting what seems like an extremely long time for a response? I know places can take a long time to get back to you, and I have waited over a year for responses. But I wonder if following up could be beneficial. I wonder a little if I've been forgotten. I don't want to blow my chances by seeming impatient or somehow force them to make a decision quickly that turns out to be the wrong one. But I also wouldn't mind checking in to know where I stand at the moment. Is there a way to do this while seeming extremely professional? Is it more professional or just better to keep on waiting it out? And for those of you who have followed up, I would love to hear how it went. Stories of both the good and the bad are welcome. And if you've got tips on how to follow up, when, and in the best way possible, I would love to hear about it. Thanks.
     
  2. Spencer1990

    Spencer1990 Contributor Contributor

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    The only thing I can add to this, and I’m sure you know, is that a lot of the places I’ve been looking at/submitting say something similar to: “if you haven’t heard from us in [x number of weeks/months] feel free to query, but do not contact us before that time.”

    Personally, I wouldn’t follow up unless an egregious amount of time has passed, like well over the estimated wait time given in submission guidelines. Even then, I’d be hesitant.
     
  3. deadrats

    deadrats Contributor Contributor

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    It seems like a pretty hard call. I've always just waited, but when it comes up on that year mark I'm like, really, you still don't know what you want to do? Also, as long as something is out with them I can't submit anything else. Some places have very short window where they are open to submissions. I don't like missing them only to find out a week later they didn't want my other story anyway. The other thing is is that if they've held the story so long, there must be something they like about it. That makes me hesitant to send it any place else before I hear from them. There are a few places I could check in on. I'm thinking about it. What's the worst that could happen?
     
  4. deadrats

    deadrats Contributor Contributor

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    I just can't do it. I feel stupid. I mean if they knew they wanted it, I'm sure I would be one of the first to know. But some of these wait times can be a real killer.
     
  5. MikeyC

    MikeyC Active Member

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    I submit and forget about them. Last novel i sent to 60 agents all at once.

    After my experience with my first novel, the wait times are horrendous, only 40% have any kind of reply. (For me, all of which were generic, no thankyous) The others don't bother. If you were going with 3 or 4 at a time, it will takes years to get through all agents.

    Send it, forget about it, start on your next novel.

    Rgds
     
  6. Laurin Kelly

    Laurin Kelly Contributor Contributor

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    I would probably utilize the same advice I do for hearing back after a job interview. It is beyond unlikely that a company will see a follow up email and think "Oh my God, I completely forgot about this person that would be an amazing fit for the position. I'm so glad they emailed to follow up or I might have missed my chance!" I always assume I won't get an interview and am delighted when that's not the case.
     
  7. BayView

    BayView Huh. Interesting. Contributor

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    Short stories are a different world from novels, for sure. With novels, I agree with the "send it and forget it" approach, but with short stories you tend to have a whole flock of stories in submission rotation, right? And for the rotation to keep spinning smoothly it would really help if there weren't any outstanding submissions stuck in the gears...

    But I don't really have a solution.

    I think I've sent a nudge once, for a novel, after four months or so (well beyond whatever response time they said to expect) and they replied with apologies and a guarantee to get back to me by a certain date. That date came and went so I assumed rejection, so I submitted the novel elsewhere, had it accepted elsewhere and had the contract signed and edits begun, and then the first publisher got back to me gushing over the story and how much they wanted it. Awkward, especially as they really had been my first pick for that MS, and since I hadn't sent them a message formally withdrawing the MS from their consideration. Oh well.
     
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  8. deadrats

    deadrats Contributor Contributor

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    I've got a few submissions coming up on the one-year mark. And, yes, these are short story submissions. I've got about 30 to 40 out right now so I can and do submit and forget. But I also don't want to waste too much time holding off on submitting some of the same stories to other places. I know everything can get rejected and long waits don't always mean anything. However, when stories are held a long time it can often be a good thing... or it can be nothing. There are a few stories that have been at places a super long time that I really would like to check on. Because I've waited so long and try to be somewhat optimistic, I don't want to give up on those places until I know for sure, and I don't want to send the same story out and have it accepted somewhere else if waiting a little longer would have gotten me into a better publication. It's tough to know where you stand and the silence sure isn't helping.
     
  9. deadrats

    deadrats Contributor Contributor

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    poke the sleeping lion.. something like that...
     

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