I have been hard at work.
Define hard . . .
Well, I’ve been writing Book #5 while sitting in a comfy chair, drinking coffee, and eating carbs. Every once in a while I come back into my body, realize that I’ve had to pee for the last two hours, and get up to go to the bathroom. After which I pour a fresh cup of coffee.
I am nothing if not a funnel.
For those who have been asking me, “When is your third book going to be out?”, my answer is, “I don’t know.” I had submitted it to a Publishing House (should that be capitalized? Probably not . . . I’m confusing them with Publishers Clearinghouse, NOT the same people. One promises money, the other actually brings it.) I had submitted my manuscript to a publisher whose home offices are located in the extremely glamorous state of Ohio. I was aiming for New York just so I could visit my brother and eat macarons as a tax deduction, but, oh, well . . . I got sidetracked.
I had submitted my manuscript in the middle of November of last year. Their average rejection/acceptance time is 90 – 120 days . . . three to four months. BUT IT HAS BEEN OVER 8 MONTHS. That is roughly 240 days. But I am not complaining. Unless they have lost my manuscript. Or had rejected it ages ago and their ‘leave us alone’ email is wandering in cyberspace.
So I wrote and asked. Three times. The only answer I have received from the submissions team so far is, “We will notify you once a final decision is reached.”
Hmmmm . . . That is a good sign. Also? A bad one. I know what the problem is. I exceeded their preferred word limit by over 17,000. They must want it . . . But how badly? That is the question they are pondering. I feel like I should throw in a free paring knife should they accept me.
Recently a friend of mine asked what I’m made of . . . Titanium? He is a writer as well and prefers to avoid rejections. Which is why he has gone a different route than I have. He pitches his manuscript on a website sponsored by Harper Collins UK. Twice he has been voted the readers’ favorite and has made it up the ladder to the editor’s desk.
Truth is, rejection can depress and discourage a writer if they aren’t careful. Me? After a rejection I usually eat like a lumberjack for a day or two then get back up and look for another editor to terrorize. No, I am not made out of titanium, but if the adage, ‘You are what you eat’ is true, I am a hotdog-pizza-French fry. Or used to be. Now that I’m on a diet, I am a giant grain-free muffin wedged in a chunk of grass fed, grass finished beef topped by a xanthan gum-free olive.
Another truth? I don’t plan to pitch my manuscript to other publishers while I’m waiting on the final decision from this one. Because I really, really, really do not want to format my manuscript again. Formatting is what authors do to please editors. They do not want your manuscript a typed mess, making it difficult to read.
One submission team says, “One inch margins all around, with page numbers and title on top left corner, along with a pint of blood and your firstborn.” Another says, “One and a half margins all around, hard copy with return envelope and postage, along with your bank account password.”
I can barely work the indent on my computer. I know the day is rapidly nearing when I will format one too many times and accidentally erase the whole book. Besides, I seem to have contaminated my own word program. It now spell-checks in French and does the Thesaurus in Italian. I have to go in and manually change it every time I need to use either tool.
No, I’m not going to fiddle with my present format. Or submit book #3 to another publishing company until I hear back from the first one . . . Even though the chances are excellent that one of us will die first.
Besides, I’m too busy writing the sequels. So when someone wants my work, I can dump the whole series on them. And then run. Also? I would have to be dead to miss deadlines with that much of a head start.
Do you have any of your own waiting-forever nightmares? You could even tell us about the woman in Wal-Mart’s express line with 21 items.
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