Monday, 22 March 2010

My novel – des nouvelles

Regular readers of my blog will know that I have a YA novel out on submission at the moment. This process started about 6 weeks ago, with a request for a response from publishers within a month. That deadline (which was never more than a guide time) has obviously passed, and as I write this the only response so far has been a handful of rejections. Most potential publishers have yet to respond (though there have been some hints of interest and requests for more time), and with the Bologna Book Fair about to kick-off, I can expect the waiting game to continue for a while yet.

Rejections -- though inevitable -- are always disappointing, but at least mine so far have been of the brief 'thanks, but not for us right now' kind. However, each one has also offered a critical observation, as well as a positive. Multiple rejections, even ones as brief as these, can be very useful for objectively highlighting a problem in the text, and I'm reassured that so far I haven't had a string of people making the same criticism.

So much that I've read lately suggests that 2009/10 is a bad time to submit a début novel, but I try not to think about this too much. After all, the idea of sitting on my hands and waiting for better times is intolerable, as well as ridiculous. So those hands are out and busy (when my fingers aren't crossed that is) and I'm still hopeful that The Ghost Effect will find the right home. I'll post more about all this when the time comes.


  1. Thomas,

    Interesting post. I'm always fascinated by the writer journey to publication. Good luck and keep us posted :)


  2. I started off thinking that publishers rejections would be helpful feedback, but to be honest they all contradicted eachother, and they were all based on subjective reasoning. Hope this hideous process doesn't drag on too long and ends with success for you.

  3. Thanks, Karen. It's a rocky road, but there's no other way. I'll write a more detailed post once the whole process is over, whatever the outcome.

    And thanks, Keren. yes, there's very little that's helpful in publisher rejections. Someone will 'love the writing' but be 'unconvinced by the plot' while someone else will enjoy the story-telling but have doubts over characterisation. In the end, it does end up sounding highly subjective. But hey ho...

  4. I like your attitude, Thomas. As far as I can tell, publishing is a crap shoot. Fingers still crossed.

  5. Thomas,

    I'm sure TGE will find a home. It's a great read folks!

  6. I can really relate Thomas. Rejections stink! The one good thing I can say is that, for me, the rejections have come quickly. The editors that are interested take longer to get back to us. I bet it will be the same for you. :)

  7. Thank you, Terry, Simon, and Natalie.

    Yes, the negative replies tend to come in first and fastest. 'No' is a very easy word to say, 'maybe' takes a little longer, and 'yes'... well, that's taken on an almost mythic quality in publishing. But it does happen.

  8. Good luck! I don't mind rejections but I absolutely hate not knowing. I hope you don't have to wait too long for replies and that you get a positive response soon.

  9. The subjectivity can be a pain but then it's also the best part because it only takes one publisher to like it and you're away! I have yet to get more than a wonderful but try next door - and that's just from the agents!

    I know you'll come up rosy with this - you may have to wait a little is all. In the meantime...what can we do to sky rocket the economy?

  10. Thanks, Helen. Not knowing is very frustrating, but at least no news might be good news.

    Thanks, Rachel. I'm full of new ideas right now -- the only antidote to uncertainty.

    Another skyrocket economy is the last thing we need! I'm thinking of making 'Eat Less, Think More' a strapline on my blog:-)


Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.