I Am Proof That Submitting Often Works (PubSub3rdFri)


PubSub3rdFri Participant“I Am Proof That PubSub3rdFri Leads to Publication” by Joan Y. Edwards

Dear Pub Subbers,

I am proof that PubSub3rdFri leads to Publication. I’d like to share a little personal history of my submissions.

In 2009, I submitted four times a year. All four had negative responses of “NO.”

In 2010, I went to three conferences:  Pikes Peak Writer’s Conference, Colorado Springs, Colorado, Oregon Coast Children’s Book Writer Workshop, Oceanside, Oregon; and SCBWI-Carolinas Fall Conference.

In February 2010 I started PubSub3rd Fri.  I submitted 30 times. As a result of three pitches: Joan’s Elder Care Guide (4RV Publishing), Devotionals and Puzzles from my website (editor), and a bundle of Elder Care Guide, Young Adult Novel, and one Chapter Book (agent). I got three initial “YES, I want to see your manuscript” responses. Two followed up with “NO, your manuscript does not meet our needs.” The last one didn’t reply until 2011. But dun da dun!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

In 2011, the tides started to change. Vivian Zabel, President of 4RV Publishing responded that they were  tentatively interested in publishing “Joan’s Elder Care Guide.” A couple of months later, 4RV Publishing sent me a contract to publish my elder care guide with a Release Date of June 2015. That was a big, “YES” for me. That was what I’d always hoped for. Once you achieve a goal, you have to set new goals.

In 2011, my article, “Find Your Creative Edge” was accepted and published in the July-August SCBWI Bulletin. They gave me $50.00 plus free membership for a year. Yee Haw! That also put an ounce of confidence in my body, mind, and spirit.

Jan-Dec 2011. I submitted a pitch or manuscript each month to the Savvy Wordsmiths Children’s Writers Group in Fort Mill, SC. When Becky Shillington and I became co-facilitators in May 2011, I got brave. I started giving 15-30 minute mini-lessons on things having to do with improving writing skills or how to reach your goals.

Jan-Dec 2011, I also submitted a manuscript every month or two to an online critique group called Wordmunchers. We have been a group since May 2008.

January 2011, I received a letter from 4RV Publishing stating that they were tentatively interesting in publishing Joan’s Elder Care Guide.

January 2011, I submitted Joan’s Elder Care Guide to an agent letting them know that a publisher was tentatively interested in publishing it. I got turned down.

February 2011, I submitted Immigrant Heart young adult manuscript to the SCBWI-Carolinas writing contest. I didn’t win, but I got a rating sheet that helped me improve it.

March 2011, I received a contract in email from 4RV Publishing for Joan’s Elder Care Guide with Release Date of June 2015.

March 2011. I was invited to give a workshop at the Luncheon Literary Society about how important a platform was for writers and what part a blog could play. I posted a blog after the workshop.

March 2011, I did an online pitch with an editor during the Catholic Writers Online Conference for the devotionals, puzzles, and skits on my website that ended up asking to see my proposal, sample documents. They studied it a long time, but ultimately, I received a NO in 2012.

May 2011, I submitted Larry the Terrifying Turkey to an agent. I received no response which you know means a NO.

In June 2011, I submitted The Day I Turned My Brother into a Monkey to one agent.  I got turned down.

September 2011, I attended the SCBWI-Carolinas Fall Conference.

October 2011, I did two online writing workshops during the Muse Online Writers Conference.
1. “20 Ways to Correct and Enhance Your Manuscript.”
2. “PubSub3rdFri – Submit Your Manuscript.”

December 2011, I submitted Immigrant Heart to an agent. My response was “NO.

In 2012, things continue to lead me to learn more. I love learning. I love sharing what I’ve learned with others.

January 2012, I signed up to do 3 workshops for the Catholic Writers Online Conference (March 17-31, 2012)
1. “20 Ways to Correct and Enhance Your Manuscript.”
2. “Believe-Submit Your Manuscript (PubSub3rdFri).”
3. “Detailed Guide to Writing a Pitch”

It’s not too late to register: http://catholicwritersconference.com. I’d love to see you there.

