Author Topic: Going on submission  (Read 4140 times)

Offline tophersghost056

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Going on submission
« on: December 12, 2019, 08:15:02 AM »
In a few short weeks my manuscript will be going on submission to editors, and I’m starting to have full-on panic attacks. I keep running through all the worst case scenarios in my head. What if they hate it? What if it gets lost in the stacks of submissions that come pouring in when January rolls around? What if the first chapter isn’t awesome enough to keep them reading? What if it’s on submission for a long time and never sells?  :(

I know the advice is to always be working on something new. Right now I’m 32k words into a new story, which I’m loving. Nothing compares to the excitement of writing a first draft. Still, the idea that this thing I poured all my heart into now has to grow legs and walk out into the world and be judged is almost too much to handle.

If anyone is also going on sub soon, please reach out so we can commiserate together. Those who have been there, some reassurance that everything will turn out okay would be nice. I know a sale is not guaranteed, but damn if I wish it could be.
« Last Edit: December 12, 2019, 08:27:22 AM by tophersghost056 »

Offline kaperton

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Re: Going on submission
« Reply #1 on: December 12, 2019, 09:16:38 AM »

It's all going to be okay.

It is, really. But also, be prepared that this process could be extremely slow. Maybe you will be one of the lucky ones whose ms sells right away. But for many (most?) of us, the process can drag on, and yes, it's possible it won't sell. BUT you're working on your 2nd book, which is huge, and great, and as much as possible (I know it's hard), put your focus there. Because there's a good chance that the book that landed you your agent will not be the one that gets published first. I know you don't want to hear that. This is your baby, and you want the world to love it. It eats me up inside that my manuscript is just sitting there not getting published, getting staler by the day. (It's contemporary YA and it won't be long before it sounds dated.)

My ms went on sub in March, and it was an emotional rollercoaster. I felt the highest highs and the lowest lows of my life. Getting rejected has gotten a little easier every time, but it never feels good. I will say that no editor has ripped my ms apart, or if they have, my agent has shielded me from that. I usually get vague feedback that I can't really work with. Occasionally the feedback makes me question whether they got past the first chapter. I've also gotten a lot of really nice feedback about my writing that I try to remember, instead of just focusing on the "I got rejected" part.

I've considered many times giving up, except it's never really been an option. What made me feel better was realizing that I'll continue to write no matter what happens.

My agent just sent my slightly revised ms out to a new batch of editors on Tuesday. I'm much calmer this time around. I've adjusted my expectations--I no longer dream of a bidding war. Now I dream that someone, some day, will publish it, and I'm focusing on my second ms.

I don't think that ended up sounding very positive at all. But I also think it's important to have somewhat realistic expectations. No matter what happens, you are a writer, and you will keep writing. One thing that made me feel better is something my coworker said about getting published: "It's like water. It has to find its level. Some water takes longer to get there. You can't rush it."
« Last Edit: December 12, 2019, 08:21:28 PM by kaperton »

Offline jessikalindst

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Re: Going on submission
« Reply #2 on: December 12, 2019, 02:54:26 PM »
I've heard from so many authors that submission is the hardest, much harder than querying but I hope that underneath the buzzing nerves you feel some excitement of having gotten this far in the process. Regardless of what happens, you did it--you got an agent and now are going on submission, that in itself is amazing. I'm not in any way trying to belittle your panic, which believe me if ever I get to the stage you're in, I'll be a mess.
I have watched a video from a traditionally published author on 'how to survive submissions' and though I cannot begin the imagine how it feels yet, these sort of 'rundown' did help me to feel somewhat prepared.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1zaMITLSUiM

I wish you the best of luck tophersghost056, sincerely so and hope that the next we hear of more news from you, it'll be a book deal! And thankfully should you feel the need to talk about it, there's always us here who can help give you a moral boost during this time.

Offline tophersghost056

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Re: Going on submission
« Reply #3 on: December 13, 2019, 08:04:43 AM »
Thanks @Jessikalindst! Appreciate the boost. I'm going to check out the video now. I love Alexa Donne's channel. She talks about the process in a real-talk kind of way.

Thanks @kaperton! Appreciate you sharing your submission story with us. I'm emotionally trying to prepare myself with all the possibilities--including that it won't go well and I won't sell. I have a story I'm working on right now that is bringing me some excitement. So in the case that this book flops, I will have my WIP to fall back on for a future submission.

