Monday, 3 September 2012

Not quite published - the real world story

Novels don't appear instantly. They take time and effort and commitment. I spent a year or more bashing my head against my word-processor, but the final result read well, and I thought it had a fighting chance of publication. I had written novels before, without any great success – I had sent them to numerous agents, who had sometimes said that I had a good writing style, but that they didn't feel my previous efforts were commercial enough. Sorrel in Scarlet I thought had possibilities.

The first agent to whom I sent it sat on it for months before curtly rejecting it. The second wasn't taking on new clients at all. The third... I got a very nice email, saying he had enjoyed the first three chapters, and wanted to see the rest. Two weeks later, in March 2011, I had an agent and a contract. Tim told me he thought Sorrel was saleable.

We spent months editing it, so Tim was confident in its chances. Then he sent it to a dozen major UK publishers.

Three, including one of the biggest, showed interest – I met with a commissioning editor, who said he wanted to publish it.

And then Sorrel crashed and burned.  His acquisitions committee vetoed it – too strange, too far outside the obvious niches. The other two interested parties said the same.

I was left with an unsaleable manuscript, and some broken dreams.  Tim and I had both been so sure Sorrel would fly.

Get back on the horse that threw you. Impcatcher was the new novel I've set to work upon.

But I still had a manuscript in my clutches, one that had been within a whisker of a commercial sale.
And so now I intend to put Sorrel on sale myself.

I've got a long way to go, but publication beckons.

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