It is unusual for me to blog twice in one day, but today I have news.
Well, it is done. I have made my first ever submission to a publishing house.
Some of you will probably ask: "What took you so long? You finished the manuscript in July!"
The answer is very simple. It was one part editing and three parts sheer, unadulterated terror.
That might surprise you, but it's the truth. Submitting your work is terrifying. In fact, as I stood at the post office and watched the postman put all the stickers on the package, I almost had a change of heart. I almost snatched the parcel back and ran from the post office. I was scared. He was about to send what was essentially my heart and soul to New York to be ripped open and ripped apart by some stranger. That is a terrifying thought.
I think it is akin to telling the boy (or girl, if there are guys reading this) you barely know but have admired for longer than you care to acknowledge that you, in fact, admire them. The fear is exactly the same, and so is the impetus. You can't sleep, you can't eat, or perhaps you do too much of both, until you've said it. Until you know for sure. So it is with submitting one's work for judgement. There is a need to know.
You cannot bear the thought of rejection, but you cannot stand not knowing.
So it was that with much trepidation that I sent away my book proposal to New York for consideration, and now I have to sit and wait for a response. The response, they told me on the website, can take anywhere between two and six months. This wait will probably kill me, as they are the publishing house I would most like to publish my work.
"They" are, in fact, Tor Fantasy, a branch of the massive publishing company MacMillan. I would like to be published by them if only because they had the good sense to publish Steve Erikson (among others like Sara Douglass) and Mr. Erikson's Malazan Book of the Fallen series is wonderful. I should very much like to be published by them.
I realise that I am probably shooting for the stars by having the audacity to hope to be published by Tor, but hey, go big or go home, right? One of the main reasons for my choice, other than the books they publish, is that they are one of the few publishing houses that still accept unsolicited submissions. Bloomsbury used to, but were probably overwhelmed with manuscripts after the success of Harry Potter.
In trying to get published, as in any endeavour, there really is only one thing you can do:
Prepare for the worst and hope for the best.
That is technically two things, but take it as a package.
So that is what I will do. I will brace myself for the probably rejection, and hope that I get an offer.