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View Full Version : Writers on Submission--Let's Share Our Stories Thus Far



MKL1025
07-26-2007, 03:19 AM
I've been on submission for about a month now and it truly is a new pinnacle of hell! I was thinking we could share our experiences and our highs/lows.

My journey so far: I was lucky to find a wonderful, supportive agent after about a month or so of querying. My MS went out a month ago and my agent immediately had three interested editors. Two didn't make it past the editorial board and the third just died at the publishing board. We're still waiting to hear from another two. In the meantime, I'm pretty sure my blood pressure has skyrocketed...

Anyone care to share their story?

SarahinOhio
07-26-2007, 04:04 AM
After five months, I secured an agent. It took me 2-3 months of revisions before he sent it out in late May. I have had five rejections so far, including a swat-down from the editorial board at one of the big houses.

It's now with about eight new editors since the first round of submissions ended. Although I initially wanted to know the name of every editor so that I could plumb Google for their backgrounds and tastes, it's no longer so important to me. The person I thought least likely to take interest in that first round was the one who loved my writing and took it to the board. So you really never know. Besides, obsessing is toxic to creativity.

I've now settled into my "wait and see" approach. That editorial board rejection cooled my hopes a little (they were all somewhat unanimous about their objection), so I'm steeling myself for the road ahead by plunging into my next novel.

The waiting part sucks the most. Well, besides the rejections. ;)

Edit: Yikes! A few minutes after writing this, my agent forwards me another rejection. This thread is bad luck!

MKL1025
07-26-2007, 04:27 AM
Good grief, I hope it's not bad luck! :) Here's to all of us hearing good news soon and posting our success stories!

SarahinOhio
07-26-2007, 04:30 AM
Good grief, I hope it's not bad luck! :) Here's to all of us hearing good news soon and posting our success stories!

Nah, I just have to blame it on something, don't I? I mean, it couldn't be my staggeringly good novel that is to blame. :tongue

MMcC
07-26-2007, 04:32 AM
Well, once you learn to rely on your safeword, use pain and fear as an aphrodesiac, and trust your Dom...

Oh... wait... oooooOOOOOhhhhhh.

Wrong submission thread.

MMcC
07-27-2007, 02:52 AM
Did I kill the thread???

I was only joking. ::blush::

popmuze
07-27-2007, 06:13 AM
I've got a non fiction proposal on submission, a novel awaiting submission, and eight short stories (excerpts) at eight different magazines awaiting decisions, plus three big consulting assignments pending at three big places.

Therefore, I spend most of my time checking my emails, cursing at the computer, cursing at the telephone calls from solicitors, and playing scrabble and solitaire.

I tell myself I'm just on vacation right now and pretty soon I'll long for these days when I had so much time on my hands.

Shady Lane
07-27-2007, 06:34 AM
I got my first requests for fulls EVER in the same day. Needless to say, I'm excited to pieces.

Ziljon
07-27-2007, 06:51 AM
I got my first requests for fulls EVER in the same day. Needless to say, I'm excited to pieces.

That's wonderful Shady. I give you joy!

Birol
07-27-2007, 06:58 AM
I currently have

1 novel
6 short stories
2 poems
2 NF articles
3 queries

under submission.

Shady Lane
07-27-2007, 11:38 AM
I just got another full request for a different manuscript! I feel happy about life!

triceretops
07-27-2007, 11:56 AM
Well, have a new book out now and another on the way in November. But the book with my agent has suffered about 20 major hits. So I think its about time I reworked the entire frontend of that book and re-titled it for later submissions. I'm currently editing the second book for my agent and it's been a road to hell, but I'm getting through it. My third book, headed for my agent, is stopped cold right now, and I'll pick up speed on that once I get back to it. On top of all this, I'm busy with a voluntary promotion campaign for book number one, and so far have contacted 280 major newspapers and review sources. I've snagged about 13 "yes" replies for feature articles and reviews. So I have a lot happening right now--actually too much going on.

Tri

maestrowork
07-27-2007, 12:57 PM
I've been on submission for about a month now and it truly is a new pinnacle of hell! I was thinking we could share our experiences and our highs/lows.

My journey so far: I was lucky to find a wonderful, supportive agent after about a month or so of querying. My MS went out a month ago and my agent immediately had three interested editors. Two didn't make it past the editorial board and the third just died at the publishing board. We're still waiting to hear from another two. In the meantime, I'm pretty sure my blood pressure has skyrocketed...