February 2012, I entered Amazon’s Young Adult Novel contest. 5,000 entries (free). It is in 4 parts. First Round – Pitch; Second Round – First 5,000 words. Third Round Quarter Finals Whole Novel, Fourth Round Semi-Finals Whole Novel, Fifth Round Finals Whole Novel.

Oh my gosh! I got so excited when I read the names of the 1,000 people who were going onto Part 2. I was so nervous. I was afraid my name wouldn’t be there. But I had set out my belief that it could be there. I read down the list. There my name was Joan Edwards.  Here is a link to the pdf file listing the names of authors whose 300 word pitch got them to the Second Round.

1)    Go to www.amazon.com/abna
2)    Locate the “Announcements” section in the upper left hand column of the page
3)    Download the “Second Round” PDF list for Young Adult Novels.
4)    Search for my name. Read other authors names, you might recognize one or two others.

Even if I don’t get chosen to go to the quarter-finals, I am so honored that I got chosen to go to the Second Round.  I’ve never done that before. On March 20, they will announce the 250 Young Adult Fiction entries continuing to the Quarterfinals.

Did I receive a great number of no’s. YES.
Do I have a book accepted by a publishing company yet? YES.
Did I get an article published by a major international organization? YES.
Does submitting more often improve your chances of getting a “YES?” I think so.
Has my writing and my understanding of the getting published process improved? Yes.

Why am I telling you all this? I tell you this because I want you to see that you can gain the knowledge, skills, and success you want by studying and delving into action. Each thing you do will lead you to the next step.

Your belief is half the battle. Don’t be stifled by the No’s. Be encouraged by accomplishing little steps. Don’t judge yourself against what others can or cannot do. Judge yourself by are you doing better than you were.
Judge yourself according to the number of steps you’ve taken. The number of times you’ve tried.

When you were little, did you play the game, “Mother, May I?”. It was fun. You could ask if you could do different things to get you to the leader (Mother). The person who was the “Mother” could tell you YES or NO. Mother could tell you to take 5 steps, 10 steps, 4 steps backward, 3 pirouettes, 2 hand stands, etc. Finally, one of the players passes the “Mother” and wins the game.

“May I publish my book with your company?”
“No, you may not.  You may revise your manuscript and send it to someone else.”

“May I interest you in representing me as an agent?
“No, you may not.  You may revise your manuscript and send it to someone else.”

“May I send you my pitch and first page?”
“No, you may not. We are closed for submissions.”

Eventually, the person who’s leading the game finally gives one player the option to take enough steps to pass them. Then he becomes the new Mother. That’s what you as a writer has to do. You have to take the steps to get you to the editor/agent, in spite of the setbacks and the no’s.

Of course, many times you may take detours. Sometimes you might seem lost. My mother used to say, “I’ve never been lost, but I’ve taken some interesting detours.” In your mind, you’ve got to believe that even with the setbacks and the constant negative answers, you improve little by little. You and the person who is looking for your manuscript, your kind of writing, your characters, your sense of humor or horror will keep sending out signals through out the universe. You will eventually find each other. There’s only one thing that can stop you. That is believing that you can’t get published. When you stop believing you send yourself back to the starting line.

I truly want each of you to get published. In inspiring you, I find encouragement for myself. Today I’d like for you to think of just one step, one small step that you can take to show you believe in you and your writing or illustrating.

Pub Subbers submit one or more of their quality works on the third Friday of the month (or any other day of the month) to critique groups, editors, agents, or contests. They believe that submitting work often leads to publication. Join us, it’ll help you get published, too. If you’d like your name listed on the Pub Subbers page, leave a comment or send an email to my address from the left-hand column with your name, the title of your manuscript and where you sent it. Include your webpage or blog, if you like.

Pub Subbers can also join the PubSub3rdFri – Pub Subbers Yahoo group to post successes, receive encouragement when you receive a no, ask for advice or help, etc. The group has automated reminders for the weekly steps to get your work ready for submission. Join by sending an email to pubsubbers-subscribe@yahoogroups.com or to me at the email address from the left-hand column to let me know.

Honor your dreams by submitting a manuscript this month. It’ll get you started. If you do it at least three months in a row, I believe you’ll be creating a life-long habit. It’ll start your ball rolling to knock down all the publication pins in your alley.

