Well, I wasn't planning on doing anything businessy today. First, it's the 10th anniversary of 9/11, an event that somehow speaks to a need for quiet reflection, and second, I didn't get a damn word written in my novella yesterday, what with all the businessy stuff I did then. Today was a day for writing.
So much for plans.
I have 20 new agents to query listed in my high-speed low-drag (the general way they taught us to say "damn good" at West Point) Excel database. The pump is primed. But when to send? If I send today, odds are good that a grumpy Monday morning coffee-deficient agent will push a "send this crap to the slush pile" button without really reading it, I suspect. That's why I decided to hold off till Monday afternoon, and I figured I'd wait till then to spruce up my query letter and outline, too.
But no. In a sideways manner, I found yet another option for my publishing efforts.
I asked a question in a large Facebook group about publishers. I'd gone through last night, see, and added the big-name publishers to another sheet in my workbook on the off chance that I decide to submit to them directly. All of the publishers that I was finding, though, said that they don't allow simultaneous submissions. They also said that it takes 6-9 months or so to hear back from them. Playing by that rule, then, means a several-year wait just to get a few nos.
That was when I got a wild hair and asked this book group how the publishers would ever know if you made simultaneous submissions anyway. Do they get together over lunch on Wednesdays and compare names? Do they send each other a list of the "thanks but no thanks" letters they send out? I doubt it.
Got some interesting responses. One person said that the publishers don't like simultaneous submissions, but that you should do them anyway, and just be honest when/if one of them picks up your work. One lady said that multiple submissions was like walking into a bar and announcing that I'd like to sleep with every woman in the place--but she added that it wouldn't work because the publishers (who are, I presume, the women in this metaphor) are all asleep at the bar. Now, the metaphor is kind of broken; I've never seen all the women at a bar asleep, and what I was actually asking about is more like secretly giving every woman in the bar a wink and your number. Nobody will know that you're out after every one of them, right?
OK, well--bad sexual references aside, I was surprised when somebody in the group stuck up for publishers and actually mentioned one. I checked it out, and she runs a small press that is actually kind of decent to writers. Thus, the one bit of businessy business I did today. I queried my first publisher.
Now, back to my coffee.