I have begun using procrastination as a sales tool. How does that work? I based my idea on Murphy's law. If you don't have it, they will want it. So far, it's worked.
Before I would write an entire 500 page manuscript, polish it, polish it, polish it, then send off partials and queries only to have the story end up in what I call my "dead baby" drawer-a morgue for all the completed works that weren't marketable at the time and will never see the light of day.
Then one day an editor wrote that she thought the manuscript I sent her was okay, but she really loved the title. Could I write a different book to fit the title? After a few minutes of thought I wrote a couple of different ideas down and sent them off to her-to see if any of those ideas better fit her idea of what the book should have been about. Lo and behold-two weeks later-she picked one.
Did I write it? No. I was in the middle of another book and I figured she wasn't serious-so I put it off.
Yes, you guessed it. After 5 months, she e-mailed asking to see a partial. Now, not wanting to appear to be a complete brainless loser, I promised I'd send it to her by the next business day-and ended up writing 20 pages a day over the weekend.
Will I then finish the manuscript in case she wants to see a full? You guessed it...I'll probably procrastinate. With any luck she'll buy the book.