Sunday, 30 March 2014

DBad's Dos and Don'ts when waiting to hear back from a publisher

As you know I've finally finished my book and it is now out in the big bad world of slush piles and email inboxes with its fate is resting in the hands of whoever happens to be working in the office that day and picks it up to read.

This is a scary and nerve wracking process. The agony of waiting, the creeping doubt and uncertainty that is inevitable when you put your heart on the line and leave it there for someone else to deem worthy.

Once it is out there is nothing much else you can do but wait... And wait...

Here's a short list of dos and don'ts I have come up with to help pass the time and ease the unsettling madness that is sure to creep in once you've sent your baby off to the judge, jury and executioner of your words.

DO send the publisher a quick email or message to let them know you've sent them something and that you look forward to hearing back.

DON'T send them endless emails and tweets and Facebook messages and Instagram pics and phone calls and carrier pigeons asking if they've read it yet and what did they think and don't they know they're missing out on the next JK Rowling and your entire future happiness depends on their saying yes and that you just can't cope with the waiting oh my god won't somebody read it!

DO give it some time. Some publishers can take up to six or even nine months to get back to you. If you don't hear back in a couple of weeks, or months, it's not because they hate you, it's because they have hundreds of manuscripts sent to them and who knows where yours is in the pile.

DON'T wear out your send/receive button and double check your spam folder every ten minutes. Not only will you disappoint yourself and send yourself mad, you will also end up buying penis enlargement tablets and sending Nigerian princes your bank details in a fog of frustrated tears and confusion.

DO find something else to do while waiting. Start another project, write blogs or articles that accompany your book and self promote them via social media, go for walks, take up a hobby, paint your house, fix your garden, take your mind off the wait.

DON'T pull out your hair, curl up into a ball, weep in the corner and eat an entire family sized bag of m&ms every day while you wait. Trust me. It's not good for your skin.

DO remember you're a valid person and your project is valid and that there are other options open to you other than getting published by a major publishing house. Remember JK Rowling was rejected umpteen times for the first Harry Potter book and now she owns a castle.

DON'T lose hope.

Now where did I hide that bag of m&ms...

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