When I was a boy I had two pen pals. One in Australia and one in New Zealand. We communicated by airmail with little self-contained envelopes/letters. Obviously, this was before the Internet and email. Nothing thrilled me more than when an airmail letter came to my house. Even though weeks or months had passed between sending and receiving, the thrill of getting that red, white and blue envelope was immeasurable.
Later in life I began submitting query letters to agents and publishers via snail mail, and similarly, the wait for a response was months at a time. Yet the thrill of receiving that response was equal in measure to my pen pals’ letters – even though I was getting rejection letters. Completing the cycle was important to me.
It’s a different world today. Everything is instant. I text with my two daughters overseas in a blink of an eye. I deliver mail with mind-numbing speed. So I asked myself, could there be better communication between writer, agent and publisher? Can the communication be moved closer to today’s real-time expectations?
Yes. It is how we built AUTHORS.me to be.
AUTHORS uses an activity notification system that lets the writer know what is happening to their query as it happens. Was my profile or project viewed? Did the agent see my manuscript? No more waiting by the mailbox. Even though querying an agent can be a lengthy process, the transfer of information no longer has to be that way.
An agent or publisher will want to know instantly if a writer updated their manuscript or information. Is there a new writer out there that matches my needs? What is the rest of my team of acquisitions editors doing? All these communiqués are real-time now.
Agents and publishers require a good bit of time to review and analyze what submissions will work for them. No one is trying to rush this part, nor is any application going to change the timing. Agents and publishers still follow their own rhythm. Some review incoming submissions and take a look at Discovery twice a week. Others save them up and review them all once a month. What AUTHORS does do is keep an open line between the two parties. The platform lets each other know when something is happening while still maintaining the professional separation agents and publishers require.
I realize the anticipation of an airmail letter is lost on people today. We think and communicate differently now. As a writer, I want to know how my baby is doing. AUTHORS is working to make this a modern-day experience with all the advantages technology gives us. Even if it means the rejection letter comes faster, that’s okay.