Keep Calm and Query On

KEEP CALM - CARRY ON

KEEP CALM - CARRY ON (Photo credit: atomicShed)

And at the snap of the fingers, the Primate goes from pensive to proactive…

Last week may have been my time to stop and take stock, but this week I’ve no choice, really, but to throw myself into working / writing / revising / job-searching. I’m leaving for the States next week, you see, for a couple weeks to visit Chicago and New York, and then I’m hosting my lovely sister and niece in London immediately thereafter. With March thus swallowed, my husband and I are also already making travel plans for April. So was I just worrying about finding full-time work? Who has time for full-time work??! 😉

But seriously, before I soon venture where technology goes to die (a.k.a. Mom and Dad’s), it’s full-on git ‘er done mode right now. I nonetheless thought I’d pause from that to share what have been my first non-form-letter rejections! Woo-hoo! Okay, the exclamation points may seem like either sarcasm or extremely unwarranted enthusiasm, but, honestly, after about a dozen standard manuscript rejections, it’s so very nice to receive personalized feedback. Both of these came in recently from small publishers. The first is in response to a re-submission, and, admittedly, shame on me for trying to wedge my octagon-shaped cross-genre manuscript into the square hole of genre fiction:

The changes that you made to the story were great! It flowed much more smoothly. […] Unfortunately, I think that it still won’t work for us. I think that it is a great “paranormal” story but there just isn’t the romantic element that [the publisher] is known for. I do think that you should really seek publication for this though. I think that it is a great story and a publisher that doesn’t specialize in romance would take it.

Fair enough. I knew that mere romantic elements does not a romance make, but it was worth a try. Moving on, I received this at the end of last week:

While your story was very interesting, and at times suspenseful, we have to be very selective due to a high volume of submissions received each week.

The beginning gripped me, and the end had my spine tingling. However, I felt that after the first chapter, the pace slowed quite dramatically. I kept wanting something more to happen, and though it did, it felt like it took a long time to happen (not until toward the later half). Again though, your story as a whole is wonderful, I just feel that another company would be able to offer better representation at this time.

We sincerely thank you once more for thinking of us, and wish you the very best in your journey to publication. We have no doubt that you will find representation with another publisher.

Those are both very gracious, no? It certainly softens the sting and encourages me to keep on truckin’ and strengthen that story. As of now, in the meantime, I have a query outstanding with another small publisher and the full manuscript with an agent. My upcoming travel schedule is probably an aptly-timed excuse to step back from all this for a bit, eagerly await those responses, refresh, and come back swinging in spring—hopefully with a second manuscript to query on behalf. 🙂

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About thefallenmonkey

Primate that dapples in writing when not picking others' fleas or flinging its own poop. View all posts by thefallenmonkey

8 responses to “Keep Calm and Query On

  • Milo James Fowler

    “I do think that you should really seek publication for this though.” — That’s got to be SO encouraging! Great responses, and yet another reminder that I need to get my novel-length manuscripts back out there.

    • thefallenmonkey

      Milo, your querying efforts have totally put mine to shame! I’m so glad you wrote that post to reinforce the buck-up attitude that I’ve just got to keep on trudging through that cruel, cruel submission world. You had BETTER get your novels back out there.

  • Alannah Murphy

    “Where technology goes to die…”

    That was hilarious, and oh so true. Daddy has a computer, but he uses it to play the electronic chess game that it comes with 😀

    Those were great rejections, I mean, yes, they’re rejections but the fact they personalised them, and were positive, is actually a great sign.

    I hope one day, I too, receive such rejections, not too many though, and someone better like my Julian, or he’ll throw a tantrum and hit someone with his microphone stand, or worse, punch them…(he throws a mean left)

    • thefallenmonkey

      “Those were great rejections” – I love that statement. But it’s true, right? It does make a difference when they take the time to personalize. I obviously understand why most of them don’t, but even offering a mere sentence of gut-response feedback would give us something useful to run on. If only my protagonist were as confrontational as Julian; would be nice to know she had my back, but she’s sorting through some confidence issues of her own. 🙂

      As for parents’ computer. Yeah. The situation is bleak. Dial-up internet, no Microsoft Office software, and too outdated to update web browsers, thereby limiting functionality of continuously updated sites like Google Mail and my work blog. The folks at my hometown Starbucks have become rather familiar with my face. I wonder if they feel used that I’m only there for the WiFi. 🙂

      • Alannah Murphy

        Julian has a few ‘issues’ to deal with, and he tends to deal with them by punching people…hmmm, I’m quite physical too, though I haven’t punched anyone for about 19 years…but who knows, plenty of idiots at my day job that deserve plenty of punching mwah hah hah….

        Dial-up internet? Really? It still exists? Wow, that’s hilarious…

        I’m sure Starbucks are used to being ‘used’ for that very reason 🙂

  • scottjclemons

    First off, well done on the title of this post. It really stood out amidst the stagnating pool of “A Day In the Life of…” posts that get crammed into the “writing fiction” tag.”

    Second, congrats on the personalized letters. The first time I received one was when I first started submitting my work and I didn’t know that it was a sign that I’d done something good. I just thought the editor was being a dick, picking on my story. It wasn’t until later that I realized how rare it is for an editor to do that sort of thing.

    • thefallenmonkey

      Thanks so much for popping by, Scott! I’m glad my title could lure you into my lil’ corner of cyberspace. 🙂

      I wouldn’t have thought there could be a “good” rejection letter, but I really did appreciate these…and I appreciate your encouragement that it’s a good sign and will hold onto that as I brave further submissions. *gulp*

  • When Not Being Published Doesn’t Feel Too Shabby… « The Fallen Monkey

    […] I have to laugh, though, because right on the heels of my earlier post about the ever-so-lovely rejection letters I’d received from a couple small publishers (I mean it; they were nice!), I got this one from […]

Pick my fleas!

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