Waiting to go on submission

Two years ago I sat down and began to write.

Two months later I had a first draft of a novel.

Eight months later I participated in a Twitter pitch contest and got three favorites. One got rejected within five pages; one got rejected after going to the publisher’s editorial board; the other–a bonafide literary agent–asked for a full. I never heard back. I gave up and kept writing novels. I am doing this for myself, I tell myself. Query letters and querying agents is bullshit and I’d rather be writing new stories.

Ten months later the request for a full writes me an email, completely unexpected, saying she thinks it has a good chance with a major publisher. But I need to rewrite the first couple chapters because they’re slow.

I signed with her. She’s newish at being a literary agent, and it’s sort of a side gig with her, but she has contacts within the business and sold 12 project to Big 5 imprints in her first year. She is on many novelists’ to-query list.

Cue several months of rewriting. New opening to the book. Tweaking details. A line-edit. Yep, she’s an editorial agent. And now I think the revising is over and she is writing a pitch letter and preparing submissions.

And I’m listening to Morrisey and singing “I wanted to go on submission then I went on submission and Heaven knows I’m miserable now”. Because once we have submissions out there, things will get really scary.

But seriously. When I’m a NYT bestseller and HBO makes the novel into a miniseries and I sit next to GRRM at ComicCon, you can all say you knew me when :smiley:


The traditional publishing business is notoriously godawful slow. I wrote some entries last year for an encyclopedia that is not being published in hard copy until this November. And the whole project was started quite a bit before then!

So you will hurry up and wait … but it’s going to be so worth it.

Thanks, romansperson. I think I won’t mind waiting so much once I know. It’s the not knowing that’s killing me.

Can I say I knew you on the way up?

Seriously congratulations. However I understand not much money is made from first books unless they are knockouts. Particularly with electronic media- but if you succeed that is more important. Maybe.

Hope all goes well. I have a friend who about two years ago published a book called “The Time Cellar”. It surprised me quite a lot as I never expected him to be the type to have the time to write a book.

Hey, that’s great news! Good luck to you!


I’m going to go hurl crockery at my wall for a little while, since I have 700+ rejections on my book and no lit agent in sight, but that’s just jealousy.

Thanks, everyone!

Try pitch contests, if you haven’t. They’re warm leads, so even if they reject you, it at least tends to be a personalized rejection. I got my agent in PitMad, but there’s PitMatch, SFFPit, PitchWars, etc.

As to the money: the novel is the first of a trilogy (which is complete), and my agent is going to pitch the trilogy. I don’t know if it will sell that way or not, but back when we were talking about just the first book, she said $10K is a standard advance for a first novel. She “isn’t doing her job as my agent” if she can’t get that, and if it goes to auction, it could fetch more. I don’t know if selling the whole trilogy would triple that number or not.

It isn’t money to live on, but it sure would be a nice supplement to my day job.

So happy for you!

Congratulation! This is a big step and great news.

Congrats! Awesome :slight_smile:

The proper response is to write another book.

Thanks for the congrats.

And that is my response to most of life’s momentous events–keep writing.

Congrats! Best of luck!

That’s awesome! Congratulations, and good luck!

Awesome, and huge congrats! And I’m very jealous… I hope to be there someday!