Sunday, June 22, 2008


I saved someone's life last night.

I was at a rooftop party thrown by some of my friends and a mutual friend started to choke on a hamburger. The hostess screamed for someone to give her the heimlich, and then picked me out of the crowd (she told me later it was because I was the biggest guy and so would be strong enough, or at least stronger than her) and screamed for me to help her. I was FREAKING OUT but I gave her the heimlich until that burger was out.

The thing that was going through my mind at the time was mostly worry that I would hurt her. I mean, you're basically punching the person in the stomach from behind. But Fear of Someone Dying Because You Couldn't Save Them completely trumps Fear of Hurting Someone. It was a really scary moment but it all turned out OK. The girl was embarrassed afterward, but recovered nicely. We laughed about it a little later, and then bonded over Degrassi (which only happens to be one of THE BEST teen shows on TV).

So that was my night last night. I got home close to 3AM and crashed. Gotta take it easy today, since this coming week is my birthday week and I have LOTS of fun planned! WOO!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Exclusive Submissions

I should be reading, but I wanted to pop on here for a minute because I just remembered another piece of advice I wanted to give to any unagented authors out there who are trying to get their book published.

Unless the publisher or the editor's submission guidelines specifically say they will only take exclusive submissions, DO NOT send them your submission exclusively!

Now, I believe this is different for agents, so don't carry it over to the other side of querying, but this is something I saw recently and it shocked me. Sending an editor an exclusive submission when it's not required is unfair to you. It's a major time suck. Why should you sit around waiting for me to get around to reading your project, all the while not sending it to other editors who might read it faster? Especially if you're sending to editors at a company like mine, that works mainly with agented submissions and only takes unagented submissions under special circumstances (see previous posts). Oftentimes, you're going to have to wait for us to get through a decent amount of the agented stuff before we can legitimately get to yours, and why should you wait for us?

In my opinion, only an agent should be sending exclusive submissions. They have a relationship with the editors, so they know who will love what and will give them an exclusive because they want that project with that editor and think they will love the project enough to potentially make a swift and solid offer. They have easy access to that editor for following up, and they know the industry well enough to give a reasonable amount of exclusivity (two weeks, sometimes one).

So if you're sending your project out to publishers and it's not required, don't send exclusively. Because when you get interest or an offer from an editor at one house, that will give you leverage to follow up with the other editors who are taking their time and let them know there is a reason to hurry up and respond, and they may give you a higher offer. They may still decline, but they would've anyway and now you have your answer quicker, as well as interest or an offer from a house that actually got back to you within a reasonable amount of time.

And again, agents are different. Maybe one of them can comment on this post and explain why this is and how submitting to agents in regards to this.