A Glimpse into the Path to (First-time) Publication
I’m not sure why I put “first-time” in parentheses, other than the fact that it is my dying wish the subsequent attempts will be less brutal. But it is wholly possible that every attempt is equally difficult—if not in the same ways, in different ways which will toughen up the skin that didn’t get calloused the first time around.
You’ve heard that it only takes one ‘yes’ (from an agent.) But have you heard that it takes many more? If your agent is submitting to traditional publishing houses, you’ll need an editor to say ‘yes’. But he/she won’t say ‘yes’ without getting several more approvals from his/her team. No one in the publishing industry makes unilateral decisions. Many people will weigh in with the value of the proposed work. Lots and lots of people have to say ‘yes.’
So it becomes a ‘yes’ (from an editor.) After a deal is negotiated, and the confetti has been swept from your floor, the real work will begin. You only THOUGHT you’d worked hard on the manuscript you submitted through your agent. And so it becomes your turn to say ‘yes’ to rethinking your characters and their journeys, word choices, sentence structures, and that amazing ending you’ve been married to for the last few years.
At the time of this writing—almost one year to the day my manuscript went out on submission—I’m near the end, knee-deep in copy edits. As you can already surmise, it’s been a tough year, made even tougher knowing it’s because of my own relentless determination that I’m here.
Once a day, I force myself to pull back and away from the daunting edits. Where do I go? To visit the online retailers that now feature my amazing cover with a pre-order button to click and buy. It’s what gives me the courage and strength to return to work with an overwhelming gratitude to my agent who said ‘yes.’