The English language is a hoot, isn't it. So many words that are the same. But different. So Sew. Dough. D'oh. Doe. It's the only language I speak, so I guess I am stuck with it. Maybe it helps a little that I'm well read. Or maybe I'm, well, red? My cheeks, they do give away my embarrassment and flush with hues of rose and burgundy. Not such an issue now, but when I was a young girl and desperately wanted to hide my blushing, it was a thing.
But back to Weight. And Wait. Two things I am overly familiar with.
Today, let's talk about WAIT.
As an author, there is so much wait. You write a book. You edit the book. You send it out to agents. You wait. You wait some more. And then, some more, and then if you're lucky, magically one day the line you've casted, it reels in a bite. And there you are (and by you, I mean me) And you have an agent. Or a new agent. Someone who kind of digs the words that you've pieced together. The story you tell. Someone who believes they can sell your book to a publishing house. And then, after some more waiting, for their edits, for your edits, they eventually send the book out to editors. And there's more wait. For editors to read and for editors to respond.
I finished writing my newest YA almost two years ago. It took my agent almost six months to read it and ask for revisions, which I then had to write and wait for her to read before the eventual sub to editors. And then it took many weeks, months really, to get read and ultimately rejected by some damn fine editors. Have I mentioned that I loathe the waiting? More than the rejections even. But that I have no choice, but to do so. And if you are a writer, so will you. Not all of you. Some of you will write the magical book at the magical time and hear back and get offers even immediately. But for most. It's a wait.
And still, even on my newest, getting old book, after all this wait, still, all hope is not lost. Some of the rejections on my latest book even praised my writing. And we are still waiting on some houses to read and respond. Rejections, they will tell you in publishing, rejections are merely a part of the process. Develop some tough skin. You will need it for the reviews anyhow, when you do get published. And also, have you heard that mid list titles are harder and harder to place these days? (now and ten years ago) It doesn't mean you're a bad writer. It just means that, well, that nobody has faith your book is going to sell very well. Getting noticed, selling well, it is not an easy thing for an author or their beloved books. That sucks. But it's true.
I have over 20 books published traditionally. Some are educational, some were write for hire, but from 2011- 2015, I was on a bit of a roll. I had some modest success with a couple of my Young Adult novels. I'm Not Her was a bit of a success for Sourcebooks. For me. It sold over 30,000 copies. Maybe more. But ish. It had good reviews, it was nominated for a Rita Award (a big deal in the Romance writing world) and it resulted in the first and only time I got to go to a big awards ceremony as a nominee. And so, they bought a few more of my books. They offered me a three book contract, after publishing two books that had decent movement. The following books did progressively worse in the sales department. It was disheartening to say the least. The book I loved the most, Who I Kissed, I think it's safe to say it kind of tanked. It was a good story. I stand by that. It was emotional and kind of well written (if I do say so myself) but it was not received well. Meaning. It didn't sell very well. And that was kind of the beginning of the end for me at Sourcebooks. #16 Things I Thought Were True, was well enough received that it was a Junior Library Guild Selection, and then my last book, The Truth About Us had some good reviews but ...that was it.
Some backstory. In addition to being a writer, an author, I am also a sales representative. I have been employed as a sales rep for top consumer goods and liquor companies. I understand how sales work. I even understand that books are products, and that at the end of the day, a product that does not sell, does not make a company money. And that means, well. No more books published for me with Sourcebooks. It's embarrassing, even now, that I did not earn out my royalties on my last three books. I understand why I was kind of dropped as an author. It hurts as a person and it makes me doubt my ability to write, but I get it.
As a Sales Rep, I am pretty darn efficient. I am driven, have a crazy work ethic and thrive on doing a job not only well, but exceptionally well. I win sales incentives. I win sales contests. I have control over most of the work that I do. I can make things happen on my level. I am good with customers, because generally, I like people and I remember things about them because I actually care. I also pride myself on being a GOOD WORKER. But as an author, I am different. I loathe the waiting. I loathe the speed at which the publishing world works. I loathe that sometimes in publishing people just ignore emails. That people don't acknowledge, don't get back. I loathe the wait. I doubt myself.
I have a book out on submission. And so, I wait. On that I have no control.
I can go on and on. I have more things to say. But let's change gears, shall we. I have a whole other topic to tie into this one. Word play. Tying together two unrelated topics just because I want to. But for a whole other day. WEIGHT. I have some exciting revelations in this department. And it has to do with losing weight. Again. Yes. But differently. Stay tuned.
I mean, you can wait, amiright?