Skipping the Slush Pile

Yes, I know this is supposed to be Writing Tip Tuesday, but this weather swinging from cold to hot to cold again, has got me all messed up with a cold. So this week, you get what you get. And if I suddenly never show up again, it means I died of a sore throat...

Dear LDSPublisher,

Sorry I'm always peppering you with questions, but you're just so darn helpful. [thank you!]

At the LDStorymakers conference I pitched to an LDS Publisher. They were very excited about my book, insisted that there was a definite market for this kind of story and promised to take a look at my first five pages and let me know, either way. They have my email address.

Here's my question, not because I'm trying to be annoying, but because I am truly ignorant on this topic: How long of a wait am I looking at? I already sumitted to this Publisher (a different manuscript) and waited for 5 1/2 months before getting a response. In essence, doesn't the fact that I pitched directly to an editor mean I get to skip the basic slush pile?

For those of us that don't know the process, could you explain what kind of pile those pages are sitting in, waiting to be read?

Thank you so much for your time.

Yes, when you pitch to an agent—or even if you attend a conference where an agent presented—you get a bypass the slush pile free card. Your mss would be in the "Read First Chance I Get" pile.

As to how long it takes to get to your mss, it depends upon how much recovery time the agent needs after the conference (some agents do back-to-back conferences), the number of other manuscripts that came in from the conference, and what hit the fan while the agent was gone.

Even if the agent was very excited about your manuscript, even if it was his or her favorite pitch from the conference, their assistant won't know that. So while it's in the "Read Soon" pile, it may be #40 in the stack of manuscripts that were sent in immediately after the conference.

So, as always in this business, be patient.


Rebecca Irvine said...

This is really helpful to know. Great question!

Melanie Goldmund said...

Hope you feel better soon, LDSP!

Angie said...

Hope you don't die of a sore throat. :( Take care!