Encouragement

“The years of rejection do not break his spirit. He only becomes more determined to succeed.”

A quote about C.S. Lewis, the entire piece found here.

It’s very encouraging.

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Getting to Know the World of Write

It’s an odd feeling.

A year ago, before I started gung-ho’ing it into the world of publishing, I was very inexperienced. I knew about Penguin books, Alfred A. Knopf, Random House. I knew that to get published, you should probably catch an agent…something I may be able to do in a dozen queries. (Ha, ha.) I assumed that I’d get royalties for books sold, that I’d probably get famous, and all that bla-bla-bla. But I didn’t know the World of Write.

The World of Write is full of faces, and familiar ones at that. I keep seeing the names of Nathan Bransford, Rachelle Gardner, Michael Bourret, Suzie Townsend, Mary Kole, etcetera, etcetera!!! Like a bunch of sorta-famous people that I just didn’t know before I started this journey.

It just is kind of funny how many names I’m recognizing…people I didn’t even know existed in pre-pre-publication days. (Notice the double-prefix, he he :-))

I’m slowly getting to know the World of Write. I’m fairly new to this neighborhood, and I’m meeting my neighbors one-by-one. Well, I mean, at least I’ve seen them. I haven’t really met a lot of them. But you know what I mean.

Do Your Homework! :)

Happy November 29th!

Well, a while ago I sent a query letter to a publishing house is New York (ooh, prestigious!). I toiled over just how to write this letter, and finally, on October somethingth, I took the dive and mailed it.

(Somewhat) Recently, I discovered something that would’ve been nice to know before. The particular publishing house required that the letter have a SASE enclosed.

So, I don’t what exactly happened to my poor query.

It could’ve sat in the slush pile for days, weeks, months (technically, only a month because I sent it a month ago), years (not really), decades (who’s writing this?), centuries, (oh come on!!!), aeons (no comment!)!!!!

Or it could’ve been opened, the editor could’ve seen no SASE, and it could’ve been promptly given the boot. Poor query letter.

Alas, poor Yorick! I knew him well.

So today I re-printed a copy of the query, as well as an apology note for not enclosing a SASE last time, and mailed it.

Somewhat obsessively, and looking like something out of a movie, I made sure it went into the mailbox squarely.

I also learned another thing. This publishing house was somewhat difficult to find! I mean, I found it on the main site (it’s an imprint of a larger publishing house), but there was no address. I had to track it down over Google. Wow! You’d think that it would be easier to find, right?

But on second thought, you may realize that this is rather clever, and good news for me. If other people found it this hard to find the publishing house, then the slush pile should be smaller! And, once [the editor] reads my letter, she’ll see that I’m getting everything correctly, and she will thinks to herself, “Hey, self, I sees that this boy is done his homeworks!” And then, you see, she’s may having better time deciding, if isn’t this the right manuscript for the publisher house.

Forgive the bad English, I’s was just having little fun. 🙂

Waiting in Silence…

Let’s rewind a week.

I obsessed over a letter for a few days, thinking about how exactly to write it, what to put in it, what to say…Which can be surmised by simply writing that I obsessed over a letter for a few days. Wow, talk about wasted words.

This letter started out, “Dear—” and ended, “Warmest regards, XXX, writing as Joseph P. Cabit.” Yes, it was a letter to the president of a publishing house. I really hope that she gets my letter, reads it, and sends a response, all in a fairly short amount of time. (Don’t get me wrong—if it takes a little longer to get a “Yes,” bring it on!) Because I can wait the two/three months predicted…Oh, can I ever wait it, cause what else am I going to do? 🙂 But—I don’t know about anyone else—I’d like an answer sooner rather than later.

While my letter is in the slush pile over at XYZ Publishers, it’s just sitting there, waiting, holding its breath. Then, Ms. Publisher will pick it up, and slice it open with her letter opener (It hurts the letter only a little bit, but pain is okay). She will slide out my neatly-(ish)-folded letter, letting it fall open, and run her eyes over the first few lines.

Suddenly, the letter will come to life. This is the moment it’s been waiting for. This is why its author pecked out those specific keys, pounding those specific words into existence. This is why they were born into the world, and this is their time in the sun. This is their time to shine. They will neatly pick themselves up to full-length, feeling a joy in fulfillment. The words will align themselves into straight rows…the dots on the I’s will fluff themselves up to be as big as they can be…the O’s will round themselves out some more…the commas and the periods will try to look as different from one another as possible…my ellipses will space themselves out evenly.

It is their moment of judgment. From hereon, it is either get crumpled up, and thrown in the trash can, or thoughtfully put aside, and…

And what?

What mystery!

I love mystery. Why don’t I love this time of waiting in silence?

A Wee Bitty Bit o’ Chaos…

Once upon a time, there was a neatly ordered blog that followed one theme a week.

And then there was life.

Life got in the way. It got all big huge and tangly, and I could no longer spend (guiltless) hours blogging.

