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Monday, 30 April 2018

Those three little words...

So you've submitted your first three chapters, and you've heard those magic three words for the first time..

No, not 'I love you'. It would be odd to be hearing someone say I love you in response to submitting your novel, unless you have submitted it to your Significant Other, which would be, largely, pointless unless you are dating the head of Random Penguin or whatever they call themselves today. Plus, if you are dating the head of a random penguin, your problems may well be further reaching than I can deal with in this blog.

The three words to which I refer are 'Send. More. Please.' There is a caveat about making sure that these words refer to your words, and not, say sandwiches or cake or biscuits - it's always wise to double check, but in the event that you've heard a publisher or agent say them, and you have therefore Sent. More. Words (those words being further words of your novel, not just stray words you happened to have lying around the place), now you need to fill your time until you hear back about the satisfactory nature of those words.

This can be a hard time. You will obsess. You will have the e mail button open on your laptop at all times, and every time a new mail pings in you will open it with your heart thumping. Unless you are expecting your credit card statement, of course, in which case you will close down all means of communication and probably move to the moon. You will make bargains with Fate, wandering around muttering 'if they promise to buy the book I will never again eat four Walnut Whips in succession' and suchlike. Usually with at least one Walnut Whip in your hand.
Unless, as previously stated, you are talking to a random penguin head.
You will read books published by the publisher (or represented by the agent) and try to work out whether your work is in any way comparable. You will also eat a lot of chocolate and sleep standing up.

What you should be doing:
 Apart from pledging yourself to diet off those biscuits and chocolate at the first opportunity, this is what you should do: Get Yourself On Social Media. If you haven't already got one, get a Facebook profile, get on Twitter and make yourself a blog. (What? You didn't think I was doing this for FUN did you?). Because the first thing that publisher or agent will do, on receiving your treasured manuscript is Google you. And it's all very well keeping a low profile and being all mysterious and unavailable and everything, particularly if you have either recently robbed a bank or have more injunctions taken out against you by a certain Sir Tony Robinson, but what a publisher or agent wants is someone who knows how to sell themselves.

I tried to sell myself to Sir Tony, but he returned me with the receipt and asked for his money back. I was, apparently 'not fit for purpose'. Sigh.

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