Thursday, June 7, 2007

80 Proof

This week has had a theme. But this is the last how-long-do-I-wait-what's-going-on question I answer for a while, and Mr. Cuervo here agrees.

So, This is a stupid question and yes, I have queried the piece to death, but I still can't sleep at night. A full of my MG has been with 5 different editors at 5 different houses (and 1 agent has a full) for several months with NO RESPONSE. I am not hallucinating as I still have all of the requests in writing. Yes, my email is working, but at this point, the postage rates have changed on the SASE. WTF?

Is my manuscript in a corner somewhere? Has it been riding around in the trunk of a car? Is it holding up a desk? Has it even been opened? Is an assistant using it as a coaster? Did the editor post my book on the bulletin board as an example of what not to do? Did it go to acquisition, editorial or whatever they call the meetings? Are they working on a P&L and talking it over? What is taking so long?

A good imagination is a blessing and a curse, isn't it? Did an overworked intern come to the office with lighter fluid? Did an editor send you a really important request for a rewrite in an envelope the post office is never going to deliver? Did someone mistake your upside-down manuscript for a pile of recyclable paper and print the month's sales reports on the blank sides? Did the sheer, incalculable mass of slush create a black hole of hopelessness from which no manuscript can escape? Did the publisher sign so many books up for 2008 that the idea of acquiring anything ever again makes the entire editorial staff nauseated?

There's no telling. But I can give you the percentages. For your questions, in order:
1. 40%
2. 15%
3. 2%
4. 70%
5. 50%
6. 0% (it's too big to tack to a bulletin board)
7. 15%
8. 30%

You must keep writing. You must keep submitting. You must not think about how people who deliberately requested your manuscript should really get back to you.

The percentages for my questions, in case you're curious:
1. 0%
2. 10%
3. 1%
4. 13%
5. 40%


heidi said...

LOL!! Loved your response. I'd about given up on any theories in publishing. I asked the same question awhile editor asked for full, still has it, haven't heard...blah, blah, blah. Per the advice of EVERYONE, (including you) I started submitting again. First editor I sent a query to replied in 20 minutes asking for a full. AFTER ONE WEEK, said editor told me I'd be getting a phone call soon. I sent a query to an agent last week as well. She asked for a full three days later, and called and offered to represent me YESTERDAY!! Total time between submitting and hearing nothing with first editor: 6 months (and counting!) Total time between submitting and possible offer from editor PLUS phone call offering representation from agent: ONE WEEK.

Explanation: There is no rhyme or reason. It's just chemistry, karma, fate, kismit, tenacity and who-knows-what-else!! I'm still in shock. Thanks for all these great posts!

Terry P. said...

Great posts this week, EA. For your "80 Proof" question, your reader might want to pop over to The Purple Crayon, where Harold Underdown posted a very informative article on the acquisitions process (look under "What's New").

Stephanie J. Blake said...

Thank you, thank you, thank you!

LindaBudz said...

Great stuff ... I'm holding you to these percentages.

Heidi, congrats on your exciting news!!