Back in the early years I can still remember how it was, sending out submissions and waiting for publisher’s replies.
I still have several publishers that I deal with and it NEVER gets any easier. You send your stories out and you sit and you fret and you wonder if they are going to “make it” out there in the big bad world or not.
I can still remember how it would feel back when I used to regularly have at least twenty to thirty stories submitted during any given week. I remember the excitement I’d feel, tearing open one of the hundreds (or even thousands) of SASE’s I sent out to accompany my manuscript.
For those folks who don’t know or don’t remember – an SASE was an acronym for a SELF-ADDRESSED STAMPED ENVELOPE. That was what you had to send with EVERY submission you made back in those days. Remember, I started sending out stories and poems and articles back in the mid-eighties. I spend several hundred dollars a year on postage stamps. I used to regularly visit my local stamp shop to pick up a regular supply of unused American stamps so that I could submit to US publishers – because even back then there were a lot more US publishers.
I remember the depression I would experience every time I opened one of those SASE and read the polite no-thanks and the not-for-me’s and the not-at-this-time. Lord, there were so many ways for a publisher to say “YOU STINK!” that after a while I began to feel like I was the only stag dater on a dance floor filled with prom queens and each of them were already dating the star quarterback.
Nowadays – after forty years of submitting my words for public consumption you think I would have grown used to the sensation but it NEVER gets easy. This is NOT a game for folks who are easily discouraged.
That’s why I love this new online writing community that has evolved over the last decade. I absolutely LOVE the immediacy of being able to deal with a publisher or an editor through e-mail. I do not miss SASE’s and I do not feel any regret that my cigar box full of American stamps sits untouched on a shelf above my desk – sometimes for months at a time.
Just last month I submitted a story to an upcoming Canadian collection of New-Noir fiction and I received an acceptance in FOUR days! I was over the moon with excitement. The book won’t see print until 2015, so I won’t tell you any more details – but believe you me I was insanely elated.
Other days are not so easy.
I still receive rejections. No writer EVER escapes them.
A lot of folks think that in this day and age of e-publishing that a writer would be able to escape such feelings. Believe you me there is still a lot of aggravation involved in e-publishing a new novel or novella or even a short story and waiting to see how many copies are sold. Independent writers are still out there frantically checking their sales figures and waiting for reviews to show up on Amazon or Kobo or Goodreads.
This gig never gets easy.
But even on the worst of days – when the e-books aren’t selling and the rejections are flying at me from the right and the left and right down the middle – I still can comfort myself with thoughts hassenpfeffer!
yours in storytelling,