Some time ago I mentioned that I had two publishers who were interested in my forthcoming novel, Portrait of Woman in Ink: A Tattoo Storybook. I also mentioned that both of them mysteriously stopped answering emails or returning phone calls for a little while. Frustrated out of my mind (hey – I don’t take kindly to being ignored), I contacted them both to have the DTR talk (defining the relationship, for those of you who’ve never had one… I mean, heard this term :D). Essentially, “Hey, are you still interested in me, or did that new girl from Valley steal you away from me?”
Okay, so I didn’t say it like that, and I don’t have anything against new girls (though we didn’t have many of them where I grew up), but I did ask if they were still interested in a very straightforward manner. To my surprise, both of them came back into the fold, saying they were still interested, and would be sending along contracts shortly. “Shortly” is a relative term in the publishing industry, I’ve found, as one of them sent their book deal contract along within a couple months. The other one however…
I kept talking with them, making sure they were still interested. They assured me that I was still very much on their radar and that my hair still looked good (metaphorically speaking). They strung me along for a bit, and even when I played the “I have another offer” card, they assured me that no other publisher could do for me what they could do for me, and that they’d have a deal over to me by the end of the month. That month, for your reference, was January.
In case you don’t own a calendar, it’s April, and they just told me TUH-DAY that they’ve decided to go in a new direction. I could be a little miffed at them, but how can I be, really? After all, I’m the one who let them string me along for 4 months, and didn’t just flat out say “Where’s my book deal, already?!” But I also can’t be angry with myself too much because I knew better than to let the door close on the first publisher who was interested, the ones who actually *did* have the consideration to send me the book deal they said they would, because I signed with them.
… But more on that in a post to come!