Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Version control

I am the original neophyte when it comes to the whole writing/publishing thing. I had no idea that a query letter, synopsis or word count was required, and just happily wrote my manuscript, Googled a literary agent and sent her an email with an outline of the story.

Despite my stupidity, I was blessed with a request for the full manuscript by the literary agent, and duly emailed it. The major issue is, I was on my way out the door for an overseas holiday, and I have just checked what I sent her – it’s the wrong revision! Revision 2 out of 9 – pure unadulterated wombat droppings.

Would it be prudent to just slink into the sunset and forget it ever happened, or would it be better to email her again, apologise for my idiocy, and ask if she would like the correct version?

Australia is such a small industry by the sounds of things; to think that I burnt a fabulous chance has resulted in daily nausea and rocking in the corner. Please, please – what should I do? What are the protocols?

Do you want to get published or not? That's the only question you need to ask yourself. And if the answer is 'yes', then you'll email the agent, say, 'Oops, I made a mistake - if you haven't read the manuscript, please accept my apologies for sending the wrong version and please find the correct version attached.' You don't have to say anything about idiocy - you just say you sent the wrong version, because that's not an idiotic thing to do, it's a completely normal thing to do. Agents are humans too, and we make mistakes - and an agent certainly understands that sometimes you can send the wrong version of a document. I've done it. I'm sure other agents - and authors - have done it. It's not a catastrophe, it's just a mistake. Fix it.

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