It’s normal to make mistakes in everything we do. Life is all about learning from one’s mistakes. My writing career is littered with the many mistakes I have made, especially when it comes to my books.
For a long time I submitted the first book I had written, to many Indian publishers. That was more than 10 years back. It was much later I realized that I was flogging a dead horse. Once I pushed that manuscript in my drawer as a hopelessly lost cause, I was at peace. All the anxiety faded away.
Another mistake I made was by querying agents just because they repped MG books. I had no inkling about an agent’s personal reading taste or choice. As the rejections piled up, so did my disappointment. It was only later when one of my blog buddies pointed out that I should query an agent only if they represented my kind of a book. Else, all I would see were rejections.
Another mistake I made when I submitted to Indian publishers was not submitting simultaneously. Simultaneous submissions cut the waiting time for us writers and also make us widen our search.
Depending on one book for too long is a mistake I hope to never repeat. Nowadays, once I am done with one book, I move on to the next one immediately as one never knows which book will capture an agent or editor’s attention.
Follow up is not my strong point as I don’t want to come across as pushy. But it’s a must when it comes to Indian Publishers. Unless and until we follow up we never get replies.
Personalizing the query to a specific agent. Though I never sent bulk queries starting with Dear Agent, I didn’t personalize it either. Nowadays I research an agent, read all their interviews, try to see what books they have repped, check them on Twitter and then mould my query so that it doesn’t look as though I am sending queries at random.
Whew! That’s a whole lot of mistakes, right? I hope never to repeat these mistakes again.
What about you all? Care to share your writing related mistakes so we can all learn from it?