Submissions

Hi,
I love reading your blog, and when a question came up about publishing in the LDS world, I knew you were the first person I had to ask.

I have an LDS romance story that is about 99% completed right now. It’s in the final stages of revisions and I hope to have it done before the summer. My question is this: Is it worth my time to submit this to LDS publishers during the weeks surrounding Storymakers, or should I hold off? I know traditional advice would be to submit whenever I’m ready, but I don’t want to get lost in a blizzard of submissions surrounding the biggest LDS publishing event of the year. Would I have a better chance of being seen if I waited until the storm died down? (Like avoiding the post-NaNoWriMo rush)

Thanks for your time 🙂

Don’t worry about it. It’s not like your submission is going to get lost in the shuffle. Trust me, most legit publishers have a very good way of tracking submissions so they don’t get lost in the pile.

Yes, you may have more submissions in front of yours for awhile and it may take longer for the editor to get to yours, but those submissions are going to be there anyway. If you wait, there will be other submissions that come in while you’re waiting—and yours will then be behind those too.

The only difference I’ve found that a mass of submissions makes is how long it takes me to reply. It doesn’t make me grumpy or rushed. I still give each submission an honest look no matter how many are waiting for me.

 

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My name is Wanda Writer [name changed]. I’m [age redacted] and have been writing since I was 8. I am very much interested in getting some of my stories published–especially the ones with LDS characters and content. They are, in the main, romance novels. I have posted all of them on xyz.com [URL changed] under the pen name Wanda Writer and they’re all doing well, especially with teenaged girls and college coeds.

I’m afraid, however, that the guidelines most of the LDS publishers might be too stringent for the material that I write. My stories are clean in both content and language, but they are not idealistic in any way, nor are they for the naive or “clueless.” [Be careful with your wording here. If I publish ‘feel good’ stories, you’ve just insulted me and lessened the chance that I’m willing to work with you.]

It would mean a lot to me if you would be willing to get on xyz.com, look up my profile and choose one of my stories to read. I don’t know if you’ve ever visited the website before, but the author’s profile includes a list of his/her stories that are posted, and each story includes a synopsis or description of the plot or storyline.

I should tell you that each and every one of my stories is different from every other. I don’t have a formula of any kind. I create the characters, give them life, and then they write the story. Some are in first person, some in third person omniscient, depending on the type and feel of the story, as well as its content.

If you would read one–depending on whichever synopsis most appeals to you personally–and then let me know if you think any of the LDS publishers would be willing to take a look and possibly publish it, I would greatly appreciate it.

Thank you so much,
Wanda Writer

This is a well-written letter (better than many of the queries I get in my day job) and were I the correct audience for it, it would have piqued my interest.

(Okay, it did pique my interest and I did go look briefly at your stories. However, I must decline from doing much more than taking a peek.)

In essence, what you’re asking me to do is to become your agent. An agent’s job is to review your work and match it to a potential publisher, for which they are generally paid 15% of your royalties.

I am not an agent and, as far as I know, there are no LDS agents because 15% of the average LDS book royalty is not enough to live on. Therefore, you’ve got to act as your own agent.

However, in the very quick peek that I took, I found no content that would rule out any of the LDS publishers as a possible place for query and/or submission. While some LDS fiction is still targeted to readers who want clean, simple, happily-ever-after endings, there are some titles that are definitely targeted to those who want a more realistic read.

Do your research and submit something. All they can do is tell you no.

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