Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Getting It Published: Part 8

Start placing your bets now, kids: just how many installments will this series run?

As you'll recall, my last update on the status of my book project did not contain good news. But after a week of moping, I knocked out a revised book proposal and sent it and a sample chapter to a handful of presses.

Then I did a whole lot of waiting. Like, weeks of waiting. Almost two months of waiting. I received a couple of noncommittal signs of possible interest, but nothing too spirit-raising--until, quite suddenly, two equally-good presses decided at virtually the same moment that they were both Very Interested. And both wanted to send the manuscript out for review. Immediately.

All of which reminds me of nothing so much as my dating life in days of yore: long self-pitying periods where no one seemed to look my way, followed by brief and confusing periods where two or three suitors showed up at once. (Followed, of course, by more sad and lonely stretches of self-pity.)

But this isn't a bad problem to have. Moreover, the press I've decided to go with is better in several ways than the place I was working with for two years and that eventually rejected me. (The astute observer might comment that here, again, there are parallels with my romantic life.) Press #2 has an equivalently high reputation, but it gives more individualized attention to its books: they're handsome, well designed, and priced so that normal people can afford to buy them.

So that's where things stand for now. I'm happy, I guess, if "happy" means oscillating between fits of wild optimism--this could actually work out! Maybe even rather soon!--and dour fatalism: I could fail here, too, and be even further from seeing the damn book in print. It's hard not to worry that maybe I just write an awesome proposal, but the book itself doesn't live up to its billing.

But the only way to know is to sit on my hands and wait some more.


life_of_a_fool said...

Ha at the parallel between publishing and dating. Very apt. Here's hoping this one is The One!

Comrade Physioprof said...

Interesting that you're allowed to submit a book manuscript to more than one publisher simultaneously. When you submit a paper to a scientific journal, you always certify that you have not submitted the same work somewhere else.

Oh, and w00t!

Flavia said...

Thanks, both!


Actually, no--or at least not in my field. It's possible to have an MS under some form of review with multiple presses, but it can't actually be out for review with different sets of external readers.

In my case, one press had requested the full MS, but took a while to decide that they wanted to send it out for review--and it happened at the same moment that a different press decided, on the strength of the proposal & sample chapter, that they wanted to do the same.

Susan said...

Actually, I have had a ms. with two publishers at once, but I was a known quantity at the time, and they both knew I was talking to other presses. The key is not being secretive.

In the case of articles, it would be bad form, but given the delays with books, it's been done, at least in history.

Susan said...

PS And that's great news!

hd said...

Woot! excellent news! and i loved this game of publishing rom-com. turns out that it works for me, too: after rejection from an idealized press (that up close and personal wasn't actually so dreamy and kind into stringing me along), i ended up going with the press who just seemed easy going and really psyched to be with me. and, it turns out, they really were The One.

Withywindle said...

"Never mind Plan A. We'll go with Plan B. Plan B is brilliant. It's better than Plan A!"

"Then why wasn't it Plan A?"

"Shut up!"

(I think this is dialogue from Get Smart, but I'm not coming up with a google-hit for it.)

Dr. Virago said...

Hooray for having so many "suitors"! :) Fingers crossed this all works out for you!

Historiann said...


Congratulations and well done.

Canuck Down South said...

Congratulations! And being able to write awesome book-proposals sounds like a fantastic skill to have. You have to get your toe in the door before they let you inside, after all.

B in Va said...

This is fantastic news. Here's to more fantasticness (relatively) soon!