Anyone care to share their story?

To be honest that doesn't sound like hell. You got an agent within a month and already a few publishers are looking at it. You're way ahead already, and probably aren't too far off of getting an offer. So congrats, and go with the ride instead of being so antsy about it.

It took me 10 months to sell my ms. and it was a learning experience. I appreciated it.

Currently I'm working on my second and starting a third. I have three short stories out there. But that's it. I'm just focusing on getting my WIPs finished.

MKL1025
07-27-2007, 06:46 PM
To be honest that doesn't sound like hell. You got an agent within a month and already a few publishers are looking at it. You're way ahead already, and probably aren't too far off of getting an offer. So congrats, and go with the ride instead of being so antsy about it.

It took me 10 months to sell my ms. and it was a learning experience. I appreciated it.

Currently I'm working on my second and starting a third. I have three short stories out there. But that's it. I'm just focusing on getting my WIPs finished.


Thanks for the encouraging words! Patience has never come easily to me but hopefully one day I can say, as you do, that I appreciated this experience.

ccarver30
07-27-2007, 07:27 PM
12 rejections, 2 partial requests, 0 fulls. Never heard back from the partials.
Awesome. :^|

speirbhean
07-28-2007, 09:21 PM
Hi There
I wrote an adult novel three years ago, it was a crackin' idea (sorry, but the joy of e-fora means my natural Irish 'I'm crap'-ness can be ignored for the moment :)) and 3 out of 4 agents/ publishers asked to see the full ms. It was then rejected by all of them. I took it out of the closet recently and understood why... crackin' idea, but no pace and not enough plot to sustain a full novel. Oh well. I've now written an MG childrens' book and am (still) happy with it... it's been rejected a couple of times but one very well established publisher asked for a full, and I'm still waiting for a response, four months later. It's not easy, this!!

swvaughn
07-28-2007, 10:06 PM
To be honest that doesn't sound like hell. You got an agent within a month and already a few publishers are looking at it. You're way ahead already, and probably aren't too far off of getting an offer. So congrats, and go with the ride instead of being so antsy about it.

It took me 10 months to sell my ms. and it was a learning experience. I appreciated it.

No, honest, Ray, it's hell. :D I know no one wants to hear that, because having an agent is supposed to be a big enormous step and, why, it's practically guaranteed that you're going to be published! Yep! Any day now!

WRONG! *cue buzzer*

(Ray -- this is in no way directed at you. Just so you know. :))

All the writing advice I've devoured since I started, all the sites I've visited and experts I've spoken to and books and articles I've read, have a common theme: these days, you can only sell to a major publisher if you have an agent. And it's damned hard to get an agent. And once you have an agent, you know that your writing is at a professional level. Agents sell books all the time! Agent = sale!

I unequivocably believed this, which is why being on submission is hell (for me). Because it don't work that way.

(Another disclaimer: I ADORE my agent. Wouldn't trade her for the world. She's doing a kick-ass job and I appreciate every single thing she does.)

So, I'm on submission now. My agent is with the Donald Maass agency. After seven or eight rounds with other novels that resulted in rejection, rejection, rejection (and falling for more scams than I'd care to think about), getting an agent for this novel happened really, really fast. Out of around a dozen initial queries I sent out, only two of them didn't ask for a partial, and five of them declined the partial because I didn't know the book was urban fantasy (I was calling it a supernatural thriller -- my bad). The rest requested fulls. I went from querying to signed in three weeks.

At this point I thought, Wow! If that many agents liked my stuff, I'm sure there must be editors who will like it, too!

My agent had revisions for me. That took about a month, because she had a ton of other stuff happening all at once. Then I went on submission.

Rejections came in all saying exactly the same thing: love the writing, love the characters, love the story, can't buy it because it's YA. I didn't set out to write a YA novel, but I'm cool with it being YA...

So then my agent compiled a list of YA editors and sent it out to them. And the rejections started coming in: love the writing, love the character, love the story, can't buy it because it's too adult.

ARGH!!!!!!

That's where I am right now. It's out to two more YA editors, and I may end up rewriting to make the novel either more adult or more YA. Meanwhile I'm trying to write my next one as fast as possible, which is another urban fantasty and most decidedly adult.

