Submissions have been driving me nuts recently. Yes I've been doing them, apparently an author needs to do submissions to publishing houses if she actually wants her book to make it into print or even ebook format.... who knew...lol. I send off one, then get a thanks but no thanks letter and I send off another one to someone else. Trying to find a publisher for a novel is really the most frustrating thing I've done in a long while. Yes it's a fact of life if you choose writing as a career, I understand that but I'm not really finding pleasure in the dance I am now engaged in.
It wasn't until I went and had a sulk in bed the other day, that I realised finding a publisher is a bit like dating. I know my mind is strange but bear with me... I'm about to ramble and then hopefully reach a poignant conclusion.
When you meet someone your interested in and get to go out on a date you are faced with a few choices, and I'm not talking about where to go. I'm talking personal choices. I find the choice is basically summed up by the Paloma Faith song "Do you want the truth or something beautiful?"
You put on the outfit you keep for special occasions because it makes you look better that anything else you own. It might be that tight skirt that shows how perfectly rounded your butt is, along with the top that you bought when you went out shopping and your girlfriend said 'that make your tits look great, you so need to buy it.' You add the lace top stockings and your highest platforms that you sometimes refer to as your 'come fuck me shoes'. Next you get out the paint and move onto your face. You add a little foundation just to make sure the uneven tone is covered, the mascara and eyeliner highlights your eyes making them more alluring, the lipstick makes your lips look fuller and more kissable. You straighten your hair, ensure it has a nice shine..... by the time you get out in public you look like a new woman..... and for what? To impress someone you know very little about.
So he sits through dinner and talks at you (about himself of course) he burps loudly, looks at the asses of the other women who walk past the table and when he's disinterested in what you're saying, he stares at your tits. I mean really, you knew you shouldn't have worn that push up bra and top that makes them look great, what else did you expect? You console yourself that at least he's not yawning. By the end of the night you may or may not have decided to have sex with him, depending on how cute he is.
The next day after you've made him breakfast he looks at you and sees who you really are. Your hair is now a wavy mess with a few dry ends, because you showered late last night after he decided to cum all over your tits while having sex. Of course he was sound sleep so had no idea you'd even left the bed. You have no makeup on, your tits aren't as pert because you aren't wearing a bra and the fluffy dressing gown hides your shapely everything. Arh... finally the truth.
Then the dance really begins, he might call, he might not. He may ask to see more of you before he decides no you're not what he's looking for. If he's nice he'll probably let you know he doesn't want to hear from you again. If not, you just won't hear from him. So, after a designated timeframe, and its different for everyone, you move on. You go out, find someone else and do the dance all over again. Hopefully before you run out of options you meet the one person in the world who thinks that your truth is beautiful.
A dance with a publisher is much the same, minus the sex and need to shower of course. You show an interest in them by sending in the submission. You give them a part of yourself to look at, usually the first three chapters of your manuscript. You make that part of you look as beautiful as you can. You dress the story up in your synopsis, you have the hook line, you try to make it sound interesting within the guidelines they insist you work within. You give them the pitch and hope they respond favourably.
If the publisher reads on past the initial query and synopsis (i.e. they decided to spend the night.) In the cold light of day things might look different. There are one or two spelling and grammar mistakes (well sorry, after editing 60 million times by myself I'm cross eyed and might have missed a few things here and there.) The manuscript basically fits into the guidelines they have for publication but it doesn't have all of them (oops did I have a DP scene, when I shouldn't have?). The now wavy hair looked better straight.
If they like the beautiful packaging then you might hear from them again, but even then they could still decide that you're not what they are looking for. If they're nice they will probably let you know they don't want to hear from you again. If not you just won't hear anything. So, after a designated timeframe, and its different for everyone, you move on the the next publishing house. You start the dance and hope for a different outcome.
And, just as it is with dating, hopefully before you run out of options you find the publisher who thinks that your truth is beautiful.