Look at that title, and tell me that it’s not the truth in many things. Think about things you do on a daily basis, things you deal with regularly, big events in your life…what was the hardest part of them?
My Facebook friends and family already know this, but a few days ago on August 28th, I submitted my supernatural romance to a publisher. This is my first ever manuscript submission, and there were lots of things about it that were terribly difficult. The editing process was horrible. Trying to figure out how to get Scrivener to properly format the results was a right awful pain in the ass. Researching all the info necessary to make sure that I was doing everything exactly the way the publisher requests was an enormous headache. Writing a query letter that sounded confident but not cocky was painful. And trying to write a synopsis that explained my story without making it sound idiotic was possibly one of the hardest things I’ve ever written.
But none of those things is the hardest part. You know what the hardest part is.
My manuscript is out there now, and I can honestly say with great confidence that I’m expecting a rejection letter sometime in the future. I’m not worried about that part because I’ve resigned myself to the fact that this is almost definitely what is going to happen – not very many writers get a contract on their first ever submission, after all. But it’s not the looming threat of a rejection letter that is difficult; I’m actually kind of looking forward to it, because a rejection letter is just one step closer to an acceptance letter.
But it’s the waiting. God dammit, the waiting.
This, I think, is the main reason that a lot of writers are going indie or self-publishing. The waiting. It’s awful. The particular publisher that I submitted this manuscript to aims to respond to all submissions within three months. And that’s short compared to other publishers. Some publishers quote 6 months, others up to a year.
I’ve been waiting for 6 days and I’m going insane; imagine if I had to wait for up to a year.
The hardest part, I’m telling you. Bar none.
This experience, thus far, has taught me that I’m not a fan of dealing with traditional publishers. So, I guess, if anything, I’m learning. So, go me?
Fellow writers, what is your experience with waiting on traditional publishers? Did it drive you completely up the wall? Was it worth the wait? Did long waits affect your decision to either remain with traditional publishing or move on to other options? Please share!
3 thoughts on “The Hardest Part is the Waiting”
Self publishing is the only way to go. Not only is it faster, but you are in complete control and the royalties are much better. That’s just the way I see it.
I agree…or at least, part of me does. I like the idea of being control and (possibly) making more money, but I also hate the idea of having to deal with stuff like paying someone to create a decent cover for me, hiring an editor, doing all the marketing stuff myself, and so on and so forth.
That said, I am seriously thinking about self-publishing my zombie apocalypse novel because I don’t want to be waiting for a traditional publisher so long that people stop wanting to read about zombies. 😐
Making a cover? Easy. Editing yourself. Second nature.
Don’t waste too much time and energy trying to get your foot in the door with a traditional publisher when the odds are literally stacked against you.