Good luck to everyone querying, on submission, or just plain writing. May we all some day know the thrill of hearing "yes" all the way down the line. :D

popmuze
07-28-2007, 10:58 PM
SW,
I admire your ability to work on the next one through all this.
With a novel, a non-fiction proposal, a bunch of short stories, and several big consulting gigs all out there pending, I'm completely unable to add anything more to the mix. I'm ready to sit on a rocking chair on the porch until something happens.
But then, Monday always comes....

blacbird
07-28-2007, 11:00 PM
Mommy once told me, "If you can't say anything good about somebody, best don't say anything at all."

That advice goes pretty well for my experience with submitting writing for publication, too.

caw

jodiodi
07-29-2007, 02:58 AM
I have given up on agent submissions for this first one. I met with 2 editors at RWA and one asked for a partial and the other was quite enthusiastic and asked for the full. That's where it is now. If I can sell it without an agent, fine. If not, I'll give up on it.

In the meantime, I'm working on other stuff that doesn't really make my toes curl with enthusiasm, but seems to be more what agents have said they're looking for.

JamieFord
08-02-2007, 03:56 PM
I haven't been able to say much--not wanting to jinx myself, but I'm officially on auction! Today will be the 2nd, and hopefully final day.

I went on submission two weeks ago, had my first offer three days later. I had phone conferences with editors last week.

I'll post more when the dust settles.

jodiodi
08-02-2007, 04:48 PM
Congratulations! I officially hate you, btw.

:D Just kidding. Good luck.

swvaughn
08-02-2007, 05:29 PM
I haven't been able to say much--not wanting to jinx myself, but I'm officially on auction! Today will be the 2nd, and hopefully final day.

I went on submission two weeks ago, had my first offer three days later. I had phone conferences with editors last week.

I'll post more when the dust settles.

That's awesome, Jamie! Best of luck -- here's hoping you end up with six figures and massive promotions! :D

Will Lavender
08-02-2007, 05:53 PM
I haven't been able to say much--not wanting to jinx myself, but I'm officially on auction! Today will be the 2nd, and hopefully final day.

I went on submission two weeks ago, had my first offer three days later. I had phone conferences with editors last week.

I'll post more when the dust settles.

Tremendous news, Jamie! Keep us updated.

Redhedd
08-02-2007, 06:27 PM
Good luck, Jamie! Keep us posted!

I am officially able to join the "on submission" hell now. My agent sent my MS out on Tuesday and I'm already down to the nubs on my fingernails.

swvaughn
08-02-2007, 06:30 PM
Good luck, Jamie! Keep us posted!

I am officially able to join the "on submission" hell now. My agent sent my MS out on Tuesday and I'm already down to the nubs on my fingernails.

Fun, ain't it? :D Good luck to you!

JamieFord
09-02-2007, 09:58 AM
It's official--I got to add another line to my signature.
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(See below!)

My-Immortal
09-02-2007, 10:11 AM
Congrats! :)

jodiodi
09-03-2007, 06:40 AM
Congratulations. I'm going to lock myself in the hotel room with a bag of dove dark chocolate nuggets and cry about how I wish it were me.

ChunkyC
09-04-2007, 07:52 PM
Years of submitting two novels and a number of short stories to publishers initially and then agents has netted me dozens of rejections and two short stories accepted. The rejections have ranged from email queries turned down in less than 24 hours to no response in over a year. Those I have marked as rejected and moved on.

The agent hunt continues. I hope all of us find an agent like Jamie's. :D

Sunnyside
09-04-2007, 08:30 PM
Boy, I can relate to this. Being on submission sucks. My agent was always good about submitting to multiple firms of varying sizes, and always kept me in the loop, but it was excrutiating waiting for the response. And the longer it took, the worse it actually was, because you feel you're getting close.

I know I made it all the way up the chain at several firms before being kiboshed at "the big meeting." And when I was told the firm had decided to pass, I would go to bed at 5 in the evening (about seven hours earlier than my normal time!), depressed out of my mind.

Getting that close and falling is almost worse than an immediate pass. But it did give me some confidence that I had something that people had at least a passing interest in. I even got some nice notes back from publishers, calling my stuff "extremely promising." I said to my agent, "That's pretty nice," to which he replied, "It's still a no." Damn him for being the realist!

Anyway, I hung in there, and it finally happened. Finally. But boy, the bruises are slow to fade. I always thought I was made of sterner stuff than I am!