Reflections In Hindsight

Grace in the Rearview Mirror…it's closer than it appears

  • Ephesians 4:29

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    Thank you for your encouragement and support for the past three years. We've had fun connecting with you and hope you've found useful material here on Reflections. And here's the but... Reflections In Hindsight is closing on December 21, 2012. Elaine and Sophie and I can be found over at; April can be found at Clash of the Titles, http://www.clashofthetitles, and watch for news for more novels from her!; Janet is ever-present on the Internet with her very special words of wisdom and grace at, and Luther--who knows where he'll show up next, but I'd watch my back if I were you... Book Reviews are always important, so I, Lisa, will continue to offer them through my blog, as well as those promotions for your new books or book launches, or your news.
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Market Mondays Part Four: the Nuts and Bolts of Submission

Posted by Lisa Lickel on May 23, 2011


The final stage of the submission process journey is evaluation – coming home.

You’ve pressed the “send” button or watched the mail carrier drive away with your proposal packet. How do you feel about it?  

The waiting game – how long, how and when would you follow up.

What do you do while you’re waiting? And dealing with denial – the disappointment of being back where you started.

Q: I just learned something that would make the proposal I already sent stronger. What do I do? Update and send again? Send the correction?

Q: I just realized I made a terrible typo in the proposal I sent. What do I do?

Both of these questions will get you several answers. Some will tell you that good writing will win out – and on a good day, it might; some will tell you to go ahead and confess the error in another e-mail to the editor or agent. On any given day, either will work or get you booted. Every publisher and every agent has a different method of han dling this problem. Of course you want to not let it happen in the first place. When I look back on some of my first query letters written with the Writer’s Digest guide on my lap, I cringe. I have come a long way. You do the best you can, and don’t give up. Pray about it; seek advice and do what you feel led to do.

One encouraging article in Writer’s Digest several years ago was by a young author who set a goal to achieve a hundred rejections in one year – not by trying to be bad, but through honest efforts to keep submitting her work. That year I made it my goal to send out something every single week. So, once in a while I fudged and sent out a couple things in one week and skipped the next, but I sent out over fifty articles and proposals that year. They can only say no was my mantra. And its opposite is true: They can’t say yes unless you send out your proposals.

Q: Should I write a thank you note whether or not my work has been accepted?

A brief polite e-mail often suffices when you receive a “denial”; at least a response and thank you for looking at my work, with perhaps a hopeful “perhaps we can work together in the future” message isn’t out of place – but be very brief.

On the course site we have a lovely list of ten things to do while you’re waiting, and even after “The Call.” The list ranges from get your publicity head shot to making sure your web site is spectacular to get writing on those next books!


Lynnette Labelle is a certified copyeditor and proofreader with over a decade of experience. She’s the owner of Labelle’s Writing on the Wall, a professional manuscript editing business.  Her writing coaching services include one-on-one personalized programs, online classes, and in-person workshops. Her editorial services focus on helping writers, both beginners and published professionals, perfect their craft and polish their manuscripts so they can take their careers to the next level. Lynnette is the editor of LoveBytes, RWA Online’s newsletter. 

Visit Labelle’s Writing on the Wall at:  or check out Lynnette Labelle’s official website at:, where you can catch up on writer tips through her blog.

Thanks for being part of our Monday Markets at Reflections. Next month we have a great guest, James H. Pence, who talks about Getting Out of the Slush Pile.

2 Responses to “Market Mondays Part Four: the Nuts and Bolts of Submission”

  1. I love the idea of having a goal of submitting a certain # of proposals/queries each week or year. With the right mind-set, that could make a great impact on a writer’s career. Experience in submitting for starters. It would create thick skin and confidence you might have otherwise. Great advice today!

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