Sunday, November 4, 2007

The Thrill of the Capture

To heck with the thrill of the chase. Chasing publishable manuscripts is less like a heady gallop over wooded hillside in sunny autumnal weather and more like wading neck-deep through fetid swampland while biting midges swarm your face. The chase sucks.

Finding something, though... ah, what joy.

I know I haven't been blogging much recently; instead I've been working very hard. I've seen the inside of my office both days this weekend. But I've been rewarded. This very afternoon I was working my way through a pile of manuscripts that other people (agents, my publishing director, the editorial assistant, etc) had decided I should read, and there it was. Something I want to acquire!

The gleeful disbelief. The attempts to quell my burgeoning optimism with skepticism and visions of the enormous piles of work already sucking my every waking moment away from me. I don't care; I want it, I want it!

Of course, now I must show it to other people at my publisher—people who may go, "Eh." And if so I will have to maintain a professional demeanor while inside I am thinking, "Who cares what you think?! It's mine, it's mine!"

And then I will have to talk to the author (who may have interest from other houses) without acting like a big baby. ("You can't sell this elsewhere, it's mine, it's mine!")

Deep breaths. Still, this glee. Machinations about the illustrator to match with this manuscript. More deep breaths. Must go read something to distract myself.

17 comments:

nw said...

That's so great!

So, what are the chances you'll get shot down? I've had it happen twice recently that an editor fell in love with a manuscript (two editors, two manuscripts) but couldn't get the go-ahead to acquire.

My Semblance of Sanity said...

WOW!
I hope MY ms is getting this much excitement. It is VERY reassuring to hear THIS side of the coin...knowing that when your ms hits the right desk, that editor will be as giddy as you were when sending it out!

Thanks again!

Anonymous said...

That editorial giddiness is great, no question. The thing is, even that's not enough to get your work acquired. And it may help a slight smidgen that if you get rejected at this stage the editor is mourning along with you, but a rejection like this really BITES.

Anonymous said...

Right now 1001 of your readers are out there are thinking, "Oooooh, please, please, please let it be MY manuscript she's talking about!"

Feels a bit like waiting to check your lottery ticket.

And it is really is nice to hear that you get that feeling. Oh how I love kids' book people! And oh how I love you, Ed Anon!

"e" said...

Do you mind sharing if the manuscript came from the slush pile or through an agent?
e
Elizabeth O. Dulemba

Editorial Anonymous said...

But if your get a reaction like this and then rejected, there's a very fair chance that you've got something someone else will want to publish.

This manuscript was pulled from the slush by our hard-working editorial assistant, bless her.

Anonymous said...

A follow-up on the slush question, how long do you estimate this ms was sitting in your slush before you had a chance to read it? Thanks.

Editorial Anonymous said...

The date on the manuscript is mid-September.

roz said...

This is so very cool!
I'm really tickled for the author that probably has no clue at this moment that an editor is so excited about their work.

Anonymous said...

Wow! Slush read in 6 weeks or less, that is impressive.
If slush lingers for months is that a sign of disinterest or is the timing of reading slush simply random?
EA, thanks so much for your time and generosity of knowledge.

Anonymous said...

You lead such an exciting life compared to mine.

The closest thing I ever got to that was when I found a twenty dollar bill in the washing machine. I knew it was either my husband’s or son’s. I didn’t give a crap. I shouted, “It’s mine! It’s mine!” Finders Keepers.

Kimberly Lynn

Anonymous said...

It's really so nice to read how excited an editor can get about a potential project. So often we have the idea that dealing with the slush pile has left editors nothing but jaded. Thanks for sharing your excitement.

And may your campaign be victorious!

tammi said...

Oh, go little ms, go!

Anonymous said...

Right now I'm trying to remember if I sent out a manuscript in September! Could it be mine, mine mine??!!

Anonymous said...

I know I sent out an ms in september but I know it's not mine, mine, mine because I don't think I sent anything out that requires an illustrator.

Anonymous said...

So EA,

There is a good possiblity that this is a picture book?

Mid-Setember?

hum.....

Anonymous said...

How exciting!! We want more details! Is this an unpublished writer? Did you make The Phone Call yet?