Being on submission…what’s it really like?

Last year, I looked at what happens once you get that agent.  Well, now I want to look at What Happens When You Go On Submission.

It’s my hope that through chronicling my journey to (hopefully) publication that I can cast a little light along the publishing path for other writers following behind me.  This is an industry where it can be deceptively difficult to find out information about the writer’s journey.  There seems to be a wealth of information about the query trenches, but limited information on what happens after that.  I hope that by sharing my story fellow writers will have at least a little more idea on what to expect.

Okay, so let’s get down to the bare bones here.  What happens when you go on submission.  Well, obviously the first thing that happens is this:

After the dancing ends, the next feeling you will most likely encounter is:

So, now we have the emotions dealt with – what next???

To be honest, a lot of that depends on your agent and the relationship you have.  So I will tell you how it has worked for me:

*  My agent drew up a list of editors at the major publishers who she felt would be a great fit for my book.

*  She let me know which houses she was pitching.

*  She sent a pitch package to each editor.

And then you WAIT.

Yes, that horrible sensation of waiting that you had when you were knee deep in the query trenches?  Yes – you do that ALL OVER AGAIN!

But here comes the good bit.  You hit refresh on your email for the MILLIONTH time.  And there it is.  An email from your agent, saying “XXX has requested the full”.

COMMENCE dancing (see above) and being terrified (again, see above).  This is a great yet terrifying moment.  There are actually editors reading your work.  For real.  Gulp.

This is where my agent is worth her weight in gold.

Here’s my process:

*  I freak.

*  Agent reassures me.

*  I continue freaking.

*  Agent emails me that another request has come in.

So you see, it’s like a self-perpetuating circle.  I hold down the “writing, editing, freaking” side of the circle; my agent holds down the “editing, promoting, reassuring” side of the circle.  Perfect synergy.

As for what happens after that?  I’ve not taken that step yet.  I have 3 full ms requests so far.  No rejections yet.  All I  can say is WATCH THIS SPACE!!!!

18 thoughts on “Being on submission…what’s it really like?

  1. Fiona, I think it's great that you're doing this. As someone who — hopefully — will soon be following in your agented / submitted footsteps, it's nice to hear from a “real” person what to expect.


  2. Fiona-
    Thank you for sharing light. Submission is one of those things you're told not to talk about it and I think it really keeps us unagented authors in the dark. Not a bad thing and I understand why it happens but thanks for shedding some light.

    Also I feel like I should tell you I'd LOVE to do an interview for you on my blog. I'm sorry that this has taken me so long to get back to you about…. Can you tell me your e-mail and what your book is kind of about? (I conduct my interviews thru a fictional character hehe).



  3. Hi Fiona,
    Thanks for the candid heads-up on this mysterious process. One can only dare to dream…
    Looking forward to hearing more about your adventures.
    Best of luck to you and your book! I must go now and prove I am not a robot.
    ~Just Jill


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