Believe in yourself. Your belief will spread to others who will believe in you, too. All of your experiences make you a stronger person who is wiser, more-skilled, and more energetic. Your belief is half your battle. I know for sure that publishers do not come searching the drawers or computers where your manuscripts or other creative works are hidden in your home. You have to let them know about your creative treasures. Take action. Submit to publishers and/or agents. Celebrate each step on your path to publication!

Here are steps for each week to get you ready to submit your work to a publisher or agent: say, “I can do it.” Let me hear you shout, “Yes, yes. I can do it. I have the power to do it. I CAN DO IT.”

Get your manuscript, and use the resources below to accomplish your Pub Sub 3rd Fri goal:

Week One: Begin the Steps to Submit Your Work (PubSub3rdFri)
Week Two: Writing the Pitch, Query Letter, Proposal, Resume (PubSub3rdFri)
Week 3: Reread, Correct Errors, Print Pertinent Papers, and Send (PubSub3rdFri)
Week 4: Educate and Motivate the Creative Muse (PubSub3rdFri)

Thank you for reading my blog. I hope it inspires you to take a step towards your dream, whatever it is. Each step you take will fill you with more confidence to take the next step.

Do something today to celebrate your love of writing
Never Give Up

Joan Y. Edwards

Copyright © 2012 Joan Y. Edwards

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10 Responses

  1. WOW thank you so much for all of this info!!!

    • Dear Christie,
      Thanks for writing. I’m glad you liked the info in my blog post about submitting often – Pub Subbing works. I hope it’s help lead you to your publication dreams. I like your blog. It’s cool that you like to cook and your last name is Pepper. Awesome.
      Do something fun to celebrate you!
      Never Give Up
      Joan Y. Edwards

  2. Great post, Joan!! Your posts are always so encouraging–thanks so much for sharing your positive attitude and helpful suggestions with others!

    • Dear Becky, Thanks for writing. It’s great to hear from you. I’m glad my posts are encouraging. I enjoy giving others the courage to meet their life goals. Thanks for encouraging me and being my friend.

      Do something fun to celebrate your friendliness and your writing Never Give Up. Joan Y. Edwards

  3. Good luck on the Amazon contest Joan. That’s great that you made it into the top 1000!

    • Dear Janelle,
      Thanks for writing. You’re a jewel to cheer me on in the Amazon contest. That’s what I like about my blog is that readers like you with busy schedules and life’s time constraints take time to encourage me. I appreciate it very much.
      Take a step towards your goal today. Believe in you. It’s fun.
      Never Give Up
      Joan Y. Edwards

  4. Enjoy reading this post, Joan.

    • Dear Bertha,
      It’s great to hear from you. I’m glad you enjoyed reading my latest blog post. I hope it helps illuminate a possible next step for you towards one of your goals.
      Do something to celebrate what you love!
      Never Give Up
      Joan Y. Edwards

  5. Joan,
    I’m so happy that your writing and motivational speaking has risen to new heights. You deserve it and more. One thing I know your readers especially appreciate about you is the genuine concern you show for others. It’s obvious in each blog post response comment. You are a very caring and encouraging person.

    I saw you mentioned a yahoo group for pubsubbers. I’d like to know more about that. Could you create a post to announce it and its purpose?

    • Dear Linda,
      Thanks for being so happy that my writing and motivational speaking have risen to new heights. I enjoy thinking of possibilities for myself and for others. I believe we’re in this life for a purpose together. One time when I was at the lowest depth in my life, a priest helped show me the way up and out of it. When I asked how I could ever repay him, he told me not to worry about it. He said that he had watched me and that I instinctively helped others in my path. He told me just to continue doing that. Just to continue being me. So I’ve tried to continue doing that…to help the people I meet in person and online. This is my way of thanking God for sending someone to show me the way out of the despair I was in. I love people. It’s fun learning with them.
      Check my blog for a post called, “Join the Pub Subbers Yahoo Group.” I’ll send you a link. The link I put here didn’t work. Thank you for writing. I appreciate it very much.
      Do something fun for you today. You deserve much happiness.
      Never Give Up
      Joan Y. Edwards

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