Sure, I am a published author who can spew some learnings about being on submission. But I’m also an aspiring author, one who is prepping to submit a proposal to her agent and is thus steeling herself for the emotional roller coaster ahead.
Being on submission is a bit different the second time around. The burden to prove yourself might be slightly smaller. If I’m pitching an editor I’ve already worked with, for example, I don’t have to include an “about the author” section since we have an actual relationship.
But the big picture stuff is the same. I still have to sell agents and editors on my idea. I still need to show the powers that be that this book will fly off the shelves!
No publisher is about to throw a contract at me just for being me. I’m not J.K. people.
And so I’ve been revisiting my first time on submission, trying to decide what I want to do differently when the next time comes.
There’s one word, and one word only, that comes to mind: PATIENCE!
While trying to sell the proposal for MWF Seeking BFF, my nightly moods were dictated by the emails I’d received from my agent that day, or that week. Good news meant I danced around the house. Bad news meant I assumed the fetal position on the couch. My husband hated the swings, and I couldn’t explain (I still can’t, really) why I attributed so much of my self-worth to the opinions of people I’d never met. But I did.
Every day felt like a year, and I couldn’t comprehend what was taking these people so long.
In fact, MWF was on submission during the holidays, and I remember seeing some Facebook picture of the editors at some publishing house having their holiday party. My first thought was, no joke, ‘What are they doing just hanging out there as if it’s no big thing? Don’t they know my proposal in on their desks?!?’
When your mind is entirely consumed with a single thought, it’s hard to remember that other people aren’t quite as obsessed. That they, you know, live their lives like sane human beings.
My overall problem the first time around–other than being a generally impatient lunatic–was that I’d read too many stories of books that sold, went to auction even, in the span of 24 hours. I thought if a week passed without a sale then all hope was lost.
Now I know better. Does that mean I will do better? Who knows. But at least I know we’re all in this together.
The Debs are giving away query critiques to 5 of our beloved readers! To be eligible, just leave a comment any day during this week ( Including Saturday, April 14ths post—contributed by our FABULOUS guest agent Michelle Wolfson) and specify if you’d like to be entered in the contest and we will randomly select 5 winners. You’ll have up to two weeks to send us a digital copy of your query letter (for books in any genre) and we’ll give you feedback on the query. We’re so excited to see what everyone is working on!
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