Let me start by saying I absolutely hate the idea of reality shows. They first started during a writers strike, remember? Reality shows were not scripted, so producers could fill the schedule without using writers. Even then, it was a picket line I didn’t want to cross. Not to mention, too often they just seemed to bring out the worst in everyone. I just don’t call that entertainment, especially while living with donkeys and goats.
Having said that, I am totally aware that this blog is a lot like a reality show where I optimistically yearn, while wandering around with my vulnerabilities pinned on my sleeve. Everyone wonders how it’s going to end. Including me. Do I get to be the awkward dancer who doesn’t make the first cut, or am I the weirdo who can really sing?
I am pretty sure if we were on TV these long, waiting weeks would be edited for time.
Last week, I mentioned an editor had contacted me. Flattering. She works for a Hybrid press. A hybrid requires a submission process, but then you work together with the press to deliver the book. Yeah, I wondered what that meant, too. (Cue the mighty Wurlitzer, we need a foreboding soundtrack.)
I poured over their website and some areas were vague, but the hybrid model sounded like a wonderful response to all the crazy changes in the publishing industry. In less than a week, I got the call that they wanted to talk. Yes, vindicated! Most presses take months but this press speaks right up. The rep told me that my manuscript was accepted and I should feel great, 90% are rejected. (Wurlitzer chords pounded fast, racing to a high-pitched flat note hanging at the end…)
He cheerfully reminded me about the bottom line. It comes down to money, no surprise there. The rep said the project would require $15,000-$25,000. Would I be able to invest that? (An overly dramatic crescendo–bass notes, using way too many keys, pause….) “No.”
This might be my first book, but it isn’t my first rodeo. I have done my research, I’ve learned a fair amount about methods and costs involved in publishing. I even think I have a fair idea of my book’s potential.
I told him I was very confident in the manuscript itself and that it would be published, if not by them. We thanked each other politely and hung up.
It was business. No kidding. I came away feeling strong. With my usual rose-colored blinders on, I chose to focus on their acceptance more than my (budget) rejection.
This is week 13, I tossed a Hail Mary submission to a publisher that I’d love to work with–it’s a long shot. And the rest of my time was taken with lessons, shedding horses, and working on transitioning my blog into a book. Well, two books actually.
Relaxed and Forward is 5 years old next month–my blog has always been a labor of love. I worried that posts from the first couple of years would be painful to revisit, that my writing would seem trite to me. Instead it was like a visit with an old–and slightly less wordy–friend.
We are one week closer and the mighty Wurlitzer plays a spring-like tune.