View Full Version : How to get my submission status from publisher?

01-04-2008, 09:24 AM
I have a question and hopefully I'm posting it in the right forum. I sent off my science-fiction manuscript over a year ago (They received it 1 year, 2 weeks ago to be exact) to one of the few publishers in my genre that still accepts unsolicited manuscripts. As they say 9-12 months is their response time, two weeks ago I sent them an e-mail asking if I could find out about the status of my submission, but have received no response. Yeah, things aren't looking good at this point but I do want to know for sure (though surely I would have received my rejection SASE back by now had they already finished with my manuscript). So, the question is, should I send another e-mail at this point, or a snail mail inquiry, or just wait a while longer for them to respond to my first e-mail, or what? As a year too long has already passed, I'd rather not wait around twiddling my thumbs any longer.

Thanks in advance.


01-05-2008, 12:00 AM
I'm guessing Baen or DAW? Both of those houses can take well over a year. Or two. Especially if they're interested.

If it's Baen, you might poke your head in over at Baen's Bar (http://bar.baen.com/) and see if you can find someone who would know the status of your submission. (It turned out my book had been discussed a bit in one area of the Bar when it was going through the slush pile.)

If it's DAW, I'd wait a little longer, then send a follow-up e-mail.

Remember, the staff at most publishing houses are coming back from the holidays and trying to catch up on everything. They're going to be pretty swamped for a little while, and some things might fall through the cracks. I'm not saying that's okay, but it could explain the lack of response.

01-05-2008, 05:33 AM
Twiddling your thumbs? You mean you haven't been submitting it elsewhere?

01-09-2008, 12:18 PM
Wow. You nailed it. It is Baen. Thanks for the info. The FAQ says 9-12 months, though maybe I just need to wait a while longer. As for the Baen forum, I didn't see any mention of the book on there.

In terms of submitting it elsewhere, I have to admit that I'd given up on getting my fantasy novel published (I queried a lot of agents before submitting to Baen but had no luck) and have been instead shopping around two contemporary lit novels for the past several months, though lately my desire (and determination) to get the fantasy book published too has returned.

Anyhow, thanks for your responses. Back to the grind. I have to say, trying to get published is even harder than writing the books, at least when you're an unpublished author.

01-10-2008, 12:25 AM
I guess that doesn't quite qualify as twiddling your thumbs. ;o)

01-10-2008, 12:27 AM
Baen took 2.5 years to make an offer on mine, for what it's worth.

Good luck!

01-10-2008, 12:10 PM
Try this one on for size...I submitted to Tor. Everything was perfect (ha!) and I even included a "submission received" postcard -- they say not to bother because they usually send your letter out the same time they mail the postcard. I just wanted to get a card back with the "submission received" for my wall of shame. Anyhoo, I also prepared my SASE for the packet as TOR specifically states in their guidlelines that if you don't include one, you won't get any response at all.
I mailed off the packet...two weeks later I found the SASE nestled into a pile of papers on my desk. I sent Tor a small packet with the SASE explaining the renegade envelope and asked for it to be reunited with my submission if at all possible.

The postcard I originally included was a picture of Bolivian salt flats -- black and white and a beautifully desolate image. I received it in the mail three weeks ago after waiting three of the possible six months for a response. Someone had drawn birds in the sky, a little house with smoke coming out of the chimney and a field with two pigs in it. There was no note; just my own hand writing submission received.

I don't think my SASE rejoined my submission packet and now I have to go through the whole process again...although my begging letter was quite amusing, I fear for the worst.

Oh well. Lessons learned. Dummy checks don't work when you're a dummy ;) Ha!

Good luck with Baen! I hope only the best for your submission!

01-11-2008, 05:01 AM
I've heard Baen takes awhile but they seem to be a pretty open-minded lot. From looking at their published works it would seem they don't limit themselves on what they publish so hopefully you'll have luck there.

01-11-2008, 05:48 AM

Waiting more than a year just for a response?

There must be an awful lot of fantasy/SF writers trying to break in if the publishers are getting away with crap like that.

01-14-2008, 11:27 PM
Well, I got a reply today that they should get to it this month, though I don't know if that means it'll take X number of months before I hear anything again or if the rejection will come pretty fast. Honestly, who can take this kind of stress anymore? Send off queries or manuscripts, wait, receive rejections, send out more, wait, send out another batch, wait, receive rejections, send, wait. It's getting pretty old.

Foinah, at least I didn't wait a year only to experience the same thing that happened to you. I think my head would explode.