There’s not a ton of info floating around on the subject of being on submission as an author, and there is a reason for that!
My fav quote I’ve stumbled on regarding sub: “Sub is a lot like fight club. The first rule of being on sub: we do not talk about being on sub.”
We all have our own style, and I’m not all that superstitious, to be honest. Sub is what it is. It’s not life or death, people. It’s WRITING. For goodness sake, chillax! We’re lucky we got this far! That being said, I will abide by sub rule and I won’t talk about the process in depth until I have a book deal. I know it’s best to stay quiet. As of this moment, my MS is bright and shiny and in the best shape it’s ever been! Seriously. It’s like my MS was looking great, but then Carrie and I became its personal trainer, took it to the gym for circuits, yoga, and then a trip to the juice bar, and now it’s in prime fighting shape yet also super centered, cleansed, hydrated and energized.
Once we have a deal I will probably do a series of blogs about publishing. That’s when I’ll discuss how the sub process went for me, how I handled it (spoiler alert: not well), and all the currently unknown stuff that I can’t even pretend to know yet because it’ll all come after I’ll sign a pub contract.
For now I will say this:
Sub is basically querying, 2.0. There are a lot of authors that find sub worse than querying. I definitely don’t. When you go on sub, you have the support of your agent, and when you’re querying you’re on your own which SUCKS SO HARD I HATED QUERYING HOLY CRAP YOU GUYS I STILL HAVE ALL THE NIGHTMARES.
Of course, it is hard not to take it personally when people pass on your MS.
But *I came up with a way to look at it that makes the whole sub process feel way less personal. You know when you’re talking to a friend, and they’re telling you about this beautiful dress they found in a shop that they think would be perfect for you? They describe it like this:
“It’s pastel floral print! So summery, with a sweetheart neckline and these gorgeous little lace details down the side. The skirt’s all flowy and girly, the waist is cinched, and it’s super short.”
You can picture the dress. It’s everything you ever dreamed!
Then you go to the store and try it on. It’s a pretty dress, just not for you, and when you finally manage to zip it up it doesn’t fit right. The sweetheart neckline isn’t so much sweetheart as it is high cut. It hugs your hips in the wrong places and comes down well past your knees on your short frame. Face it: you’re a hemline away from being Amish.
It’s a bit like that famous scene in 500 Days of Summer: Expectations vs. Reality.
See? Still a great dress, and would look beautiful on someone else. Just isn’t exactly your style, or how you envisioned it would look on you.
That’s kind of how it is when your MS receives a pass. Sometimes, it just doesn’t match what someone had in mind.
*this dress analogy was actually my mom’s analogy. She said I could use it on my blog and take all the credit.