I came up with the idea for Pubmission back in 2009. Recently laid off from a great job as a children’s book editor, I was staring blankly at a massive soul-sucking spreadsheet I’d made to track all of the writing submissions I’d sent out to publishers and agents over the past year.
There were well over a hundred submissions listed, but I’d only received a handful of responses, even after months of waiting. A number of them were e-mail queries, but there was also a lot of postage, paper, and cash invested in my quest to get published, not to mention time, energy, and soul.
I’ve also spent the better part of my nearly 20 years in publishing handling manuscript acquisitions. I’m well-acquainted with the slush pile and that feeling of hunting for a needle in the haystack. Much of the mail I opened had nothing to do with what we published. And there was all of that wasted paper…
But I’ve also experienced the feeling that comes from discovering a great new writer in the slush pile and the excitement of offering that lucky person a contract.
So on that day, while sitting in front of my submissions spreadsheet, I decided to do what I could to make the submissions process easier and less about luck or who you know. I would create an online hub where writers and publishers could find each other quickly and easily. I’d give both sides some simple, common-sense tools that enabled them to have more control over what can be an overwhelming and dreadful process.