Major publisher puts out an offer to submit your manuscript. Not something that is publicised for anyone but seen via recommendation on a trusted blog site. So you think: this is my big chance. The deadline is still over a month away so I can get it into some reasonable condition.
Well, after that deadline passed, on which I had submitted a rushed through draft of my novel, doubts began creeping in. All those errors, somehow invisible in that month of revision flourish, soon were stark to behold.
I can understand the thinking of Gollancz: a seemingly benevolent opportunity to aspiring authors – who look upon the welter of books in a saturated market but recoil at those gatekeepers to promotion and publicity … and to that purportedly exclusive club of elite talent embraced by the major publishers. Of course it’s pointless ranting on about the traditional publishing industry being driven by profit; that’s the nature of successful business, right? Then surely indies and self-publishers do have a role to fill, not least in offering some alternative from the flavour of the moment.
It is so easy – with winter reflection – to slip into a state of regret at having been so impetuous back in those heady June days, submitting something so far below standard. It feels now like an act of hubris. But I can understand others doing the same. The lure of just having your work read by someone who really knows books; the mere prospect of professional approval is so tantalising. But then failure, rejection, is worse when it’s a publisher (especially a prestigious one) rather than an agent. Turned away by the ultimate gatekeeper!
To be positive, I like to think there is a second chance – to turn a failure into a success.
My other works of fiction:
Worlds Beyond Time: Amazon UK US
The captured: Amazon.co.uk