This question has been nipping at the back of my heels since acquiring my agent, John Rudolph at Dystel & Goderich Literary Management. Don’t get me wrong, I know I’m considered a “newbie” in the literary world, but the question still begs: at what point do you get to skip the submissions, bypass the rejections and have publishing houses approach you with contracts?
My friend and author of Relic, Renee Collins’, hypothesis is that if you make the NYT Best Seller’s list twice, then you’re set. Is there a formula? Do the great fall?
I guess I feel like it’s a crapshoot. In my day job, I have direct control over the success. The more I work, the more successful we are. I also have tangible results within a few weeks of treatment. I know exactly what needs to happen next in order for people to walk out with a great smile and perfect bite. But in writing, you love your book, and stories; you think you have the next big thing. You might spend months or even years perfecting it. Then, all of the sudden you get a ton of rejections. All the work and all the time you’ve invested is for a book that no one will ever read.
At this point in my career, I’m comfortable with Extracted. It’s been accepted, but now I have to prove myself again for Prodigal. I’m not suggesting that we should be complacent or static, but some indication that I don’t have to prove myself would be nice. Now that I have an agent I feel like I really have to prove myself. Every time I send my co-author, Sherry, a chapter I get nervous. Will I disappoint her? Does Stephen King, still feel that pressure, or does he just write whatever he wants, knowing his publisher will automatically accept it?
Does anyone else ever feel like this? Do you ever feel like you’re always going to be questioning if you’re good enough to run with big dogs? Or, perhaps, not worthy?