Well, my manuscript for Stray has received its first rejection!
I’m not disappointed (okay I’m a leeeetle bit disappointed, but not surprised). I was expecting a rejection. They even gave me some feedback!
I’ll treat you to a play-by-play of my emotional states as I went through this experience:
9:00pm – I see email in inbox. PANIC. Try to decide if I should just pretend I didn’t see it. That’ll make it go away right? No. No. You’re right. Okay. Need moral support. Send panicked message to friend. Friend demands I open it.
9:05pm – Nghhh. Rejection. Okay, this is okay, I expected this, it’s okay. Read the feedback.
9:10pm – Damn it. I should have revised more. I knew about one of these issues that they pointed out. I should have fixed it. It was not good enough. It is not good enough. I have failed. Dishonor on me, dishonor on my family, dishonor on my cow.
9:15pm – STOP THAT. NO. STOP THAT RIGHT NOW.
9:16pm – but…
9:17pm – NO. STOP. IT’S OKAY. GO WRITE. GO WRITE BEFORE YOU GET TOO DISCOURAGED WITH LIFE, THE UNIVERSE, AND EVERYTHING TO EVER WRITE AGAIN. GET BACK ON THE HORSE AND ADDITIONAL CLICHES. DO THE THING.
9:18pm – *dejectedly stares at in-progress sequel to freshly-rejected book* but…
9:19pm – OKAY FINE, SET THOSE GUYS ASIDE. WRITE SOMETHING ELSE. WRITE YOUR SHORT STORY.
9:20pm – *buries the sadness under productivity… sorta*
I’ve spent the past few days in a state of contemplative blah, wondering if I should revise (AGAIN) before sending it off to the next place, or if I should just ship it away in its current state. One of the best writing teachers I’ve ever had advised me to send it off and see what the next place says, so that’s the plan now. I started re-researching other publishers last night. Torquere and Samhain are both closing, which I find alarming, especially after that All Romance debacle recently. The publishing industry is scary enough without publishers folding left and right. Torquere was the first m/m publisher I discovered when I started getting into this genre, so that one’s a double punch in the gut.
One of the great things about this rejection, though, is how positive everyone has been about it. I posted on Twitter and Facebook about it, and I have received so many “welcome to the club” sentiments and back-pats and encouraging words (from published authors!), I can’t even be a little bit sad (okay I can but I’m not letting it get to meI AM NOT LETTING IT GET TO ME I AM NOT).
I said when I started this blog that I wanted it to be a bit of a road map to publication. First stop was Dreamspinner and they rejected me. Next I make my meandering way down the list. I struggle because my book is lengthy (140,000ish words) and a few romance publishers seem to cap it at 120k. I’m disqualified from even attempting there. I am reluctant to try the really small presses after seeing longstanding ones flop. I am further limiting it if I look at the publisher’s Twitter page and they never post.
My list consists of three choices right now. I think they all allow simultaneous submissions (Dreamspinner doesn’t), so over the next couple weeks I’ll be putting together materials to ship Stray off to all of them at once. Might as well just rip off the band-aid. Let the rejections pour in upon me like a plague of frogs from heaven.