The Sub Process
No one talks much about the sub process. For those in the publishing industry, it's arguably the most pivotal moment of all. The breath before the big plunge, so to speak. You've spent years struggling to land the perfect agent, and now that agent sends your book to editors. This process of submissions, waiting, rejections, rewrites, and more submissions has only two possible outcomes: give up, or land a publishing deal.
Part of the secrecy in the sub process is because it is quite different for every project, even to the most successful authors. Two authors could both land huge advances and lucrative book deals, and one could do so after being on sub for a couple weeks, while the other was on sub for a couple years. Meanwhile a third author could be on sub years and never break through. There's little rhyme or reason to it.
So, let me break down my sub process.
First, I caramelized the onions. Then I added seitan, vegan Worchester sauce, and some soy sauce. Finally, red peppers and vegan cheese. I added it to a toasted bun for the delicious sub pictured above.
Oh, sorry, were you wanting details about my sub process for BOOKS? Ah, gotcha.
Yesterday I received a pass for my novel Starkeeper, which has been on sub for nearly a year. And like almost all of the passes, the editor had nothing but praise for the book. It's weird to see only positive feedback. Which is very different from querying, where agents often tell you what they dont like. So far, the rejections have been encouraging. But that's not the news.
The crazy news is that I now have FOUR separate projects on submission. One picture book, two middle grade fantasies, and one YA/Adult fantasy. That's a LOT of opportunities. In fact, I don't know any other author with four separate projects out there at once, and I'm grateful to my agent Steve for putting them out there. As mentioned, there's only two outcomes now: give up or succeed, and I am certainly NOT giving up. In fact, I feel like I'm at that pivotal moment, a breath before the plunge, and mere inches before the big finish line.
Of course a publishing deal, no matter how large, is just another step in a long process, but I'm ready to move on.
In fact, I am quite literally moving on. I'm sitting in my home office, surrounded by boxes. I've been drafting between packing. And my family's moving to a new house in just two weeks. I think there are a lot of similar emotions between the life pivots and deep anxieties of moving, and the career pivots and deep anxieties of the sub process.
Yet, both end in a new chapter, and a better place.