So, Mr. Cabit shifted his attention to elsewhere. Elsewhere being the world of publishing.

From now on, my posts will no longer pretend to be centered around one-theme-a-week. Although this is already the case, I just wanted to make that clear.

Like my new motif? (I designed it myself. You can see the full version here…) It sort of represents the blog’s chaos season of life right now.

Mailing a query letter to the president of a publishing subdivision tomorrow. Please hope for the best with me. 🙂

Happy trails!

A Different Key

DISCLAIMER: This is a work of fiction, however at current it reflects my state in the world of publishing. Any guesses?

I come home, walk up my steps, and fish through my keychain cluttered with Volkswagen emblems and trinkets from St. Petersburg. Dónde está my house keys? Ah, here they are. Gold and greasy. Ew.

I jam it into the lock, and twist it. Maybe my roommate left some borscht out for me before he went on his night shift…? Probably not. But before I can be disappointed (duh, he never leaves out the leftovers from his nightly battlefield called dinner), I remember that we had our locks changed recently. Not only will the door not budge, but the key won’t turn. I am left with sore fingers (It’s cold out today, which doesn’t help!) and a greasy, golden, useless key.

…Oh wait, it may not be that useless! There’s another door!

Dragging my boots down the stairs again, I nod to a lady watering a flowerpot nearby, muttering a kindly “Здравствуйте.” She eyes me coldly and turns her shoulder. Eesh, what am I doing in this country? I try to speak their language, but they pretend they don’t understand.

The side door won’t budge either. I fiddle with my Samsung phone, quickly sending Sergey a text message asking desperately where he left the new keys. While I wait for a response, I look around at the other people sitting in their warm homes, enjoying some television or reading a good book. Some of them are fraternizing with friends, and family. I wish I had some company tonight…if I ever got into my house.

Beep beep! I slide open my phone.

UNDER THE WELCOME MAT, writes Sergey. How original!

The welcome mat is heavy, but the key is, sure enough, hiding underneath. It’s not as used as my greasy golden key. In fact, it’s brand new. Somebody had even taken the time to monogram it with an S. I think it stands for Seph. It could also stand for Sergey, which puts my ego in check…

Satisfied, I slide the new key into the lock…

I Have An Agent, But Don’t Get Too Excited…

 

Um, wrong kind of agent…

 

DISCLAIMER: Please do not get über-excited near the end of this post. I appreciate your interest in my publishing life, but I don’t want you to get disappointed when you get to the punchline. It’s not wut u think. 🙂

Well, faithful readers, here I am. I was inspired by my wend Stephen today. He’s got a pretty busy life, from what I’ve read over on the Undiscovered Author blog. He’s married, has a kid (and an escape-artist of a dog), is going to school, has a job, etcetera! And still, he found time to post a big huge thing today on The Last Day.

Wow, Stephen! I figured, if you can fit that into your life, I can fit this one post into my life.

My manuscript has been a trial, and a practice in love and faithfulness. I have had to tend to this screaming baby on and off for the past 3+ years. It’s been a finicky baby. Here’s my story.

The initial idea that came to me was somewhat simple—ooh, a city underwater! I wrote the story, and it was a good length for what I was writing at the time. And yay, I finished a book! (A fairly rare occurrence for me, mind you!) Then, it came time to re-read it…oh my goodness, Mr. Cabit, what were you thinking when you wrote this? I asked myself. 🙂 (Come on, who HASN’T gone through that in their writing career?) So I rewrote it. Ah, a beautiful, long, rambly manuscript.

But then one day, my truthful beta reader gave me his honest opinion about what he thought of the thing. Eesh, was it really that bad? Time for another rewrite.

So, my third version was complete. Now, it needed to be published. It needed to be introduced to the world. Who would do it for me?

Ah, those query letters. I remember them so…well, er, unfondly actually.

I sent about sixteen query letters, and all of those who have written back have rejected it. A lot of them were very polite rejection letters. They were sort of “This-isn’t-my-kind-of-book” rejections. Granted, it’s a very unique book—not a typical paperback romance, true-crime murder mystery, ghosts-and-goblins fantasy flick, sorcery and witchcraft YA thriller, chick lit “giggler,” Oprah-Book-Club read, etcetera etcetera. I imagine there aren’t that many agents out there who would consider it “Their kind of book.” 🙂 Oh, but wait! There is one agent who would appreciate it…

And into the scene steps this guy. This guy is willing to take on the book, and submit it to a publishing house, and try to get it into print.

Yes, folks, my news is that I’ve ended my search for an agent. I have found an agent, and I don’t know if he’s going to be a good one, but it’s the one who’s accepted me, and I’ll have to work with what I have.

Hey, at least I will have saved myself 15% of my profits if I “Win.” 🙂

So, in conclusion, my manuscript is not dead, but my search for agents is. The quest is over, and it’s come full circle.

I am going to be my own agent!!!