Sunday, 9 September 2012

Best Ways To Survive Submission

Okay, just to clarify, this is NOT the kind of submission in Fifty Shades of Grey, but thanks for stopping by the blog anyway.

Submission is when you and your agent agree that your novel is in the best shape possible for editors to brood over its lovely pages. It's also a lot like being at a high school dance wishing the cute guy on the other side of the gym would notice you.

photo credit,

At first, it was exciting to have people who are in charge of turning stories into real books, reading MY story.

Then the rejections came. But that was okay, I told myself, it's a subjective business, right?

Then months passed.

Then the calendar year turned.

Um...all right. Let's buckle down and send out another story.

Then more rejections came.

Then more months passed.

See the pattern?

Each path to publication is different. Mine feels like it's uphill and in the dark. And even though I realize my path may not end with a book deal, I keep moving forward—mostly because I'm a sucker for a happy ending.

Incredibly, after all this time, whenever the phone rings my first thought is that @rivetingrosie is calling with amazing news!

I still hit emotional potholes of doubt along the way. I've posted about it here, and here. But I've learned a valuable lesson while being on submission these many eons—It doesn't matter if you think you'll never be published or if you're the next J.K. Rowling...rejections still roll in.

And I've discovered it's more fun to dream while I wait.

Here are the top five things that help me survive submission.

1. Instead of waiting for a book deal to celebrate, treat yourself each time you get a rejection. It doesn't have to be expensive or elaborate, just enough to make you smile.

2. When you're reading the latest deals in Publishers Marketplace, remember all of those success stories were years in the making. Did you hear that? YEARS.

3. Keep writing. The best decision I recently made was to enter a short story contest on  @GeekChic42's website. Creating a story with a beginning, middle, and end in less than 1000 words, was an excellent exercise. Also, I discovered I love making book covers and trailers.

4. Step away from the computer. Engage in the life around you. Family and friends are the best balm after a rejection and they're a reminder your happiness shouldn't only be determined by your writing successes.

5. Cupcakes. See number 1.

And here is the bonus.  DREAM BIG!

So hold the shampoo bottle while reciting your Oscar speech for 'Best Screen Play' in the shower. Create a Pinterest board with actors who will star in the movie adaptation of your book. Smile secretly when the guy at Starbucks looks exactly like your MC's love interest. And always, ALWAYS pick up the lucky penny you see on the sidewalk.

Consider New Radicals, "You Get What You Give", substitute 'music' with 'stories' you've got the perfect writer's anthem.

What are some tips that help you through submission?

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Jane Lebak said...

My version of #3 is to have another novel going at the same time as the submission process. That way if the first book sells, @RivetingRosie can say, "Oh, and by the way, we've got this other book too..." and if the first book doesn't sell, you've got the next one up your sleeve already.

How do you make a trailer?

Vivi B. said...

I agree - I worked on my new book. It helped tremendously!

BR Myers said...

Hey Jane,

I use the movie maker on my Windows program. Total addictive.

BR Myers said...


Thanks for stoppping by. Yes, having a new project is a great way to stay distracted, also, like Jane mentioned, you can have another MS on hand incase the editor wants to see more.

Good luck with your writing.

Arianna said...

Wow, I'm really, really happy my contest helped you. And I guess this advice could also be used for the querying stage of this ridiculously long process of getting published, seeing that that's the stage I'm stuck on. Although, I have much more revising to do. Fun. Lovely post!

BR Myers said...

Thanks, Arianna! Yes, it's the never ending story...

Marisa Reichardt said...

Loved this inspiring post. Thanks for reminding us to keep perspective when we kind of want to pull our hair out... no matter what stage of the writing process we're in.

Dahlia Adler said...

For me, working on a new ms has definitely been the key to surviving being on submission, but buying myself something yummy when I get a rejection certainly sweetens up the process!

BR Myers said...

Thanks, Marisa. I hear it continues even after you're pubished. Yay!

And yes, Dahlia, ice cream makes everything better.

Cheers, ladies.

Laila N Mysis said...

I've yet to get to that stage, but by golly, thanks for preparing me for it.

I'm already very generous and gracious and lenient and kind when it comes to rewarding myself... I mean, you only need to look at all the study breaks I give myself. I'm such a lovely being. But for rejections?

I can't wait for them now x)

J'adore your optimism, I hope that someday I'll be the same (:

BR Myers said...

Laila, you kill me, but in a funny, laugh the milk out of my nose kind of way. Good luck with your writing.

Donna Hosie said...

Thank you for being so honest. You are very brave. I will probably be in this position by the end of the year as my agent and I are currently going through the final rounds of revisions.

I wish you much luck.

Caryn Caldwell said...

Love this! It really is a nerve-wracking time, isn't it? Of course, cupcakes DO help. And I love your idea of rewarding yourself for rejections. That's when you really need it.

Andrea Hannah said...

Love this post! I'm totally doing ALL of these from now on. All of them.

Charlie N. Holmberg said...

Great advice, and much luck with the submissions! You'll nail one soon!

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