Thursday, 25 September 2008

publish and be damned!

I went on a bit of a roller coaster ride this week over YouWriteOn’s Free POD offer. For anyone who hasn’t seen it, they are offering to publish the first 5000 completed manuscripts free. Not surprisingly it has stirred up a lot of interest among we slushpile inhabitants. It gave me a rush for just long enough to email them my details and tell my family to expect my published book as a Christmas present this year.

But slowly reality has crept in to replace the euphoria. It appears there will be no editing. Whatever is submitted will be published.

OK. I’ve just sent out three chapters of my manuscript to my first round of agents, so I’m reasonably confident it’s properly proofread and in a fit state for human consumption. BUT – and this is big but, hence the capitals – I have never published a book before so I must bow to the greater experience an agent and editor could bring to my efforts. If you ask me whether my manuscript is in perfectly publishable condition as it stands, I couldn’t say yes. I just don’t know.

And with a flood of 5000 unedited books coming out for Christmas, how can I be sure the product will do me and my writing justice?

So my feet have by now gone completely freezing on the whole thing.

BUT…

(another big but – lots of them about!)

A glimmer of good news came in the post the following day. One of said agents sent me a very encouraging personal letter, declining the manuscript as it stands, but offering to discuss it further if I have no luck finding anyone else and am willing to make some changes to the narrative. So, that’s not bad, is it? I might not have published books to give my family this Christmas, but maybe next year…?

7 comments:

June said...

Know what you mean about that YouWriteOn offer. When you read the bit about no editing, you can hear the cries of 'vanity press!'.

Tracy said...

The letter from the agent - not bad! That's BLOODY BRILLIANT!! Any personal communication is to be excited about and pursued.
Keeping my fingers crossed for acceptance by others but, if not, I hope you follow this up. All agents and editors love a writer who's flexible, open to suggestion and willing to rewrite and revise.
Good luck, Sandra. You've got a foot in the door - FANTASTIC!!

Sandra Patterson said...

Thanks Tracy, I'm trying to keep my feet on the ground as this business seems full of pitfalls and false dawns. (Got another rejection this morning - no room for an ego is there?) But the agent's letter did lift my spirits and took me by surprise tbh!

Tracy said...

Sensible to keep grounded, yes, the pitfalls are many, too true, but that's also why any interest is important. Especially in those down moments when we wonder why we're doing this - pull out that letter and smile.

Michael Scott said...

Hi,
for youwriteon - I'm think I'm going to re-edit my first ever Novel, send it. What do I have to lose. Come to think of it - letting them publish it and buying copies is cheaper than printing it out on my inkjet!

I came to your house, I'm going now!

Susan said...

Hey Sandra, popped over from talkback to say hi and have just read your last blog. This is indeed really good news. Yes keep your feet firmly on the ground, but the agent did say make changes and we'll talk. They wouldn't have said that or wasted their time if they hadn't meant it. Go for it girl.

Col B said...

Sandra! That counts as interest from an agent in my book! Nice one.