I couldn’t stop grinning. Afterall, I’d sent the first five pages off to the publisher with the only goal in mind to get a professional opinion, a critique. I wanted to know if I was on the right track, and if not, what direction I needed to go. What did I need to work on to improve the narrative and the manuscripts? Did I grab the attention of the publisher in the 1st 5 pages?
I have to say I was surprised at the speed they got back to me. BIG plus in their favor. I also understand they have a three step editorial process once they accept a manuscript…another huge plus. AND they have a great reputation as being amazing to work with and they pay well and on time. (Yes, I checked them out before and after submitting the 1st 5 pages).
As to the manuscripts: one was marked up more than the other, but only by a couple of suggestions.
The other, my baby, the start of my Y.A. fantasy trilogy that I’ve been hammering to perfection (if there is such a thing), got four MINOR suggestions and a compliment on a scene for its imagery and the feelings it evoked. At the end was the following comment from the content editor:
“Your story has me intrigued—I want to read more in the worst way! I already feel a connection to the characters and setting. You are being fast tracked!”
I must have read that line a hundred times: “I want to read more in the worst way!” Even reading it now sets my soul aglow. I think those words are what every author wants to hear, especially after a publisher reads those first crucial 5 pages.
To be honest, I’d expected so much more red-lining. This was a publishing house. Even though they are a small, indie press, they still see hundreds if not thousands of manuscripts, and from what I understand, they are quite selective. While I felt confident on both stories to an extent, I certainly wasn’t expecting requests for 2 full manuscripts. Not only that, I’d been fast-tracked on both. That’s like HUGE. My foot is in the door.
To say I’m thrilled is an understatement. Am I nervous? Yes and no. There is still work to be done on both before I submit the fulls. I also want to throw my big baby out there to a couple more betas/critiquers for their comments before I let it go completely.
At least now I know I’m on-track with both manuscripts (according to this publisher), and I have to say the experience has been phenomenal. Thank you, publisher and lovely content editor for your time and critique. Thank you, Scrib sister who gave me the confidence to go for it, but most of all, a million thanks to my beta readers, (especially my Jersey girl. You know who you are!) I couldn’t have come this far without your keen eyes, your opinions, your sense of direction, and your blatent, hard-line honesty smacking me in the face, even when I didn’t want to hear it. I would be lost without all of you. I bow to your greatness.
Now the hard work begins. I’ll keep you posted.