Manuscript Peddling: Only Slighlty Preferable to Being Waterboarded

Writing isn’t the hard part of being a writer. That’s the easy part. I have more ideas than I’ll ever put down. Getting published…. that’s the hard part. Imagine engaging yourself in an activity that purposefully invites criticism and rejection on a daily basis. It’s masochistic.

I’m in the process of flogging my latest manuscript. I used to keep rejection letters when they were actual letters. Now I just delete and move on. It’s part of the business. Even if it does feel personal after the umpteenth rejection, ultimately it isn’t. It is what it is. Frustrating. Unkind. Demoralizing. Impersonal. There is no business that will kill you quicker with hope than publishing.

Because of my location it’s difficult for me to get to the majority of writers conventions. That’s where the money is. That’s where you meet the agents and publishers and can sell your idea, your love for it, and your enthusiasm in person. I really would have no problem wrestling an editor to the ground and forcing her to read my manuscript. Every time I’ve had an opportunity to get a publisher by the proverbial throat and force them to read what I’ve written I’ve walked away successful. It’s just a matter of getting their attention.

The blossoming of the internet has made the process of selling my ideas infinitely easier than it was eight or so years ago. Back then I would have to buy hundreds of dollars worth of postage when I was in the states and smuggle it through customs (FYI it’s taxable). Then I would have to prepare submission packages complete with the SASE. I received more requests for partials and fulls back then than I do now. The reason is (confirmed by several people in the know) because now that agents and publishers have opened up the doors to electronic submissions they get bombarded. When it took some work to get your work into anyone’s hands, writers tended not to shot-gun out submissions like they do now.

Despair comes with the territory. Then you have a moment. A shining, validating, golden moment. Sort of like when you’re learning to golf and you’ve just about convinced yourself you can’t hit the ball then you drive that sucker like Annika Sorenstam. There is no giving up. You’ve tasted how delicious it can be if you just keep whacking away at it. You can’t give up. Those moments are the ones that pull you back in. I had one of those moments. There are harder, more painful, horrible fates in the world than having to face an inbox full of rejection emails. Waterboarding comes to mind.

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7 thoughts on “Manuscript Peddling: Only Slighlty Preferable to Being Waterboarded

  1. *trying to comment but can’t stop laughing* For one, your “About me” is funny and engaging. “I don’t want to meet you…” Why is it that people assume that because you write erotica means you want to hump everything with a pulse? Anyway, I digress. Yes, rejection is difficult but what is a nice change in the electronic world is with the auto preview feature in email, I don’t even have to ready the whole rejection, all I have to do is pay attention to the first few lines and then move on!

  2. The deluge of half-arsed, poorly written, electronically submitted crap that agents and publishers see these days requires a change in strategy from serious (though as-yet-unpublished) authors. This is why I post my short(ish) pieces on my blog, for everyone to read, in the hope that it will rise to the top of the publishing butter churn and be noticed by those agents and publishers who are looking. I plan to let the publishing industry come to me!

    I really hope they’re looking…

    Ps. I’ve considered lacy panties and a pushup bra for writing, but wasn’t sure I could pull it off. Do you find it makes a difference? 😉

    • You should give the lingerie a try! But all kidding aside… I’m hoping that my constant and almost relenting self-promotion will equal getting noticed. It seems more like luck than real talent is the key to getting to the top of the heap.

      • I’d put it this way; you need a certain amount of luck to become wildly successful, you only need persistence to become moderately successful, but without talent all the luck and persistence in the world won’t help you one bit. When you further realise that people tend to make their own luck (by failing until they succeed) the whole thing starts to look more manageable.

        Keep plugging away with the rest of us and we’ll make it eventually.

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