I recently submitted my novel to a publisher and, like most debut authors, I sat here and waited and waited, checked my in-box, wrote on the second novel in the trilogy. Would they like it? Would they want it? or worse yet…would they hate it and I’d get another rejection?
Finally, after three weeks (very fast for the publishing biz), I received their response…and it was pure gold.
Was it an acceptance? No, but it wasn’t a rejection, either. In fact, they would like for me to resubmit after I make some changes.
Ruh row. Changes? To my novel, to my baby I’ve nourished and pampered and loved and coddled? How can it be? It was literary genius, right?
Not. So, what did I do wrong to not get a resounding enthusiastic “Yes”?
It’s not so much what I did wrong, but what I needed to do better. I have to tell you folks, I got lucky with this publisher. Not only did they read the entire manuscript, but the editor went through it with a pick axe and chopped it up and bled all over it. It was exactly what I was looking for to perfect my little gem.
So, what did they say? I needed better character development here, a more precise plot line there. I needed to change a relationship between two characters to avoid a potential squeamish factor. I needed to fix the dialogue between my teens or make the characters older. And the big one…I needed more girl appeal as 75% of my novel is dark and aimed towards guys. *Sigh* Yes, girls, apparently we still rule the market. It’s okay to have a dark ‘guy’ novel, but we gotta have something for the girls ‘cause that’s what sells. So, I’m adding more of my sassy side-kick, Charlotte.
It has been three weeks since I received their feedback, and I have been under a serious re-write since then. I have to say, their suggestions were right on and the novel is so much better now. It was exactly the feedback I needed to whip this baby into shape. Of course I will submit to my beta readers once more to make sure it’s perfected before I send it back to the publisher, but I’m really excited by this possibility.
No matter how I look at it, there is one thing for certain: I didn’t get another rejection. I’m actually floating from the criticism. Now all I have to do is ‘git her done’, which means I need to quit writing on this silly blog and get back to my novel. I’ll keep you posted. Wish me luck.
What has been your experience with agents and/or publishers? Were you lucky enough to get a critiqued manuscript? A request for a re-submission? Were you able to re-write to capture their interest and secure a contract? I would love to hear your stories.