Submission Form Clarification

If you are reading this, then know that I see you. You are anxious. You’re worried that you’ll make a mistake and be auto-rejected, sneered at, or even ostracized from ever querying again. Submitting your work takes courage and can be intensely vulnerable. You hear “do the research”, but then there’s contradicting advice everywhere and industry professionals seem to always be yelling about one fuck up or another on social media.

I’d like to take this opportunity to tell you a secret. They aren’t talking about you. That you made it this far down the rabbit hole of my submission guidelines, means you’ve gone above and beyond the average person. Even if there’s an error or two in your query, it will be carefully considered.

So take a deep breath. You’ve got this.

And if you still need further instruction:

My submission form does not ask for a query letter, because it is formatted to provide all the information that I would need from a query, i.e. word count, genre, title, the pitch, your bio, and comparable titles.

The pitch is what would be written on the back of the book, i.e. the market copy. It is also sometimes called the story summary in your query letter. If you are unsure about how to write a pitch there is a ton of information online, and you can read my blog post about it here.

If there is extra information that you feel is pertinent to your submission, e.g. that we met at a conference or you have a reference, please feel free to include it in the pitch area of the form.

There are two required questions that may concern you. “If you were previously represented, by whom and why did you part ways?” and “If you have previously published a book, with what imprint and when?” Do not worry if you have neither been published or represented before, simply put N/A in the field.  

There are no right answers to the questions: “Is there a specific reason you queried me?” and “What was the inspiration behind this story?” I ask because I’m curious. If you don’t have an answer for one or either, leave them blank.

You cannot have special formatting in the writing sample. This is beyond my control, but is also for the best, as your manuscript should not have a lot of fancy formatting pre-publication. The words should do the talking, not the style. If you find you are concerned about the formatting, consider why, perhaps you are trying to bolster a lack of tension or low-impact intro with italics or bizarre fonts (note, this is specific for the type of writing I represent and may not be true for others).

Above all, try not to be too anxious about the form. It is tailored exactly to my process, so it is near-impossible to mess up!