The press and I are going back and forth with galleys, making sure that everything is polished and correct. It’s laboring though. I think I have parts of my book memorized now. Thursday I spent all of my free time reading and reviewing another iteration, and then when my husband came home, working until late at night to finish, so that I could get it to the press quickly.
Initial mailings to reviewers are coming up, so I want this proof to be as good as it can be. I have compiled a list of places that require galleys to be mailed 3-4 months prior to publication date. Publishers Weekly, Kirkus, Library Journal, and others. Hopefully together, we can get that mailed off this week. (By the way, I was a quarter-finalist in the Amazon Breakthrough Awards last year for After the Tsunami, and I have a Publishers Weekly review already. I may post it soon, but it’s rather long, and in my opinion isn’t the most flattering. I hope for a better one.)
I haven’t done much new writing lately. It makes me sad, but I know that I will get back to it. Right now, I’m mostly working on After the Tsunami, Amit’s Ability (my new book), or plowing through my publicity plan for the new release. I am reading a lot though. Third Coast came in the mail, so I’ve been reading that, along with a novel that I am ashamed has taken me almost two months to get through. I also received the new issue of Gulf Coast. Bret Anthony Johnston’s piece, “Boy,” is magnificent. Please read it. I entered their latest contest, of which results should be announced in May. My status on their submission manager has read “Final Reading Round” for weeks, which makes me suspect I did not make it very far in their reading process. Boo.
I also received a completely generic rejection from Fugue. I don’t think I’ve gotten anything but generic from them. This was my 8th submission to them. I was happy to learn that Peter Stenson, a fellow Squaw Valley alumnus, had a piece recently accepted by them. Awesome, Peter! Can’t wait to read it.
I feel as though rejections have become more impersonal now with the advent of electronic submission. Before, I used to get more personalized replies (especially from Agni and Indiana Review, just to name a couple) through the mail, sometimes hand-written on personal stationery. I still have them saved in a file because I like to look at them. Back then, I don’t even think my writing was that good. I’ve improved, I know, but still more generic rejections. I understand why. The easier it is to submit, the more submissions each journal will get (which is why the Subtropics editor had indicated they are fearful of switching to online). Though I think if you make it easier, you are also allowing yourself more of an opportunity to find work that may have gone previously undiscovered, perhaps because the person did not have the money/resources to send the work via post. I think making the submission process easier and more streamlined means that all of us have a proper chance of being published. I’ll take that instead of more personal replies any day.
In conclusion, I didn’t do anything writing-related at all yesterday (a first in a while), and spent the entire time my son napped outside, digging up errant grass and planting peas, beets, pepper, and mint for our garden. There is something cathartic about working with your hands (and no, I don’t mean on the computer). My husband got sun-burned, and my back is slightly sore, but man, did we have a good time.