The Manuscript Is off to the Publisher – Now What?

17 Dec

Three years ago, a friend partnered with me to write a book proposal.

She had an agent that believed in her idea and her platform, but we had no guarantee that the book would sell. She’s the author, and I’m the writer, which means it’s my job to take her ideas and make of them a book people will want to read. Before I could get to that, I had to bang out a proposal a publisher would want to buy.

For most of my writing career, I’ve crafted fiction or written blog posts about food and health. A book proposal was far out of my realm of experience, and that 50-page document was one of the most difficult professional challenges I’ve faced. It’s not that proposal writing is complicated, but it was a new experience and I wanted to do it right. I think I did. The proposal was solid, and two years later the book sold. (Yes, it took that long.)

With the writing of the book, I was back in my comfort zone. There were some hiccups along the way. The author leads an extremely busy life, and we missed our first deadline, which for me is like failing to show up for work. You just don’t do it.

Two months and a dozen conference calls later, and we’ve completed the manuscript. Yesterday, I hit send, and the attached document landed in her agent’s inbox. He’ll forward it to the publisher, and I expect they’ll have notes that will require me to come back to the project in a few weeks.

I’d like to pop open some of the widow Clicquot’s finest, sit back, and wait for my check. But I have stories to tell and books to publish. When that email comes from the editor or that phone call from the agent, my life will belong to that project again. In the meantime, I’ll settle for a glass of vinho verde and a gluten-free cupcake I can savor while I create new worlds. I’m off to work.

Go write something!


Posted by on December 17, 2011 in Career


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2 responses to “The Manuscript Is off to the Publisher – Now What?

  1. Avery

    December 17, 2011 at 3:13 pm

    Congratulations! Apparently you have other projects that you are writing. When I used to complete screenplays that I’d been steadily working on for a few months and sent them off, I’d experience a few days of emptiness, silently asking myself, so what do I do now with my life?

    • Candice L Davis

      December 17, 2011 at 3:18 pm

      Thanks. I can understand that feeling of emptiness. I would love to have some time for a mental break, but I have several indie works I want to publish. Back when I was submitting a lot to literary journals I took time to decompress between works. At this point, I don’t think I can rest until I have at least 5 or 6 more works published. In the grand scheme, it will be worth it!


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