So, some exciting things have been happening here over the past few weeks.
I finally got my manuscript to the point where I was comfortable submitting it to agents. First up were those who requested my work at the Writer's Digest Conference last January. Recently I read a blog post that said if an agent requests your work, you have up to a year before you should consider the request null and void.
I worried about this a lot. I learned a lot at the conference, (the point of a conference, right?), and felt that it would only be right to apply what I learned to my work before asking a professional to review it. This took a lot longer than I expected, but I refused to submit shoddy work just to say I responded immediately.
I worried that the delay would send the wrong message, and the recipients would reject me based on that alone. But I stuck to my guns and did my due diligence and submitted what I saw as my best product. Let me say, it was an anxiety-ridden experience.
I tend to be a little erratic with my time management. Sometimes I just get it in my head that I'm going to do something and I do it. Those of you who follow me know I have a full-time day job on top of being a mom. On the night that I submitted, I had been working on other random things during the evening, and at 10 o'clock decided that now was the moment.
This was probably a mistake.
My query letter and synopsis were finished weeks before. My manuscript was finished for several days. The idea of actually submitting scared the hell out of me. The weekend came and went, and still I avoided opening the query letter or synopsis. Both needed to be fine tuned, and I put it off, knowing that it was the last step between me and hitting the send button. It's one thing to be judged by your friends, family and critique group. It's quite another to be formally rejected by a professional.
Why this hour on this night became the moment to act is anybody's guess.
Ready to go, I pulled the little pile of cards out of my leather folio. I carefully read the submission guidelines for the first one, gathered the files and put together the submission. I opened the query and personalized it for the agent. I saved it carefully with a file name that would prevent me from accidentally sending it to the wrong person. (details... details... details...) I briefly reviewed the synopsis, made sure it was all there and saved that, too.
I hesitated, decided that there was nothing else to do, and hit the send button. I'll admit, I savored the moment. I had officially submitted my manuscript to an agent and now it was out of my hands. I was carefully assembling the next round of files when the perfect little bubble I was in popped.
Oh. My. God.
Not an expression I typically use, but... things started to snowball.
There were two typos in my synopsis. I had changed the content of a sentence and left a word in that should have been deleted. The other was a word that was spelled wrong, but it made another word, so I missed it.
The little snowball started rolling down the hill.
I realized that I forgot to put in the synopsis header. It was blank. No name, no title, no page numbers. Luckily there were only 2 pages, but still... NOT professional.
The snowball was growing.
I had left the copyright notice in the footer. I should have taken it out weeks ago when I was done sending it to beta readers. I meant to. I forgot. Damn.
Then I froze as if flattened by the runaway snowball.
I realized I changed a scene in the book, but hadn't updated it in the synopsis. To make it worse, it was the first kiss scene. One would think that the author of said manuscript would at least get that right.
I can't begin to share with you my frustration. All that time spent polishing and re-polishing. All that worry about little details here and there in the manuscript. Ah, well, live and learn.
The good news?
I caught it all before I sent the next submission.