If I’m not writing then there is a solid chance I’m watching HGTV. I can’t seem to get enough of those Property Brothers, or the Gaines’ and their stunning transformations. (Side note: Flipping a home someday is definitely on my bucket list.) And just the other day, as I watched Joanna wrestle over which color stain to use for a new table, it hit me…writing is very much like real estate. No wonder I’m so fascinated with it.
If you’ve ever sold your home, surely you learned from your realtor that you should spruce it up before putting it on the market. Clear out the clutter and brighten up that dated wood paneling with a new coat of paint. In writing, the same applies to your manuscript. Before you send out your story on submission you need to make it shine. Tighten up those sentences and choose every word carefully. No one wants an uninspiring home, they want a spectacular one, and the same goes for agents and editors when looking for new stories to publish. So, roll up those sleeves and do the necessary work before putting your manuscript “on the market.”
Next, it’s all about timing! If you’re familiar with real estate you know that Fall and Spring markets are hot, while the summer and winter months tend to be slower for sales. Writing is similar; there are certain months that agents/editors tend to be slower to read submissions. The dog days of summer, and the time between Thanksgiving and the end of the year, are not the best times to put your manuscript out there. Life is busy for everyone during these times and editors/agents are people just like us! Consider using that time to do some of the polish work mentioned earlier.
NOTE: Agents are important, real estate and/or literary, and if you are lucky to have one, chances are you will not only sell faster but could also get a better deal. It’s always helpful to have someone in your corner who knows the business.
And last, I’ll leave you with the words my realtor offered us when we were selling our townhouse a few years back. You just need one yes. You just need that one editor or agent to fall in love with your manuscript so you can plaster a big SOLD sign across it. Then, all that work you put in, and thoughtful timing you considered, will have paid off.