Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Notes From the Submissions Desk

My name is Larissa, and I'm the Submissions Coordinator for Georgia McBride Media Group (Month9Books, Swoon Romance, and Tantrum). Part of my job is to go through the submissions inboxes and Submittable account and organize your submissions. I've noticed a few things, and I wanted to point them out to you. These are pretty universal things, so keep these in mind no matter who you're submitting to. :)

1. Email subject line:
    I have recently looked at an inbox with FIFTEEN emails labeled "FB Request" (or some variation of that) and NOTHING ELSE. If the submission directions say to include "FB request" in the subject line, that doesn't mean ONLY "FB req." ALWAYS include your title--at the very least.
    Your title should be eye-catching or intriguing anyway. Show it off! Make the person going through submissions want to open YOURS first. Don't be one of 15 anonymous FB requests or conference submissions.

Image Credit: © Royalty-Free/Corbis

2. Include your query:
     Just because your query was posted on FB or wherever, or you pitched to the agent/editor live or via twitter, doesn't mean you shouldn't include it in your email. Editors, publishers, and agents see TONS of queries. You need to REMIND THEM why they requested your manuscript. And that's not even counting when the person looking at your email (ahem, me) was not the person doing the requesting.

3. Get to the point:
     As Submissions Coordinator, I organize submissions. It is annoying (sorry) when I have to sift through half a novel ;) to find the information I need. Your email should include the basic components of a query: category and genre, title, novel blurb, and contact information. IN GENERAL, I don't care about anything else. Unless your day job has some connection to your book, leave it out. Unless you've been published before, I don't need to know about your publishing journey.  
     I (or whoever is going through subs) have a limited amount of time, and a lot to get through. It makes me cranky to have to wade through a bunch of information I don't need in order to get to the information I DO need--if it's even there. Keep it simple. We care about your manuscript and whether it's a good fit. That's all.

     So, those are the top 3 things that occur to me as I go through submissions. Got questions? Leave 'em in the comments!

And, in case you missed it, check out the submissions info on the new Month9Books anthology! You have a few days left to submit! It's going to be EPIC. <3


  1. You reminded me how I insisted my kids never say on the phone, "Hi, it's me" when they call, ahmmm, anyone but me. A clear identification shows you don't think you are so memorable/important/the one and only.
    The same should apply to Emails, and especially the sort that go into an inbox with hundreds (thousands?) of others. Thank you, Larissa, for a helpful post.

  2. Good advice! Interesting to note that the person who is following up on your submission won't always be the one who requested the materials. I'll definitely be keeping that in mind.

  3. I wouldn't want to submit a precious story and miss out on all these important stuff. A very helpful post. Thanks, Larissa!

  4. Great tips! I'm going to pass these along to my querying friends.

  5. Thanks for the good tips!