I hit SUBMIT yesterday at noon. I am suddenly reminded of why I gave up on submissions twenty-five years ago.
The Prospect Agency tells me: You will hear nothing back unless we are interested. Do not expect a reply before three months are up and possibly longer.
Because my book is a hybrid: not a text-only novel, not a short picture book. (For picture books they want to see it art and all.) I have a tad under twenty-thousand words, just barely a noveIla. I sent (requested for a novel) three chapters. I also sent two pieces of art. They may or may not be pleased with my lengthy captions.
I may have violated their guidelines. We’ve all been told, they’re looking for any reason to reject you, to whittle down their stack of submissions.
They state on their submissions page: you will receive an email within three hours informing you that you’ve been added to the queue. It’s two days now, and I have no email. Is this a sign?
I am going to continue to build my print file for a self-pub. It will take me another several months. The dimension I originally set it at is not accepted by any self-publisher that I can find.
You might well ask, why didn’t you confirm the size before you started? I did. With Valor Printing, in Utah. They said fine. Slowly it dawned on me that they are not a publisher. They print, but do not connect with wholesalers, and they do not fill individual orders. You receive a bulk shipment and mail the book out yourself. That’s when I began to explore true self-publishers.
My layouts are elaborate, with many text-wraps. I have half-a-dozen major pieces of art still to create, perhaps more, this to be determined by how much the page count grows because of the restructure.
The story will contract a bit. I’m taking out sentences here and there. The paper doll will stay the same size, I refuse to have it any smaller. The Victorians made their dolls teeny-weenie. That’s not for me.
Thus, pages that hold two outfits may take only one. And I want every two-page spread to be a least twenty-five percent art, fifty-percent even better, to break up the type, so it’s not so intimidating to those who think they bought a paper doll book.
At the same time, I will resubmit once a month. At the end of six months, when my book is ready to go, it’s gonna go, probably to IngramSpark. From comments I’ve read, and I’ve read a lot of comments on a lot of impartial-pundit sites, they seem to be the best choice. On the whole. Each possibility has advantages and disadvantages. Ingram has extra fees along the road to publication that the others don’t have. They’re small, but they add up.
I’ve contacted an agent. Now I’ll look for a publisher that accepts submissions without an agent-intermediary.
We all know how many rejections Rowling got before she landed at Scholastic. Did she receive notices of rejection, or was she told, if you don’t hear from us within six months, assume you’ve been dropped from consideration? At what interval did she approach a new target?
it all comes back to me now. Abundant aggravation, until I finally gave up. This time I have a solution: IngramSpark.
Nope. Nope, change in strategy: I’ve been combing through the Agents’ Wish List site. Honestly, my thing is probably not what any of them say they want. And the closest I see to a genre for Maisie is Magical Realism.
OK, at least I have a category they’ve heard of. I’ll call it Humorous Magical Realism, pick out five more agents to approach, then look for five publishers who accept un-agented manuscripts. That may be more difficult. The publishers are narrower in the range of what they’re open to looking at.
Ten tries out there, next week if I can manage it. If I hear nothing back by the time my book is complete, I’ve given it a fair chance. I get no nibble on my line, my best path forward is to self-publish.