After five weeks of waiting, today the message I’ve been waiting for appeared in my mailbox. The publisher that’s been reviewing Until Thanksgiving has finally decided. “Unfortunately, your story is not a fit for us at this time.”
This rejection is not a failure. The first query I sent out resulted in a request for the full manuscript. That’s progress.
The message wasn’t a form letter. The editor offered some additional comments to give me an idea of why. She said, “For contemporary fiction, we’re especially seeking manuscripts with very tight and focused plot lines to match the quick and demanding pace of today’s contemporary reader. Especially with an upscale urban setting like NorthWest DC and a murder sub-plot, the reader needs to feel like the whole story is consistently moving forward.”
Considering how Until Thanksgiving came together, the comment about “tight and focused plot lines” is on target. My first novel is loose and perhaps a tad scattered. The basic story changed half a dozen times before I finally figured out what it was about. I thanked her for her time and suggestions.
Some of my writing friends told me to sit on the manuscript. Finish After Christmas Eve and then go back to Until Thanksgiving. Considering that After Christmas Eve is a prequel, this approach makes sense for other reasons, too. But I can’t stand the thought of having not one, but two completed manuscripts sitting in a drawer waiting for revisions.
So I submitted the full manuscript to three different publishers. In the query to each one, I disclosed that the manuscript was simultaneously being considered by two other publishers. Let the bidding war begin! I’ll be waiting for the offers to start rolling in here in…
My Glass House