Thursday, February 1, 2007

In the beginning was the...submission

I am sooo excited for Missy and her new sale! But first, she had to submit. That's what I did this week, the beginning of the process. By the way, Missy will be the first to tell you the sale is not the end of the process. The raging bees in your stomach as you stand in the post office zings everything in motion.

Before you can sell a novel, you must first submit. At the ACFW conference, Steve Laube (agent) said that he estimated that over 60% of authors never submit even though they've been requested. Wow! Another agent said they thought it was as high as 80%!

Why? Boy do I understand why!

I stood in the UPS Store on Tuesday ready to mail my completed novel. I'd spent a long time researching, writing, and learning how to write it. I then spent a significant amount of time learning how to submit, write a proposal, and going to conferences to get requests.

I shook. My stomach fluttered. I giggled nervously. I almost forgot to write "requested materials" on the package. But I mailed it.

Then I realized that I'd forgotten to mention the publishers that requested a full (to read the entire manuscript.)
Then I found out AFTER I'd mailed it that the agent's address changed inexplicably through no fault of their own.
Then I realized that I made a font error on one page (one paragraph was different) of my proposal. I'd worked SO hard and long, had it proofed by several other people, I still missed it.

Why are people afraid? Because of little things like this. But you know what? I don't think any of those things will get me rejected. OH! That's why authors are afraid. They don't want to hear, "No thanks."

I decided a long time ago that if I get a rejection that it will help me learn what I don't know. The reality is that I can't be perfect. I can only be who I am. If I don't know something, it's a better thing for me to learn now than later. I'll be a better writer and person for it. Basically, put it into perspective.

So, what now? I wait. I'll wait at least 6-8 weeks just to find out if that particular agent wants to represent me. If they do, then we wait for the sale process which can last months. And after that...publishing revisions, marketing, reviews. From sale to published book can take 12-18 months. That's all on top of the time it takes to get a response on the submission AFTER you've written the book. My book, website, and blogs are all done. Am I done? No way. I am taking online classes, learning to better organize, and starting book 2. I wait productively.

Why? Because my goal is not to be published, but to create a career that I feel called into by the Lord. Is this the book to start it all? I have no idea. I can only hope and my hope is in the Lord.

"Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him and he will do this: He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like the noonday sun. Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him;" Psalm 37: 5-7a

One of our sister authors is on her way with a book contracted to be published, another is on her way to attempt a sale. Different timelines, different plans from the Lord. Both are an adventure. You, lovely reader, get to see both sides today:-)

Are you hoping for something? Will it take a long time? Isn't it worth it to start? Remember, Missy only sold because she submitted. You can only achieve your dream if you start. Prepare to achieve!

May the Lord bless the desires of your heart today,


  1. Angie, you aren't kidding about the process of submitting. Can you say STRESSED OUT? I think the time you're standing in line to get it mailed is worse than after it's gone. And inevitably, I mess up on something--leave something out of the packet or come across a typo later. Grrr. I think God does that for a reason. I'm not perfect. Never will be (just don't tell my kids). He's in control of all of it.
    BTW, love the verse.

  2. Angie,
    I love the way you started. In the beginning....
    great post.

  3. Amen to that, Angie! And congrats on getting your submission in the mail!!!!! You should celebrate!

    Hope you're feeling better. Maybe it was all the stress that got you sick. :)


  4. Hey all,
    Thanks for commenting. Update on the mailed submission...I'm trying to catch it at the UPS center to switch the addresses before it gets sent back. I so don't want to pay again:-) I've started the outline (which to me meanse 2-3 sentences at the top of each blank chapter) of my second book. I need to wait productively or I'd never make it.