I aired my fears with my agent and she reassured me that all will be fine. She's confident, but can't guarantee anything. And she loves the work, so that is a big success that I should celebrate. Feedback from an early round might give us a sense of how to revise for future success. Book deals are a nebulous thing. Good books sometimes don't get deals. And not good books sometimes get deals. Who knows how this will go. The one thing I can control is writing. That's where I'm going to put my energy for now.

Offline Tabris

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Re: Going on submission
« Reply #4 on: December 13, 2019, 04:00:38 PM »
What if they hate it? Well, if they hate it, it stays just as not-published as it is right now. Editors won't come to your house and pelt you with sticks. They'll just reject it and the manuscript stays in the null state.

You MIGHT get feedback if it gets rejected, and you might be able to use it to improve the manuscript.

You MIGHT decide in the future to indie publish the manuscript because it's good, just not going to make anyone a million dollars.

You MIGHT get an offer and you MIGHT decide to accept it.

Breathe deeply. It's going to be okay. In the absolute worst case scenario, you still have a book and you still can do things with it.

Offline tophersghost056

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Re: Going on submission
« Reply #5 on: January 09, 2020, 01:58:48 PM »
Received an update. An editor expressed interest in the manuscript and wants to have a call! Any suggestions on how to prepare? What sort of questions do editors tend to have before taking on a project? It's hard to judge with this means, but I'm excited to get interest so quickly on my ms.

Offline Tabris

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Re: Going on submission
« Reply #6 on: January 11, 2020, 09:21:00 AM »
Familiarize yourself with the publishing house first. read their website and look at comments others have about them.

(Wait, hang on--why are YOU tlaking to the editor? The agent is supposed to be the one talking to the editor. Not you.)

Anyhow, if I were talking to a small press, these are the things I'd ask. Since your agent has theoretically handled the business end, you may not need to ask all these, so ask the agent first and then go for it.

Ask the editor about their marketing plan for your book. Ask about their standard contract terms. Ask about their typical editorial process and how long it takes. Ask if this particular editor will be with you the whole way or if you'll have a different primary contact within the publishing house. (If it's a tiny publisher, then you probably don't need to ask that so much, but still.)  Ask what happens if you disagree about edits (both large-scale and small scale: if they want to turn your fantasy romance into a cozy mystery and you disagree....if they want to change your main character from Zoe to Zoey and you disagree...  How do editing disagreements get resolved? How much if any say will you have in the cover art?

What are their royalty rates for different book formats? How often do you get paid? How much access do you have to your sales numbers? Do they pay royalties from the first copy sold, or are they going to credit your royalties to their publication expenses FIRST before you start accruing anything? And this is important: if they're ONLY paying royalties on net profits, then do you get a say on how they spend the production money? Because if in effect you're paying for your own cover, you don't want them paying for a $5,000 cover.

How many copies do they expect your book to sell? How many copies does their average book sell? (But you can possibly figure that out from their website.)

Through all this, you're trying to figure out if this editor is someone you can work with and if they're the best possible publisher for your book. Good luck!

Offline tophersghost056

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Re: Going on submission
« Reply #7 on: March 16, 2020, 12:39:28 PM »
Excited to report that my book SOLD! Thanks, everyone, for all the support.  :cheer:

Offline GLZyx

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Re: Going on submission
« Reply #8 on: March 17, 2020, 07:03:02 PM »
Excited to report that my book SOLD! Thanks, everyone, for all the support.  :cheer:


:woo:CONGRATS!!!:d3: 

Offline hesterL

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Re: Going on submission
« Reply #9 on: March 18, 2020, 11:30:52 AM »
YAY topher!!!!!!!  Congrats and can't wait to hear the deets!!!!!!!!!!!  :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap:

Offline 217mom

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Re: Going on submission
« Reply #10 on: March 18, 2020, 05:48:40 PM »
 :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap:

So happy for you, and for the publishing world determined to think ahead and carry on  :yes:

Offline TigerAsh

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Re: Going on submission
« Reply #11 on: March 18, 2020, 06:48:24 PM »
Congratulations!!!  :p1: :p2: :p3: