Tuesday, October 11, 2011

The Ambiguous "Soon"

Like most of you, I've been around the rejection block a few times. And, like most of you again, I've waited long periods of time to hear from those rejections. Rejections from agents. Rejections from editors. Rejections from various writing contests. Rejections from publishers. You name it, I've probably been rejected by it. And I'm certain, that most of you can sympathize with me. Rejection is a normal process in the world of publishing.

So it's been seven months since I submitted to a publisher's open door submission. I've waited, and instead of a rejection, my manuscript has slowly ascended to the ranks of the chosen few. Out of nearly 1,000 submissions, mine is one of approximately 24 that made it to the editors desk. I feel great about that accomplishment! However, the waiting tends to drive me a little batty at times.

Sure, I know all the tricks. Write. Do something. But when the publisher posts twitter comments and posts about giving us an answer "very soon", I know-- from my experience--that soon means nothing in the world of publishing. That "soon" was posted over a month ago. And still I wait to know my fate.

A couple of months ago, I also submitted to a twitter contest for Random House UK, for a picture book. They asked if they could take my manuscript to a meeting. "Sure!" I replied. "Next week" has come and gone. A month ago they said that emails were going out "today". Well, "today" has long since come and gone.


It brings me to wonder, is there a secret language only known to editors? Do they have a code that "soon" actually means 3 months?  Or does "next week" actually mean give or take a month or two. I have yet to discover the hidden secrets in the editorial lingo. I have learned though, that one should never take an ambiguous "soon" as gold. Things happen. Meetings are pushed back. Things appear on their desks. And as one of many writers, we must learn patience (dang it). Makes me wonder if agents, editors, publishers, are teaching us to wait. Maybe we'll finally get used to it all when we get that contract. For if/when we do, we have to wait for our books too. :o)


  1. Oh Lord. I am your choir. If I don't develop some pretty serious psychological ticks and involuntary spasms as a result of all this pent up "patience" I will likely just implode. :-)

  2. Well awesome about all the good reports, but Oh, I so hear you on the waiting. It's sure hard to be patient!

  3. So true! Even published authors have to wait to see their books go to press. Waiting is just part of life and definitely part of the writing career. Great post, Kristal! And good luck with your very promising submissions!! :)

  4. Congrats on the moving up part! And I so know what you mean about publishers operating on a different time schedule. I think publishing is run by Ents who mull everything over a dozen times before they can make a decision.

  5. Nope, you never get used to the waiting. Selling a book is great, but waiting to hold that contract in your hand can take months. I've had friends who have held their ARCs before they've held their contracts. And waiting on the actual check is really hard. And waiting on that ARC is hard. And waiting for your actual pub date is hard. As is waiting on that submission for your next book LOL

    It's a never ending cycle of WAIT. You do get more used to the time frames though. While the waiting is never fun, once you realize that "soon" could be a year from now, it might at least stop you from stalking your inbox. Maybe ;)


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