This is the paranormal blog of author Lynda Hilburn, http://www.lyndahilburnauthor.com
Tuesday, September 27, 2005
Floating in Submission Limbo
I'm writing this entry for myself. To remind myself that various incarnations of my manuscript really are still floating out there in the publishing cosmos. Really. Two agents still have my full (including the one who said the good stuff) and three agents have asked for (and received) 3 chapters and synopsis. One publisher/editor still has the full, and another has had 3 chapters/synopsis for a year. A year. I've queried a few other agents and editors, and skip gleefully to the mailbox (I don't necessary skip on my way to my email box, but I could at any moment) to see who else would like the pleasure of my 3 chapters, etc. I know that mostly good news comes (or so I've heard) through telephone and email, and that only the dreaded rejections show up in the regular mail. I haven't had that experience as much. I have had several SASEs returned to me with a request for more. Along with -- of course -- the xeroxed rejections: The sparsely-worded soul stompers. I'm going to England for a few days and maybe something good will be waiting for me when I get back.
I attended a regional writing conference last weekend and had a good time. I needed to be re-energized and re-motivated, and that happened. I came home exhausted, but excited about possibilities again. It was especially helpful to hear the stories from recently-pubbed authors about how they got there. And how long it took. There wasn't much of a selection of agents/editors, so I didn't set up a pitch appointment. Or, at least not a selection that was helpful paranormally. In fact, some of the agents/editors didn't even handle fiction, which was odd because that was the focus of the conference. And, yet again, I was acutely conscious of the arrogant-to-the-point-of-being-rude attitude held by some young publishing professionals. At this conference, one of the young agents waved her hand dismissively while she talked about how she doesn't accept query letters, and woe be upon the fool who dares to send one. It was helpful to listen to her, because I'm sure we wouldn't be a good fit, so I won't bother. On another note, I'm back in the dead zone regarding all my own writing. No word from the other agent who has the full, or from the pub that's had it for 5 months now. I sent them a note, asking about the status of my submission, and hopefully that will let me know if the return packet got lost in the mail or if it's still languishing on a desk somewhere. No word from the other agents who had asked for 3 chapters, etc. No word from the e-pub I submitted my short story to. And Dorchester has had the requested 3 chapters/synopsis for an entire year. I can't even imagine how long it would take them to read a full! Sigh.
Well, I found another packet containing my whole manuscript in my mailbox today. I steeled myself to open the flap, not eager to see which one of the agents/editors who still had my full had returned it. It was the agent who had been very excited about the three chapters. The attached letter was brief: "Thank you for the opportunity to read your manuscript, The Vampire Shrink. I so very much liked this story, but unfortunately my life has taken an abrupt change of course and I will be leaving this agency due to relocation. There is no one else available here to take this on at present. I wish you great success placing your work with another agent or directly with a publisher." Well, I guess that isn't as bad as the "I just didn't love it enough" response. At least she liked it. And perhaps she thought I could sell it directly. OK. I won't tear any hair out today. It's a bummer, but not a trauma. Sigh.