I love summer. While I don't love the heat or the mosquitoes, I do love the longer days and still being light out until 9:30 p.m..
Know what else I love about summer? Contest season on Twitter for authors! There's Query Kombat...PitMad...and the ever popular Pitch Wars. The purpose of those contests is to get query ready (read: a complete, polished manuscript) out in front of agents where they could request to see more of your work.
And while more agent signings happen outside of these contests than in them, they DO help get the momentum going for authors to know if their work is hitting the mark or not.
But signings DO happen from these contests--so when it happens for you, and you have that agent helping you polish that manuscript even more, they'll then send your book baby off into the world known as submission. Publishers are given a copy of your manuscript and your agent is saying, "So...wanna buy it?"
Have you ever wondered what that's like on an author's end, though? Me, too. My writer friend Laura Heffernan, author of the fun, flirty, swoony book America's Next Reality Star (as well as Sweet Reality--coming this fall, and book 3 set for a later pub. date) has some great insight as to what that was like. Her take on it is a cute--but deeply humbling--story that I think will make a lot of sense to all of us.
Here's what she had to say:
Imagine you’ve finally received an invitation to an exclusive restaurant. It’s so exclusive, no one knows what they serve or what it looks like on the outside, but people spend a year or more waiting to get in. Reservations are by referral only. Referrals can take months or even years to get. You’re not allowed to bring anyone else inside with you, not even the friends who’ve shared the waiting. By the time the doors open, you’re desperately hungry. Your mouth starts watering while you stand in the foyer.
Once you’ve finally made it inside, your waiter leads you to a random table. There are no menus. “We’ll bring you something to eat when it’s ready,” he says before vanishing.
Other people join your table. Some of them get served before you. They’re not allowed to share. Some people leave without getting served at all. They may or may not come back. When you ask where your food is, the waiters hush you and tell you to be patient. You can’t complain that someone else’s food came first, because you’re so lucky to be at the table. You can’t post about the restaurant online, because if you do, they kick you out.
So you wait. And you watch. You hunger. Your food may or may not come. You might not like your meal once it arrives. Someone else’s food might look better or smell better or they might enjoy it more. And you could be left watching everyone who joined you at the table devour their food, while you stare at any empty place setting. All you can do is hope your food eventually comes.
This restaurant, of course, is called “On Submission.” Welcome to the table. Now shush, and wait your turn.**
Laura Heffernan is living proof that watching too much TV can pay off: AMERICA’S NEXT REALITY STAR (Kensington/Lyrical) is available now! When not watching total strangers participate in arranged marriages, drag racing queens, or cooking competitions, Laura enjoys travel, baking, board games, helping with writing contests, and seeking new experiences. She lives in the northeast with her amazing husband and two furry little beasts. Follow her on Twitter or find her on Facebook.
Get Americas Next Reality Star at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, iBooks, and Google Play
**This article was originally posted on The Writer Diaries in March 2015 as "Dear Diary: You're Invited," and it resonated with a lot of people. Reprinted with permission.