Sometimes I meet authors who wonder if they’ve waited too long after they’ve met with me at a conference to submit to me. Without exception (at least, without any exceptions I can think of), the answer is no. It is never too late. Why not?
- If you’re going to conferences and taking classes to learn, I want to see what you apply. Writers attending conferences are, in part, students. Sometimes I forget that I entered this profession with a lifelong commitment to publishing and a journalism degree. Not everyone who wants to write for publication today had the chance to earn a degree. Or, they may hold one or more advanced degrees, but in different disciplines such as physics, law, or theology. Learning all they can about writing books for publication through conferences is a good move. That said, I want to see the manuscript that results from what the writer has learned, not one dashed off in a rush.
- I have no intention of going out of business for many years. So, as Momma says, “Lord willing and the creek don’t rise,” I plan to be available to review your manuscripts for a long time. Any day is a great day to receive a superb proposal.
- If a publisher goes out of business today, then it’s good that we didn’t submit to them anyway. I work with major publishers who are committed to their mission. That’s not to say it’s impossible someone will close tomorrow, but for the foreseeable future, the publishers I’ll be sending your work to will be in need of stellar proposals today, tomorrow, and decades from now. For them, any day is a great day to receive a superb project.
So if you write me to say, “I met you in (fill in city) in (fill in distant year), you can still submit a proposal to me. I’ll be happy to take a look!
Do you feel rushed to send proposals out soon after conferences? Why or why not?
What is the longest you waited to submit a proposal?
Have you ever rewritten a proposal based on what you learned at a conference?