Hurry Up and Wait

If you’re an author, you are probably very familiar with the urgent rush to finish your manuscript and ship it off to an editor or agent only to wait months, maybe even years before you hear back from them. It’s a hand-wringing affair, if I do say so myself. Waiting for that phone call or email can be a nightmare as you ponder what on earth could be taking them so long to read your masterpiece. Well, being on the other end of all that anxious waiting, I can speak with a little authority on the matter. At least, I can attest to why it is taking Simon & Fig so long to get back to you.

Since putting out the call for submissions in summer 2013, we received a great number of manuscripts, all around 80,000 words or more, and published two new books. Before I could start reading all those wonderful submissions, I had to edit and format those two new books, as well as organize blog tours and promotions. And then we had the holidays, which were lovely, but not very conducive to working. So, unfortunately, other work took priority. But now I am finally reading the manuscripts that all you talented authors submitted!

And yet, you’re still waiting. I’m not just reading for pleasure (though I certainly do enjoy my job!), I’m reading and contemplating. I’m making notes. I’m fixing typos. I’m thinking about the character arcs. I’m evaluating the structure, the prose, and, most importantly, the voice. I have to absolutely love every book I publish, so I don’t just breeze through a few chapters and hastily draw up a contract – or send off a rejection. I devote all my attention to the manuscript, knowing that readers expect only the best from Simon & Fig. And I give them nothing less. And I’ve learned that, much like cultivating a rich and flavorful wine, publishing a great book takes time.

So, if you’ve submitted your manuscript to Simon & Fig and are drumming your fingers impatiently, wondering why the heck I haven’t offered you a contract yet…well, I hope this sheds some light on the process. You took the time to craft a compelling story. I’ll take the time to reflect on it with all the proper attention it deserves.  

Happy waiting!