When you sent your first submission, how long did you stand at the mailbox before slipping the manila envelope in and convincing yourself to walkaway? Or, if you sent it via email, how long did your mouse arrow sit over Send before you finally just pushed it? The first time I sent out traditional submissions, I did them en masse, at the post office, there was no going back. I walked out of the building so proud of myself. Sending things via email, that was a little harder. I knew instantly whoever was on the other end of my submission was going to get it. I would know with in weeks, if not days, what they thought. Not to mention when I sent my first email query, I hadn't submitted anything in years. I was taking a chance.
The chance turned out to be in my favor. The acquiring editor loved my story and said yes! My first book was published. When I sent out my second manuscript, I had a lot of full requests that turned into rejections. None of them were for the same reason. Frustrated, I asked an editor friend to read over it and tell me what she felt was wrong. She came back with an answer, I fixed it, took another chance and sent it to a new publisher. They loved it and said yes!
By the time you sell your second manuscript, you're not so nervous about what people think. I mean rejections still suck, big time. They feel personal no matter how they're worded. However, you've learned there is a home for your story, you just have to find it. Do your research and then take the chance and just send it on, to hopefully find a home.
That's not however, where the sending stops. Now that your book is published, other opportunities have risen for you. There are contests for unpublished writers, which I strongly encourage EVERY unpublished author to participate in. And then there are contests for the published writer. How awesomely cool would it be to say "I'm an award winning author" or "My novel is an award winning book?" If you don't at least try, put yourself out there and take the risk, you'll never be able to say those words.
If you can send your baby to publishers, you most certainly can send it to a contest to be judged. After all, that's truly all a submission is. So, if you're writing is going to be judged, best to get something out of it, right? Yes, you may not win, but trust me, the gamble is worth it. Even if you don't, you will get excellent feedback from the judges, and knowing you were brave enough to take the chance. So what are you waiting for??? Go, go, go! Enter that contest you've been putting off and debating over. You won't regret it. ;-)
Be sure to stop back by tomorrow, I'm going to share a steamy excerpt from my romantic suspense, Written in Blood, which won the Golden Rose Award in the romantic suspense category.