You’ve checked, double and triple checked every word in your manuscript. You’ve had others read it, advise on it and help you to refine it to the point you feel it’s pure genius. You typed up the synopsis, did a final read through to ensure it flows how you want it to flow and even though you know there are some fixes that will come since not a one of us is perfect you bundle it into an email and send it off to your publisher. You’ve submitted your work for consideration to publish. So now what?
In my personal world I have the inevitable “oh crap, did I remember to fix that?” moment where I open up what I just sent off to look. And six times out of ten, I hadn’t. Son of a bitch!
*Make a note to fix that during first round of edits*
But then comes the wait.
………… and more waiting ………..
……………. and even more waiting …………
This does not mean you stop people! Hell no. Just because you have no idea how long it will take you to hear back, Evernight is currently at a “up to twelve weeks” period, you need to keep moving forward. Putting one foot in front of the other, or in the literary world, getting to work on your next project one word at a time.
TWELVE WEEKS!!! I’LL NEVER SURVIVE THAT LONG…
Don’t be so damn dramatic, you’ll survive. Take a breath and realize that you are not the only person out there submitting to your publisher, whether it’s Evernight or not. A book comes in and is put on a list, handed over to an Acquisition Editor (AE) and they get to it when they have a free moment. I’m guessing they have a system to ensure books that are submitted don’t get lost in the constant shuffle but I could be wrong – I’ve never worked that side of things. But this means you, the author, need to have some patience.
Something I’ve told several folks in my day job (customers and co-workers alike) you are not the only person I’m dealing with on a hourly/daily basis. I’m sorry if you feel you’re “entitled” to more, but you’re not. I will get to you and your needs in a timely manner and in the same order in which the request was received.
In the grand scheme of things we are nothing more than a speck of dirt on a small little orb inside a galaxy surrounded by other galaxies with their own little specks of dirt on one orb or another. I’m sorry if this bursts whatever bubble of self-importance you have rockin’, but it’s the truth. You are not the only one submitting to the publisher at any given time. And depending on their work load they could have anywhere from five to hundreds of manuscripts before yours. Yes occasionally it seems that some people may get replies sooner than others, but truthfully I think this only appears that way because of how anxious we are to hear about our own work and that certain AE’s may not read what you write which then has it fall to someone else and at the bottom of their pile. Not 100% positive that this is how it works, but it could well be. And don’t forget that everyone at the publishing house, your AE included, HAS A FUCKING LIFE!
Which brings us back around to “what do I do now?”. Uh, live your life and write your next story obviously. DO NOT allow yourself to stagnate. Yes it’s a stressful time, but hey you know what will help with that stress, writing your next book! I know, total shocker, but it’s the truth.
Something else that helps to alleviate the anxiety that sets in as the seconds tick by slower than they should be while you wait – get outside. Go for a walk and enjoy that fresh air you’ve denied yourself during your last minute/day(s) push that went longer than planned. There’s a world out there you know. One full of ideas, inspiration and other people along with other things that make your writing flow better.
Hell, you could even visit with those individual’s with which you reside. They are called family members (or roommates). I hear they can be rather nice people and would probably like to get reacquainted with you for more than the two minutes you’ve blasted through the kitchen on a resupply run. Sit down with them, chat, and catch up with what’s been going on while you’ve lived in whatever world it was you just sent off into the great blue yonder towards the goal of publication. I’m sure they’ll appreciate it.
Everything (friends, family, life) can be pushed to the wayside for a time while you’re in “the zone” but eventually you need to replenish, regroup and reconnect. Do something to shake yourself out from the hold your previous work had and look toward the horizon where your next story resides.
And once you are refreshed – get back to work. There’s no rest for the wicked which happens to include you. You have so much more to share with the world and you can’t do that if you’re not writing and moving forward. Ignore the inbox (seriously do not stalk your inbox), ignore social media (if you’ve seen one cat video you’ve seen enough), put down your phone (you don’t need to be doing another round of whatever addictive game may be residing there) and get to it. I know you can, we all can. But we all need to make that conscious choice. Open up that new document and start to write. We can’t wait to see what you have to share with us next.
XO Moira Callahan