I got registered copyright on all my manuscripts before sending them out again. Some say this is not necessary. They say that simply typing a little “c” in a circle beside the title is sufficient to protect it in most cases. It is generally considered that an unsolicited manuscript from an unknown writer is of little value in most people’s eyes anyhow, of course. Even if a manuscript is copyrighted, to say so when submitting it to agents and publishers insults their integrity and could lead to a turn down regardless of the manuscript’s potential otherwise.
Still, I felt more secure once registered copyright was procured. I did not submit the manuscripts saying it was copyrighted (fear of insulting them), but I knew, if an issue arose, it was there. As far as the anxiety that the manuscript has been lost in the mail, I took action again. I began sending manuscripts by registered mail so that they would have to sign for it and I would get the tab back saying it had been received. Since then I have heard that this irritates them and have stopped doing it. Some send a plain self-addressed, stamped post card they can drop in the mail when it is more convenient for them instead. Usually I do neither and just sweat it out.
Now I also keep a chart listing the novel, whether it was sent out as a query or whole manuscript (rare), the date it was sent out, to whom it was sent (and whether they are a publisher or agent), the date it was returned, the response. Most responses are form letters these days. Even a rejection containing an individual comment (pro or con) is worth noting. In the early submissions I did not always keep such careful records and caused myself much anxiety because of it.
I began typing my new novels on a computer so I would no longer have to pay a typist. Then I had a typist retype my former novels on his or her computer and save them on a floppy which I could insert into myown computer. That way I could edit them without having to have the entire piece retyped. I was fine until the ancient little “XT” I was using got overloaded and would not allow me to enter myown files. Even a computer specialist could not open the files (yet I paid him an astonishing amount for trying). Now I had to get a new computer and start the whole procedure again.
I had wanted to spend more time on my writing, so I had opted for a 30 hour work week and the company where I made my living as a commercial artist. That way I kept my insurance and other benefits yet had enough to live on (by a hair). Now, however, my brilliant career as a novelist still had not materialized and I was out a lot of money due to the above mentioned issues. I picked up a little freelanct art and kept trucking. – I could not give up!