Thursday, 10 January 2013

Being on submission...what's it really like?

Last year, I looked at what happens once you get that agent.  Well, now I want to look at What Happens When You Go On Submission.

It's my hope that through chronicling my journey to (hopefully) publication that I can cast a little light along the publishing path for other writers following behind me.  This is an industry where it can be deceptively difficult to find out information about the writer's journey.  There seems to be a wealth of information about the query trenches, but limited information on what happens after that.  I hope that by sharing my story fellow writers will have at least a little more idea on what to expect.

Okay, so let's get down to the bare bones here.  What happens when you go on submission.  Well, obviously the first thing that happens is this:



After the dancing ends, the next feeling you will most likely encounter is:




So, now we have the emotions dealt with - what next???

To be honest, a lot of that depends on your agent and the relationship you have.  So I will tell you how it has worked for me:

*  My agent drew up a list of editors at the major publishers who she felt would be a great fit for my book.

*  She let me know which houses she was pitching.

*  She sent a pitch package to each editor.

And then you WAIT.

Yes, that horrible sensation of waiting that you had when you were knee deep in the query trenches?  Yes - you do that ALL OVER AGAIN!



But here comes the good bit.  You hit refresh on your email for the MILLIONTH time.  And there it is.  An email from your agent, saying "XXX has requested the full".

COMMENCE dancing (see above) and being terrified (again, see above).  This is a great yet terrifying moment.  There are actually editors reading your work.  For real.  Gulp.

This is where my agent is worth her weight in gold.

Here's my process:

*  I freak.

*  Agent reassures me.

*  I continue freaking.

*  Agent emails me that another request has come in.


So you see, it's like a self-perpetuating circle.  I hold down the "writing, editing, freaking" side of the circle; my agent holds down the "editing, promoting, reassuring" side of the circle.  Perfect synergy.

As for what happens after that?  I've not taken that step yet.  I have 3 full ms requests so far.  No rejections yet.  All I  can say is WATCH THIS SPACE!!!!

18 comments:

  1. Haha this sounds like a wonderful and excruciating sort of madness. Good luck! I expect updates! (And congrats on some full requests!! *squeals* That's majorly exciting!)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much, Amanda. I'm almost finished my crit of AoS for you. Been waylaid by the holiday season but I am on catch up!!!

      Delete
  2. Fantastic blog, Fiona!! I can't wait to read the one where you tell us about the bidding war for your book!!! :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Fingers crossed!!! I know if anyone can get me one, it's Jamie!

      Delete
  3. Oh the secretive world of submission. Yeah, Kelley said it best on FFF blog the other day. It's a big game of hurry up and WAIT. Good luck on your requests.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Indeed it is. Hurry up and wait - couldn't have said it better myself! lol

      Delete
  4. Fiona, I think it's great that you're doing this. As someone who -- hopefully -- will soon be following in your agented / submitted footsteps, it's nice to hear from a "real" person what to expect.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. :D Nice to see you here! I hope I always managed to be a "real" person... Robots get rusty! ;-)

      Delete
  5. Thanks so much for sharing! Love seeing what it's like to be on submission. All the best. Hope to see squeeing on Twitter soon about a HUGE bidding war for you :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey!!! *waves like a crazy person* So good to see you here! And fingers crossed on the bidding war, eh?!

      Delete
  6. Fiona-
    Thank you for sharing light. Submission is one of those things you're told not to talk about it and I think it really keeps us unagented authors in the dark. Not a bad thing and I understand why it happens but thanks for shedding some light.

    Also I feel like I should tell you I'd LOVE to do an interview for you on my blog. I'm sorry that this has taken me so long to get back to you about.... Can you tell me your e-mail and what your book is kind of about? (I conduct my interviews thru a fictional character hehe).

    Rachel

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I never did understand why people should be kept in the dark. Lol. I'd love to do an interview for your blog. The book I have on sub is detailed in the My Books tab of my blog. The working title is Starting With Amber and it's a dark contemporary YA. You can email me on freelance_writer_fm@hotmail.com Looking forward to it!

      Delete
  7. Hi Fiona,
    Thanks for the candid heads-up on this mysterious process. One can only dare to dream...
    Looking forward to hearing more about your adventures.
    Best of luck to you and your book! I must go now and prove I am not a robot.
    ~Just Jill

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for the good luck wishes! I wish I could save them all up in a jar and dole them out to all the deserving writers out there! I hope you get your good luck soon!

      Delete
  8. That is wonderful! I'm with you in the submission waiting game and understand how hard it is to not check your email every five seconds! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Waiting is sooooo hard. Good luck on your subs!!!

      Delete
  9. So perfectly explained, right down to the Carleton dance! :p

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. *Carlton dances in the living room* :D

      Delete