Saturday, Mar. 14, 2020 - 12:15 pm.
Hey, things are happening.
First off: The publishing house wrote back. I didn't feel excited when I opened the email: first I thought they'd reject me, then I started reading and noticed the business language they were using. With the latter in mind: THEY ACCEPTED THE MANUSCRIPT.
I didn't feel happy or accomplished, really. Their message was a very thorough document with their business plan to market my book, without any mention of the book's contents. I skimmed through the pages until I reached the money section, and of course I'll have to pay a hefty sum for only 50 copies of my own book. Then I get 50% off the original price if I want to buy more. I was disheartened. I've told myself I was over giving money to be published because now I'm good enough to instead be receiving money for that.
I forwarded this email to Andrew. I thought he'd be as dissapointed as I was, saying that I should keep trying somewhere else, and how dare they charge me and so much. Instead, his response was something like: yaaaasss, girl, you made it, congratulations!!!
And that totally switched my perspective. I went: "hell, yes. They accepted my manuscript".
In the document they do mention the innovative, original and marketable nature of my book. I know this is just a template they send to everybody they accept, but still, damn. Thank you. I don't think they'd say that without having read it and thinking it has a chance. This *is* a business, a huge industry, and of course I'm not in a position to be published with the conditions they offer for free.
Then I realized that, on a very fundamental level, I was clinging to that stupid ideal of an amateur writer. That dream of writing something amazing that'll get the attention of bigshots and for which they'll fling me into stardom without me doing any heavylifting. I thought I was above all those fantasies, really, only because my standard was not earning lots of money but merely not putting any from my own pocket.
Sure, I could keep trying. I could keep submitting the manuscript to other publishers or literary contests, waiting for my big shot to happen. It would take years to be chosen, though, if I get chosen at all.
Like I said, though: publishing books is business. I've been offered the chance to enter the game. They ask for a lot of money, a ridiculous amount for 50 copies, but their plan, if it goes as they say, is worth it; it's still less than what another publisher charged me for my previous book. This one also moves the book a lot, mostly around Spain but they have contacts in South America. I've researched this publisher, and it has a good reputation. That's why I made the submission.
I also looked into all the websites they mentioned in their marketing plan. In one of those sites I found a friend of my dad's, who -I learned- has published many books. While applaud the spirit of some of those, his writing is HORRID, full of cliches, half-baked ideas, and an offending amount of typos. It's like he just sat down and published the first thing that came out of his mind and fingers; no reviewing, no editing, no feedback from others. If he can do that, I said, I can do that. Publishing, that is, not putting out half-assed texts.
This is probably the best deal I can get. If I took the self-publish route, the book wouldn't sell more than a dozen copies and I'd have to do all the work of designing it. If I published the book because I won a contest or miracously a big publisher is interested (but most don't accept unrequested submissions, and for the big ones I have no leverage), the publisher keeps all the rights to my work and I'm bound to be dragged to any event in any country they deem necessary to market the book.
I do have a few questions about their deal before accepting it, but preliminary: the publication of my novel finally seems like a concrete possibility.
Second: this upcoming Thursday it's our first adoption meeting!!!! FINALLY.
Andrew was contacted this week about it. The way he was contacted, with a very formal email from the agency (a governmental one), assures me that I was truly not contacted at all last year, when I signed us up for that same meeting. I beat myself up for weeks thinking I'd missed the call, but that was not the case.
In fact: I got the meeting email, too! The subject read "second call", which yes, sounds like I got a first one, but truly, I didn't. There was no email in my spam folder, and certainly not in my inbox, which I always keep tidy with no more than ten already-read emails. But anyway. What matters now is that we're finally attending an informative meeting to start the adoption process.
This is another reason to take the book deal now: get it out of the way as soon as possible. I love that story, I love the folks in it who have been (and will be) with me forever, but I need to set that story free. In practical terms, it'll be difficult to pursue my Amateur Writer Dream with a child.
You hear that? If all goes well, by the end of this week we'll finally get on our way to having a child.
Third: I now have three thesis to supervise! Two from master's students as a co-supervisor with my boss (if I can get some paperwork done), for her own project. And one undergrad group for my own research line, on LGBTI issues! I'm nervous because I've never done this before, but I'm excited, too.
There should have been a fourth item, but there was no word this week on the uni grant application results. The results were supposed to be announced Friday, yesterday, but of course things never work out properly here. I still have some hope that I got one of the two grants available, but I'm also aware that competition was fierce. I do need to know to outcome to decide what to do with the thesis I'm supervising. Andrew needs to know as well because he has another job offer lined up in another uni (yay!).
A fifth item that I just remembered is that the online newspaper I write for translated one of my articles to English! I'm barely getting any exposure with the pandemia going on, and my irrelevance should keep on stinging me, but I still feel happy to have my stuff published like that. It's out there. Hopefully the things I write will be useful for someone, someday.
Lastly, the Women's March on Monday! It was great! Peaceful, joyous, angry, healing. I took my huge-ass bi flag which I waved and waved, and the whole thing lasted like four hours. Great crowd, women singing and dancing and taking no shit. The friends I was going with recommended we scrammed as soon as we reached the city square, because that's when things tend to get ugly. Best piece of advice. As soon as I got home, my friend sent me a Facebook video: the cops had arrived shortly after we left, and they were gassing and throwing water at the remaining protesters.