Writing is a journey, not a destination.

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Wednesday, December 22, 2010

I Don't Date (So How Will I Get Published?)

The warning has gone out from PYP. October's book submissions have been read and sorted. Some manner of judgment will fall in January.

That means I need to get this post out asap. Otherwise it will be gloating or sour grapes. I'd rather you all just took it as "random thoughts."

I pity publishers/editors/agents. I do.

I know. As an author, I should admire/respect/worship/despise/mock/criticize them, but mostly I pity them.

It can't be an easy job. They're human, like me. They're trying to make a living doing what they love. And these snotty folks keep getting in the way by not producing what they really need - a book or short story that appeals to a wide audience and pretty much sells itself.

That has to be hard.

Not only do writers not produce such a book, but they gritch and moan when you have to tell them they didn't produce such a book.

I mean, writers are supposed to be fairly bright. Shouldn't they have figured this out on their own?

TT: This post could read as pure sarcasm, but I assure you, I'm serious as a heart attack here.

"A heart attack is serious," Bones said. 
"Yes it is," Boothe agreed.

Getting published is like dating. Writers are the guy. We scope out the chic (publishing house), we approach, we make our pitch and we wait for the result.

At this point, guys know the girl has all the power.

TT: I also have to say I admire guys willing to put themselves out there. It has to be hard. I'm not interested, but I do admire you.

So the girl, the publisher, has to consider the offer. Is he cute? Is he broke? Can she present him to Mom and Dad at Christmas? Does he own a surfboard? All good questions.

If she doesn't like the answers, she says "no." How she says it depends entirely on what kind of girl she is and what kind of guy he is. We all know it doesn't take all night to wash your hair. That's a solid brush-off. But if she gives you a "gee, I don't have time this weekend, but if you get a job and move out of your parents' basement and maybe grow out that mohawk, we can talk again."
That would be the "it's not what we need right now, but if you reduce the word count, change the vampire to a superhero and get rid of the flying purple people eater, feel free to resubmit in a year" editorial response.

The ball is back in the guy's court. No one wants to see a guy pitch a fit 'cause a girl said "no." It's undignified and it's unnecessary. How does the old saying go? There's plenty of publishers in the sea?
Something like that. 

Anyway, since this submission is not my end-all-be-all-if-I-don't-get-in-now-I'll-kill-myself last resort, I'm good with whatever happens. If it isn't here, it will be somewhere. If it isn't now, it will be sometime.

I have just enough pragmatism in me to believe that. 

One other thing, and this one could qualify as a bit judgmental and snarky.

Me? Shocking! 

A guy who demands of a girl a detailed explanation for why she rejected him is a loser. If he pulls that, he's got his reason, he's just too dense to know it.

Did I say a bit judgmental? My bad.


  1. Ha! Whoever gets your work has a prize. I am so proud of you. :P

  2. I agree, the surfboard question is monumentally important. :D

    Of course, it's also a good example of how subjective the writing/publishing world is. Some girls will swoon if they find out the guy is a surfer, and snatch him up like the last piece of chocolate lava cake. But other girls (um, me for instance, because of past experience) would tell the guy to catch a wave, and walk away.

    I know how hard rejection can be--but what would be worse is being tied to a publisher that doesn't "get" or believe in your work. Or, for crying out loud, having your book published when it is nowhere near ready for the public eye and you have to undo all the damage in order to ever be published again.

    Anyway, I am wishing you the best of luck! I know you've got talent, and this is definitely not a last resort for you!

    (Oh, and a formal apology to all surfers and surfer-lovers who may have taken offense at my generalization--I'm sure there are a few of you, unlike my ex, who have not been hit in the head by your own board one too many times...)


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