Thursday, August 15, 2013

Advance Submissions--Why and How

Okay, I'm back from my vacation.  Yes, I worked while we sailed up the gorgeous California coast this summer--and I did some writing--but my blogging was sparse. I was lucky enough to have two clients getting their books ready to publish in August, so I was kept quite busy editing! (More on those projects in a future post.)
Now I'm happily anticipating the Southern California Writers Conference in Newport Beach ("A Weekend for Words" September 20-22).  I'll be teaching two new workshops this time, as well as doing the popular "Pitch Witches" workshop with my fellow pitch/query guru Marla Miller.  And I'm sure I'll sit in on plenty of workshops and find myself in plenty of exciting improptu gab sessions during the weekend, as always.
One of the things I always look forward to at SCWC is meeting with writers who have sent in "advance writing submissions"; I get the chance to read some great new stuff, and I get to give direction to authors who have not yet found their way--or their voice.
Here's five ways that writers benefit from doing advance submissions:
1. A New Pair of Eyes--no matter how many people you've had read your new stuff, it's always helpful to have a fresh, objective take on it.
2. A Professional Point of View--It's nice if "everyone" has loved your book that has read it--but do any of these people really know good writing? Have they had experience in publishing? If so, good. If not, here's your chance to talk to a pro.
3. Knowledge of the Industry--there are a million "new" and "different" book ideas out there, that might sound fresh and marketable, but those of us that have been in the biz awhile know that many of them are just rehashes of old ideas, and that they just won't sell. This can save you a lot of time--and money!
4. A Focus On YOU--sometimes your first conference (or second or third) is so packed with exciting people, ideas, and workshops that you can feel overwhelmed and shy. With an advance submission you go into it knowing you've got time BOOKED with a pro who has read your work and is listening to you, and you only.
And finally…
5. By Making Connections--this business is about knowing people, and not just on Facebook and Twitter. Nothing replaces a face-to-face meeting with someone. Sometimes I just know immediately that I want to work with a talented writer--even if the project is not ready, or isn't a great fit. Often, we do end up working together, or I might recommend that writers work to other editors, agents, and even publishers.
Find out more about SCWC's advance submissions process.
I look forward to reading your work and meeting you at SCWC…

hasta pronto!

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