Sunday, January 29, 2012

Patience vs. Persistence

I received an e-mail the other day, a nice little note from the group who I submitted my short story to back in November.  The note was sent to thank me for entering the contest and for being a valuable part of the writing community.  My heart sank when at first I thought the note was an attempt to lift my spirits before crushing them.

My spirits are safe, for the moment.
The note turned out not to be a rejection letter but instead a notice to inform me that judging is now underway and the winners will be notified at the end of February.  Another month to wait on top of the two months I’ve waited so far.  And this is for a short story of no more than 1,500 words. 

When I started my blog and wrote about having completed my first book (or the first draft anyway), I was asked by many when the book would be available to read.  At the time, my plan was to submit the book to contests because, I was hoping, if there were any chance of winning, it would also result in getting my book published.  The contests are certainly a draw to newbie authors such as myself because it is a way to get a book published without having to find an agent willing to take on the task of selling the novel of a new author to a publisher.  Even worse is trying to find a publisher willing to take a chance on a new author when there are no guarantees I can earn a profit for them.
Due to these cold hard facts, my plan was to submit my book to contests, especially those where only unpublished authors could submit work.  How long will it take to hear back about a full-length book contest? 

Too long, I have determined, and I’m not sure I have the patience for it.
There were a number of contests I had my eye on, one actually offered results in two months but according to most of the other contest guidelines, the results take an average of about six months.  It’s understandable, of course.  Each organization holding a contest must receive hundreds or possibly thousands of submissions.  It would take many, many hours for the panel of judges to read through such a high number.  I don’t envy those judges; it must be very tedious and tremendously difficult to work your way through such a large number of novels in only a few months.

So what does all this mean?
Patience has never been a virtue of mine.  I especially have difficulty waiting on others even considering the fact that I might understand their delay.  The idea of sending my book off to a group or a number of groups and then wait…for what will feel like an eternity for a “yea” or a “nay” is something I find very difficult. 

Instead, I’ve been researching my options and the possibilities are endless.
I do love research.  Being informed means being well armed.

Although I may continue to enter short stories into contests to see where I stand in that regard, I have decided to take the publishing bull by the horns.  I may be able to find an agent who may be able to discover a publishing house willing to take me on as a new author but I won’t bank on it.  In the meantime, rather than wait on someone else to do the job for me, I will take the options available to me so that my book and the ones to follow will be published sooner, rather than later.
I’ll keep you informed as I go along.  Wish me luck!

No comments:

Post a Comment