Thursday, August 07, 2008

I never really loved you anyway

The thing is, I'm not exactly new to the whole submission process. I've been (in many cases ill-advisedly) submitting books to publishers for, oh, maybe five years now. I know it can take forever and a day to get a response. I know things get lost. I know sometimes the Royal Mail just throws a hissy fit and decides that today, they're going to eat ice creams instead of delivering the post; but still. Sometimes you wait and you wait and you wait, and then a year after you put your baby in the mail you just think: well, fine. I didn't want to be published by you anyway.

Not even when several authors I like personally as well as professionally have published books with them. Recently. Submitted just before me and had the book published last month. See, a book being published in under a year--and mine hasn't even been read. And it's only three chapters. Maybe they're really chewy, hard-going chapters, and it's so hard to read it's taken the submissions editor a week to get through each paragraph. In which case, at the end of the first hour she should have put a form rejection in the mail.

And it's not as if several authors I know have singled me out to say, "You should definitely write for this line!" Oh no, wait, it is.

And I emailed in January to ask if they'd got it. So I can't blame the post office for not delivering it twelve months ago.

But like the Murphy's, I'm not bitter. I mean, I'm not the only one who's waited forever and ever to hear back on an unsolicited partial, am I?

Am I?

Ack, this is depressing. Let's look at a picture of Daisy being adorable instead.


  1. I blame the internet. There are so many blogs by agents, authors, and publishers telling you The Best Way to go about submitting, what your synopsis should be like, what your first line should be, and what colour your envelope should be, is it any wonder we're not hearing back from agents? They've been swamped by thousands of perfect submissions.

  2. I had a publisher keep me in the dark for three years after requesting the complete mss. I finally gathered they weren't going to publish it (after numerous emails from me asking for updates). Then I read they went bust. Do I hear the term karma floating through space?

    It sucks, Kate. I'm sending you a cyber hug.

  3. Ugh. I once spent significant amounts of money sending a requested full to an agency in the States, only to wait...and wait...and wait. My query emails bounced back, the normal email address on their website disappeared. In desperation, finally, I posted on their blog (which, unlike their submissions pile, was regularly updated), and my comment--the comments were moderated--never appeared.
    I finally got a working email address via someone else entirely, emailed, and got a completely peculiar reply from them along the lines of "Either we didn't get your manuscript or we replied and you didn't get our reply. We can't remember which." Which I took as a sign that we weren't ever going to be a match made in heaven.
    Anyway, I'm sorry!

  4. Did I tell you about the AGENT who lost my submission...and then after my email of ...umm, hey did you get this...responded within a few seconds of "oh yes, no thank you." Paraphrased for brevity. *shakes head*

    I know they're all busy. I get that. I'm sure it is all about relationship building, as it is in any sales process...but YOU have stuff out there...sheesh.

  5. Naomi, you're right. All those perfect submissions with identical cover letters...eep!

    Lexxie--three years? Youch! No wonder they went bust!

    Immi, they sound like Lexxie's publisher. Not terribly professional, is it?

    Catklaw, agents losing submissions sucks. I fear this is what's happened to mine.

    Either way, I have this feeling a form rejection will be on its way. To be honest, it's probably the best news--if they ask for the full MS I might be forty by the time they reply!