This is a brief post this week about my personal journey to being published, and why I’ve avoided self-publishing to the point where I’m just about phobic of it.
This process has become so overcomplicated, it’s ludicrous. I mean, there are even apps out there and complicated doodads to keep track of where you’ve submitted. It’s insane.
Listen, you want to get published. Yes, of course! It’s only natural. But this should be the least stressful part of being a writer. Unfortunately, it’s often the most stressful for writers.
Whether you’re submitting to agencies or to publishers directly, you do need to keep track of your submissions. Some places don’t allow multiple submissions, and others get very snippy when you submit more than once to them. SO, you need a method that will keep it simple without tripping you up.
My method is simple, straightforward, and it might even work for other people.
I use my email folders and sub-folders to keep track of my submissions. Very easy. Easy peasy, even.
- Folder One: Query – Publishers
- Folder Two: Query – Agencies
- Folder Three: Publishing Agreements
From there, I arrange the emails in them alphabetically. That way, I simply access the folder, and I can find to whom I’ve submitted already in just a couple of seconds.
Some people do the same, but with a spreadsheet. Now, while I love spreadsheets, to me, this seems like doubling my work. I’ve already got all the organizational tools I need in the email folders, so why take extra time getting out a spreadsheet and doing almost exactly the same thing there? For me, that’s going to take more time than I have.
Now, I’m not saying don’t use apps or spreadsheets. They may work for you. But what I am saying is, you’re a writer, not a professional submitter. Devoting too much time to this process just increases your stress and takes the focus away from your creative process. No one needs that!