Wednesday was a disappointing day on all fronts. Hump Day indeed. And since I don’t really feel like going into it, I’m going to step back in time to when things were simpler. Let me rephrase that. I’m going to step back a few years–to a time when I already know how things are going to turn out.
I was cleaning out e-mail folders a couple days ago when I discovered some fun ones from January 2005. I get asked all the time about my journey to publication. Here’s a little peek into how it all went down.
A little background first. After years of working on a “book,” I’d finally gathered the nerve to send a synopsis and three sample chapters here. They approved it and sent my synopsis (along with a million other people’s book ideas) to a list of Christian publishers. And I sat back and waited.
Then the ice storm hit. And we had no power. And two small kiddos. And my parents borrowed someone’s generator, so we went to hang out there. Meanwhile, I got e-mails from 2 different publishers. I was (cautiously) ecstatic.
From Publisher #1 (January 6, 2005):
After reading your proposal posted in The Writer’s Edge report, we would like to have a look at the synopsis or chapter outline, and two or three of your strongest chapters. If this work is still available, please send hardcopy to the following address: ___
IMPORTANT: Please write “Requested Material” on the outside of the package. This will flag me to separate it from the numerous unsolicited manuscripts that arrive daily.
Or, if you prefer, you may Email it to me @ ___
Although occasionally we ask to see manuscripts posted on a MS review service website, it’s rare that we actually acquire a project this way. Please understand that although your proposal has intrigued us, we may not be able to publish it. When this happens, we try to give a reason as to its rejection or to suggest another publisher who might be more appropriate.
Thank you for your patience.
Sunny * (name changed)
Harvest House Publishers
From Publisher #2 (January 6, 2005):
After reading about your manuscript in The Writer’s Edge, Christian Publications would like to take a further look at your manuscript, From Blushing Bride to Wedded Wife. Please see the attached guidelines on what we would like you to submit. You may send it via e-mail or regular mail.
Patty* (name changed)
The Editorial Department
Christian Publications, Inc.
Both publishers looked over the manuscript. We exchanged several e-mails. Then this one came from Publisher #2. Ouch.
Thank you for allowing us to consider From Blushing Bride to Wedded Wife for publication. Unfortunately, the publishing committee has decided against publishing it at this time. While you have some good insights and good Scripture application, the committee felt the book was too “wordy” and focused on your own marital relationship too much.
We do trust, however, that God will continue to direct your path as you seek a publisher.
In the meantime, I had developed a fun little e-mail relationship with Sunny* at Harvest House.
I’ve made it through the first twenty pages of your sample chapters (laughing out loud), and I can tell that you have something very special here. I’ve already discussed it, briefly, with our Director of Acquisitions and Development and he is looking forward to reading it upon his return from Advance 2005 being held in Nashville, and NRB ’05 in Anaheim a week later.
If you can wait until the end of February for an answer, I’ll make sure that your book stays at the top of his ever-growing review stack. Also, can you send the rest of the manuscript? I’d like him to have everything that he needs in order to see all that this book has to offer.
You have a friend, Marla.
I did have a friend, and I owe that girl big-time. When it was all said and done, Sunny had agonized with me over my unsuccessful year of trying for a baby. She grieved with me when my grandpa died. She rejoiced with me when I got pregnant. She cried with me when I lost the baby.
Then one fine day Sunny called with news.
The happy ending tomorrow! (and a great reminder to me tonight on June 3, 2009 of God’s faithfulness in my past–and His promises for the future!)