Monday, June 09, 2008

Reader question: is it ok to congratulate someone who's looking at my manuscript?

I'm running around like a mad thing these days, but I wanted to quickly post an email I got from a reader and the response I sent her, because this is some news I'd like to spread about tactfully nudging someone who is considering your stuff!! I haven't answered in huge detail, so feel free to bombard me with related questions.

Moonrat:

I know you are totally and insanely busy, but I must ask a question to keep myself from going mad. Here goes.

So, I completed a massive revision for an editorial assistant at a big company recently. It was one of those, "if you do xyz, increase the word count, and change the ending," I'd love to read it again" kind of emails. I did the revisions, emailed it back just over a month ago. She was excited to get it, blah blah.

AND

I just heard today that she was promoted to assistant editor. (I read your post on the different position meanings.)

MY QUESTIONS

Is is appropriate to:

1. Email her to congratulate?
2. Ask about my manuscript. She's only had it since the end of April via email.

And does this mean she can actually acquire my manuscript if she so desires?

*trying to stay calm* and *not act like a nerd*

Reader XXXXX



My short answer: yes, it's appropriate to congratulate her. I normally say in my blog that 1 month is appropriate/ok follow-up time, but I think if you're writing to congratulate that is a gentle nudge in itself, so no need to also ask for an ms update. If she responds to say thank you, she'll probably mention your ms on her own. If she's a little flooded with her new title and doesn't have time to respond right now, I would say it's ok to nudge again in 2 weeks. But you're in an ideal situation, because you can reach out to her WITHOUT nudging, which is really nice on our nerves! I confess that for me a gentle reminder of your existence and manuscript without an actual nudge is what puts me in the nicest and most helpful frame of mind. (I'm very easily manipulated psychologically, but at least I know it, and at least I tell you how to butter me up. Also, I don't think I'm the only one who operates like that.)

And yes, she will almost definitely be acquiring more now. This depends from company to company--eg I and some others I know acquired after a couple years as assistants; I have one good friend who is an assistant editor and has her whole own list of 15 titles a year; I have another good friend who is an associate editor and who only acquires one title a year because her job is more developmental. But my closest guess is that yes, you are significantly more likely to have a good "in" now.

3 comments:

Charles Gramlich said...

Sounds like a good deal for the writer.

ChrisEldin said...

Sounds like a Mischief HOF contender to me.....

:-)

Colorado Writer said...

Sounds awesome!