Plan B

Wednesday, February 05, 2020
Yesterday (it really did happen yesterday and the timing was perfect, since it meant I could use my failure as fodder for a post) I got a rejection email.

Months ago, I sent a sample of my manuscript to a publishing house. They had requested a full manuscript. Yesterday, they sent me a rejection.

A nice rejection, but a "no" nonetheless.

Dear Sioux,
      Thank you for your submission to XXXXX and for your patience during the wait. We have now had the opportunity to review your work, and although we thought it was a gripping narrative, I regret that we do not feel it is a good fit for our list. We publish a very small list, which means we have to say no a lot more than we can say yes. Of course, publishing decisions are subjective and other publishers could certainly feel differently.
       We wish you the very best in finding a publishing home for your work. And thank you for thinking of XXXXX.

All the best,

photo by Pixabay
There's still one press that has my full manuscript. They've had it for 7 months as a doorstop and I'm keeping my fingers crossed. They're based in the city where my story takes place (it's historical fiction), so it would be a natural fit if they accepted it.

But what if they don't? What if I get a no from them, just like the no I got yesterday? What am I going to do?

I've been sending this manuscript off for the past year, and although I know that's not an overly-long time when it comes to the submission-rejection cycle, I need to get a plan B in place--just in case--because in 2021, the 100-year anniversary of my event will be celebrated honored.

When people are massacred and a whole community is burned down, there's no cause for celebration.

I don't think I have a choice. I think this is my plan B: I'm going to self-publish my novel.

Even though this means my work won't be validated by a gen-u-ine publisher, it will allow me lots of freedom. Keep reading to see what I might find solace in as I lick my wounds (if I get another rejection):
  • I've got an artist friend who I've been keeping on the sidelines for a while. She doesn't know it yet, but I'm going to give her an offer she hopefully cannot refuse.
          If I'm publishing it myself, I get to choose what the book cover looks like.

  • I don't have to worry about fighting to make sure my overly long acknowledgments gets included. I wrote a huge love letter to my former students (and named each one) since I wrote most of the manuscript as I sat surrounded by my middle-schoolers during NaNoWriMo. The love letter also mentioned a bunch of writing friends and people who helped me with my research. 
          If I'm gong to publish it myself, I don't have to battle anyone over my self-indulgence. My 
          13-page thank you (a slight exaggeration)  won't be in danger of getting axed.

What else could I look forward to if I self-publish this story? Are there other advantages to self-publishing?  I'd love to hear them. However, I'm still holding out hope that I won't need plan B.

All I need is a single, solitary yes... Just one.

Sioux is hoping for a snow day (soon) and is reading a fabulous novel (The Last Thing You Surrender by Leonard Pitts Jr.) because--as Sue Bradford Edwards recently reminded us--we have to read voraciously if we want to write prolifically. If you'd like to read more of Sioux's stuff, check out her blog.


Margo Dill said...

I totally think you should indie publish. :) I recommend listening to the Self-Publishing Show podcast and their sister shorter podcast: The Self-Publishing Show Spotlight.

When you start listening to the amazing things people are doing in the indie publishing world, you won't think twice about this decision.

I am currently a Patreon supporter of the podcast. For an average of $12 a month, I can watch all their webinars and get all their books. Plus, I did register for the book cover course and once I practice on these, I may start offering book covers at a discount for my editing clients because professional book covers are so expensive. But first I have to learn how to use Photoshop better which is why I took the course.

Anyway...if you have any questions, please let me know.

Angela Mackintosh said...

Sioux ~ Have you looked into Publishizer? ( It's a crowdfunding campaign where you get pre-orders for your book, and then editors/publishers bid for your book project--some are traditional, some hybrid, but the good part is you'd have funds to go with a hybrid or service publisher rather than coming up with it all yourself to indie publish. They also have an agent option. It's an idea if you don't have a lot of time and money to invest in forming your own indie press.

Angela Mackintosh said...

PS. I also think you haven't exhausted all your traditional publishing options yet! So don't give up. Maybe you need to give it one last big push and try the spray technique.

Nicole Pyles said...

I'm glad you are keeping a plan B in mind! I'm with Angela though, do one last big push before you take that next step!

Sioux Roslawski said...

Margo and Angela--You're making my head spin. Too many choices! ;)

And Angela and Nicole--You sound like my old lamaze coach. Push. One last push. One last big push.

I hope that if I do one last big spray of a push, what pops out won't look like a placenta! ;)

Sue Bradford Edwards said...

I think you could make this work either way, traditional or indie. Like Angela, I would try one more round of submissions. But I would also start making contingency plans.

Renee Roberson said...

I think you should commit to a time frame of continuing to submit to both agents and a variety of publishers, and then maybe try to crowdfund the book. I know someone who recently did that for a children's picture book and she and the illustrator met their goal in a matter of days! They've also been welcomed into indie bookstores and have done a lot of book signings there. Because your book is so educational I think that would be great. I've considered doing it myself for "Between." (Thanks for that Publishizer recommendation, Angela!) Good luck and keep going. The fact that you had requests for the manuscripts is a BIG deal, so don't sell yourself short!

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