Wednesday, September 14, 2011


I'm impatient. I can't help it. I know the securing-an-agent-and-maybe-getting-published-one-day process takes time, and that I have to wait but still, c'mon. I haven't heard anything recently, negative or positive so last night I decided to prepare my novel for another submission, this time to Tindal Street Press in Birmingham. Now this isn't a decision to be taken lightly, as putting together a submission takes a good couple of hours' work. For a single submission.

First, you have to research the publisher to make sure they would be interested in your type of novel and that they accept unsolicited material, then you have to pinpoint an editor (I wasn't sure in this case who would be best to send to, publishers are a bit different to agents.) or someone to direct it to. Then you have to read the publisher's guidelines and trust me, this is very important, as each one requires different things. For example, Tindal Street Press requests you list any rejections or interest in your novel in the opening letter ,while others don't. I've included my recent responses and also a recommendation about my work from a former lecturer, but I couldn't send this off to other publishers and agents, as this is on their list of don'ts. I'm learning that it's all about the details.

So, two hours of my evening was spent on re-reading the three chapters (I'm paranoid), writing my cover letter, which again has to be tailored to the person you're writing to, making sure the synopsis was OK, and then getting my flatmate to go through and check everything again for you. Like I said, it's all in the details and sometimes she spots things I miss.

It's carefully chucked into an envelope with a SAE and I've just sent it off.

That'll keep me going for a week.


  1. Good luck Claire. I received a rejection yesterday (pause for a quick burst of violin music) and the Editorial Department said that I ought to be sending a 200 word blurb, but without giving away the ending. There was no mention of a synopsis at all! In theory though, The Writer' Handbook and the Writers' & Artists' Yearbook tell you what they're looking for.

  2. Oh no Derek! Did they give you a reason why? And no synopsis? I haven't come across that one yet! I haven't got a W&AY so I tend to Google the publishers thoroughly so I have some understanding of who they are and what they do. Most of them are pretty good at stating what they want and how to submit.

  3. Hi Claire, my rej letter (very nice paper, by the way) just said that 'we have reluctantly come to the conclusion that we could not publish it with commercial success'. It's like being mugged with heavy cushions!

  4. Good that it was a nice rejection, but still...

    Next time!

  5. Good luck Claire - I'm at the same stage as you with my novel. :)

  6. And you too Jessica! Good luck with everything. Are you sending to agents and publishers?