Wow, still here, huh? I thought I was done with this thing. Man, oh, man, was I wrong!
For the past week I not only proofread the book, but have spent a considerable amount of time doing some research on preparing query letters and identifying potential children's book publishers that could be interested in my manuscript. I've also written and re-written (and re-written yet again and again) my query letters.
I even prepared a plot synopsis and chapter summary. Boy, that took a lot of effort, jeez! I got the synopsis down to a single page, and the summary of each chapter to barely one or two sentences. It's rather impressive: the entire story is there and I can follow it, but it's condensed down to its most essential elements. The whole thing, synopsis and chapter summaries together, takes about three and a half pages -- it's that short!
My wife suggested that I take the chapter summary, put each one of those brief snippets on their own page, slap an illustration on each one, and sell it as a children's picture book. You know what? I think that could work! It's really that condensed, like a perfectly simmered consommé: clear and accessible, yet surprisingly deep and chock-full of flavour.
And yet ... much work remains. A dear friend just completed a proofreading and sent me a list of corrections and suggestions a mile long. I mean, there was a typo almost on every page!!! And that's on top of the ones I had fixed already, some of which she missed, which tells me that perhaps another few eyes could yield even more.
My sister (a high-school English teacher) also just called me to give a few suggestions and to correct a few misplaced or omitted commas.
Really, I thought I had a good command of the English language but I just discovered that my grammar sucks. Oh well, I guess it helps to have friends and family to help and support you. I am eternally grateful to all of them.
At this point, I'm ready to drop the whole thing. I'm tired of this book. I love it, and I want to see it published, but I'm done with it. I'm ready to move on and get back into other things.
I am waiting on my sisters to provide feedback and as soon as they do and we go through another round of editing, then it's off to Staples to print one good copy of the manuscript and Xerox a bunch of them to send to some prospective publishers. Then I'll be truly free of all this and I can go back to normal life.
Ha! Ha! Ha! No.
Not a chance. I'm sure that once I submit the manuscript, I'll agonize over it for the next several months while I wait and wait and wait for nothing at all to happen, and get silently rejected by every prospective publisher to whom I sent a copy. Then I get to do the real hard work of self-publishing and promotion once I finally realize that that is -- and was ever -- my only option. Ho-hum.
*sigh* Yes, I'm agonizing about all those rejections already and I haven't sent a single query letter yet.
Then again, my misery is equally balanced by spurts of wild and crazy dreams of publishers beating each other up for a chance to make me an offer, and even of Hollywood moguls parking a dump-truck full of cash at my door as they pitch me their movie adaptations. Of course, I choose Pixar for the animated adaptation. I will always choose Pixar.
Oh well, let's see what happens. Crazy times lie ahead, I can tell.