Wednesday 5 January 2011

Still waiting

I wasn't worried at all. In fact, I hadn't given it a lot of thought - after all, it's been barely a month - until I received an email from my agent including these words:

Just to say I didn't hear a squeak out of anyone about the book before Christmas so I will chase them all this week. I think it was simply a case of having too much to do before Christmas hit them and it doesn't reflect on the book at all.

NowI'm seriously worried. No-one likes it. Of course that's what this means. In fact they probably all hate it, and have tossed it aside until they can bring themselves to break the news. There will be no bidding war, no huge success, no Booker Prize* nomination, no final recognition of my genius. Okay, so I'm a glass-half-empty kind of person, but this, on top of the Archers' pathetic denouement (and the fact that I don't know how to dispose of the Christmas tree), is simply too much.

*Talking of the Booker Prize, has anyone else read The Finkler Question? I'm reading it at the moment, and my jury is still very much out.


  1. I'm still waiting too, Frances. Waiting waiting waiting. Waiting is not good for my inner self.

    Fingers crossed for you. But we can't expect people in publishing to not have a long Christmas and a slow return to work, I reckon.

  2. Aliya, I know. And I've been thinking of you. You and Alis and I. All waiters (waitresses?).

    And thanks, Liz!

  3. Frances, chill! I'm sure the agent's right - everybody was just snowed under before Christmas, I'm sure none of the publishers have even looked at it yet. But they will, and when they do, the champagne can come out!

  4. I hope your waiting ends soon. I will say this: It seems unlikely that they would have to collect their guts before breaking to you they don't want the book. So I don't think I would read into the delay itself.

  5. Publishing moves slowly. But we knew that already... Keep calm and carry on!

    Downloaded the first chapter of Finkler to the Kindle and enjoyed it - but waiting for the price to drop before I go for the whole thing.

  6. I always like to think that the longer a manuscript is at an agent then it's being passed round the other assessors. If the first reader decides it's a definite rejection then it will come back to you pretty quickly.
    Or is this just wishful thinking as I have several things that have been out there for a while?

  7. Thanks, guys. I hope it's a good sign. My agent is brilliant in that she understands the waiting thing so well. Without my contacting her again, she let me know that the publishers all want a little longer, so that I had at least something from her before the week-end.

    Nevets - I've missed you!

    Tim - I'd be really interested in your verdict on The Finkler Question. I started by finding it very funny indeed, but now I'm not so sure. Amazon reviews are very mixed (but that seems to be par for the course with Booker winners).

    Keith - good luck with your "things out there", and I hope you have good news soon.

  8. It's nice to be a bit back in the swing of things!

    And I can't even imagine how jumpy I'm going to be when I'm in a similar spot. Egads. I'm terrible at waiting. Terrible, terrible, terrible.

  9. If you're in this game, you'll have to get good at it, Nevets. Just needs lots of practice (says she, biting her nails and reaching for the wineglass).

  10. Just to say (mainly) good luck with the book. Also (incidentally) I had the Finkler Question for Christmas, but haven't started reading it yet - we'll have to comare notes later in the year. As for the Archers - words fail me!

  11. Thanks, Len. I'm a third of the way through Finkler, and I'm still not sure. It is certainly
    beautifully written, and often very witty, but I'm not sure that's enough. So far, there doesn't seem to be much in the way of plot. I'd love to know what you think.