Sunday, April 25, 2010

Synonyms and Publishers

Oh, my holy corn chips!!!

Ok, first of all I had almost this entire post typed up and I went looking for synonyms of the word afraid (you'll see why later) and my computer decided to throw a hissy fit and restart the internet. *Throwing vicious tantrum*

I hate computers sometimes. Right now is one of those times.

Alright, so back to what I was writing about before my computer spasmed *Growling*. As I may have mentioned before, I am an aspiring writer. I have actually completed 3 whole manuscripts and have plots and characters for at least 30 others. But only one of them is really done and proofread and all that, and I just finished it last month. At which point, my husband said I should try to get it published. I admit, I have flirted with the idea before, but I am realistic bordering on pessimistic when it comes to things I feel strongly about. The least I expect, the less of a chance I have at being disappointed. So do I think that I could actually, realistically get published? Not really. Is it one of my fantasies that I cling to anyway? Yes.

So I was fooling around on the internet one night and started looking for publishing companies, just to see what was available on google. I found one publishing company that would accept manuscripts for review at no cost. After a lot of gut-twisting inner debating with my subconscious, I finally submitted my manuscript (that I had to finish typing up). I did that three weeks ago and I'm still waiting for a response. They said 4-6 weeks, and I'm trying very hard to be patient. Incidentally, I'm failing.

In the meantime, I was doing more research and found out that they're a vanity publishing company. Basically, you pay them to publish your book. This is not a profitable kind of thing, and a lot of people do this basically for posterity, to leave their mark, no matter how small, on the world. However, there is no way on this good green earth that I can pony up thousands of dollars to have 14 copies sold. (Pessimist, I told ya.) I can't even pony up the money to go to the dentist, which I haven't done for about 4 years.

So tonight was doing some more research about the book publishing business, more specifically on the "how to" part. And I learned that to publish a book, you need a literary agent. Very very few people get published with a normal publishing company by just submitting their manuscript. You need somebody who knows the ropes, can pull the strings, and who knows people. A literary agent. So, after following a very helpful link on (I love that website) I found the AAR, the Association of Authors' Representatives, Inc. And I selected myself an agent to send my "query" to. A query is a short synopsis of the book, the word count, relevant publishing information, and the first 5 pages of the manuscript. I just sent the e-mail off (well, before my computer threw a fit) and if I were a nail biter I would be chewing on bloody stubs right now. It was bad enough sending it in to a company that I would have to pay for them to publish it, but sending it in to a person that could potentially make me into a real money-making, succesful author is a whole different realm of anxiety for me.

Follow me, if you will, to one of my deepest, dearest fantasies. We'll pass the one where I have my high school body back. (A size 12 is probably not what some of you may think of as ideal, but looking at my body now, with my pink zebra stretch marks and love handles you could lift a whale with, I would do something very devious to have my 10th grade body back. My sister's body is exactly like I used to be, minus the boobs, mine were bigger, and I am so jealous and wistful. I love my adorable daughter to death, but she destroyed my body. Someday she is going to come to me, 5 months pregnant and complaining about her stretch marks, and I am going to sit there with a wry smile on my face and say, "PAYBACK.")

Yes, past that fantasy. To the fantasy where I am published and become a real author. Not like J.K. Rowling or Clive Cussler or Danielle Steel. I just want a spot on the shelf at the library. I want a spot on the shelves of Barnes and Noble. When my name is googled, I want the result to say "Author". And money would be nice too, but honestly, just having that spot on the shelf and having the occasional person say, "Hey, aren't you that author?" would be enough.

I don't think it is too unreasonalble to be feeling absolutely terrified, horrified, anxious (see the whole synonym thing now?), nervous, and altogheter FREAKED OUT right now. If anyone in my pretend audience has never written before, you may not understand my feelings. When you write something, be it a novel, a poem, a series of essays, a part of your soul goes into it. Some essence of yourself that is vulnerable and beautiful and completely defenseless. Now imagine sending that bit of your soul to a stranger and saying, "What do you think?". I am petrified beyond belief that I'm going to get it back with a big red F circled on top. Absolutely terrified. And I will be on tenterhooks until I hear back from the stranger with the big red pen with my soul in her inbox.

I feel as if there is a very large and angry swarm of butterflies in my stomach. The brownie next to me is not helping at all. I abhor saying this, but chocolate can't fix everything.

So, pretend audience, I think that is it for tonight unless you have any objections. No? Anybody? All right, then. I am either going to write down the muse I thought up at work yesterday (I'll have to explain my muses later) or watch a movie. Decisions, decisions. Anyway, love to you all!!! Wish me luck, cross your fingers, and pray that I survive until I hear back!

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