We all know that the publishing business is as slow as molasses, right? Especially when you're working without an agent like I am. But sometimes, no news can really be good news. Take the picture book manuscript I have circulating around the publishing world right now. I sent it to several publishers back in November. I received a rejection letter from Hyperion in 4 weeks, and one from Boyds Mill Press in 5. which goes to show that rejections tend to come a lot faster than acceptances. That's because if a manuscript generates some interest it has to go through several layers of scrutiny and evaluation before the publishing house decides to purchase it. Which leaves us writers a little hope if we don't get a speedy rejection.
Finally, after seven months of waiting, I wrote to Tricycle Press to inquire about my manuscript. Editor Susan McCombs e-mailed me to say that Summer Dawn Laurie, to whom I had originally sent my manuscript, no longer worked at Tricycle Press (this is another drawback of the publishing business -- editors come and go -- even though Summer had been with Tricycle for about 10 years, I believe). However, she had shared my story with Susan before she left (Yay! It wasn't left to languish in the slush pile), and Susan wanted to keep the manuscript longer for consideration. What does that mean? I asked. She wanted to take it to the next editorial meeting (Double Yay!) Considering the volume of submissions most publishing houses receive and the stiff competition writers face to get editors to take note of their work, it's exciting news indeed if your manuscript makes it to an editorial meeting.
And how much longer? Susan wrote: "After the meeting, occasionally members of the staff ask to read the manuscripts at another time, which can take another month or two depending on the number of projects they have pending." So, I may not know anything definitively till sometime in August or September. But I'm on the e-mail track now which means communication is so much easier and faster. E-mail rocks! I just hope it rocks even better news in a month or two.
In the meantime, I'm keeping myself from checking my e-mail obsessively. Thank God, for summer vacation! Between keeping my kids busy and trying to find time to finish my other picture book manuscript (I'm heavily in the revision process right now), and beginning work on my Young Adult novel, I'm lucky if I get to my e-mail once a day.