I know. Stupid, careless mistake or like Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman would say: “Big mistake! Big. Huge.” And I know what you must be thinking: But Tania, how can you have submitted twice to the same place if you have that Query Tracker thingy?
Good question! The thing is, this particular publisher is not on Query Tracker. I sent my manuscript to them in June, and I found them through an article talking about publishers accepting novellas. I sent the same manuscript with the same bloody cover letter to them again in July! This time I found them through a different article. I need to start writing my submissions down! And guess what? They noticed. They sure did, and they sent an e-mail saying that they had already received my manuscript but that a decision on my submission has yet to be reached.
But it has. Of course, it has. Do you think any publisher will accept a writer who can’t even remember to which publisher she sent her manuscript? So learn from me. Please do not make the same stupid mistakes I do.
So the question now is, what should you do if this happens to you? First, if you realize your mistake before they do, quickly send them a reply with your second submission saying they shouldn’t bother rereading this one since you’ve already sent it and that you are sorry. Keep it short and sweet. Agents and editors have enough to read as it is.
Second, if they send you a message like an editor did to me, reply! You must. A short and sweet answer along the lines of, I am sorry for my careless mistake, it’s just been one of those weeks and thank them for letting you know because they sure didn’t have to inform you. They did it out of professional courtesy, and you should acknowledge that and not stay silent. If they took the time to point out your double submission, you owe them a sincere apology for wasting their time.
So if you’re wondering what I did, I, of course, sent in the apology letter. And even though I pretty much ruined my chances with this publisher, I will share a link to their web page if you are also looking for a publisher interested in novellas. Who knows? Maybe some good will come out of this after all.