They say that if you're really serious about being a writer, you have to develop a thick skin to cope with rejection. I have to agree. That's one of the most important qualities you need to keep you toiling day and night to produce work that almost makes the leap into the traditional publishing marketplace. I have to share with you my latest experiences with UNNATURAL, my Victorian novel presently out for submission courtesy of my new incredible Toronto agent.
The book has been submitted to Big Six publishers in The US, Canada and the UK. Here's a sample of some of the comments from those who passed on it. After reading them, you'll soon realize how frustrating this entire process is:
"While I thought this was a brilliant idea, well executed, we’d have preferred it coming from a British author in this instance, with someone on the ground to work with."
Major publisher UK
"But I just wanted to say that when I pitched this I referred to it as a rollicking good read, one that I couldn't put down once I'd gotten to about the halfway point."
Major Canadian publisher
"She has a flair for capturing the cadence of the time period and for creating a slow-burning atmosphere of tension and suspense in the opening."
"Thank you so much for sending me UNNATURAL, which is such a haunting novel with a satisfying, Gothic tone. There’s so much about this I loved, including the Victorian setting and Ms. Deluca’s lonely depiction of England’s early suffragette movement and the horrible scandal of Mary Ann Cotton."
"Thank you so much for the opportunity to consider this superb novel. I think Marjorie Deluca is an incredible talent. She has a fantastic eye for detail, and her prose is wonderfully propulsive—and on top of that, her voice has such great humor in it!"
And they still didn't pick it up!! What's the next step? More submissions and if all else fails, I'll publish it myself!! I've done it three times already and I'll do it again!
One thing's for sure, it really helps to have self-published. I can't count the number of times editors requested information about my sales, my social media presence etc. It's not enough nowadays to write a good book. You need to also have a strong author platform. So those of you who are interested in trying to be a published author, publish on your own first, especially if you're meeting road blocks in the traditional publishing industry. It's the best way to prove yourself and prove your product.
And the other important thing to do?
Pick yourself up, dust yourself off and start the next novel. It always helps if you're ready with information on projects in progress. Keep on writing. You can only get better!
Oh and you might be interested in reading some advice by Hugh Howey, the poster boy for indie writers. Check him out here