Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Was it the new improved word count?

Received another expression of interest today: Press 2 wants to see the manuscript, as well. This came mere hours after I contacted Press 1 to let them know that I would happily send them the whole thing by the end of the week. Fortunately, I don't think that Press 2 is substantially better than Press 1 (I have no idea how to rank these things, but in my mind they're roughly equivalent--I would guess that my work was more suited to 1 than 2, but I could definitely be wrong. Press 2 seems slightly better to me only because it's from a U that's near where I grew up, so the name of the school is more emblazoned on my mind than is 1's; however, Press 1 sounds less "niche" than 2, but that might only be to my highly subjective ears. I will now quit all speculation in this vein).

So I guess that I need to tell 2 that the MS is out elsewhere, but I'd be happy to send it to them in a couple of months? Unless, of course, 1 decides within the week that my writing sucks and they hate me, in which case I'll be embarrassed.

Wow! I haven't felt this popular since that week when I was sixteen when four different boys gave me their phone numbers.

I went out with one of them for like three weeks, and that was the end of my brush with adolescent popularity.


I had pink hair back then, you know.

But to resume: I do feel, at least, confident now that Press 1 isn't just joking around. And at the very least this means that my proposal is actually in pretty good shape! I guess that full YEAR of working on it is paying off!

I hope, though, that it wasn't gauche of me to send out multiple proposals at once. I'm under the impression that that's totally legit, and that it's just the MS that needs to be monogamous. Here's the mnemonic, coined by me: Promiscuous Proposals /Monogamous Manuscripts. Remember it.


medieval woman said...

A great mnemonic and even better news! Way 2 Go!

Sisyphus said...

Awesome, Dr. Popularity!


So, how long is a book proposal? And how intensive was this year of work on it? (says the cog who needs to start thinking about this as soon as she files. Which needs to happen immediately. Argh! Sorry, don't mean to hyperventilate in your comments.)

And I am memorizing your mnemonic there. Those are real medieval type things, those mnemonics, right?

heu mihi said...

Yes, you need to put them in your memory house (or whatever it's called; clearly I didn't follow that advice).

My prospectus was about 2,000 words long. I put in it: a one-paragraph abstract, a chapter-by-chapter summary, a brief comparison to competing/related books, a statement of the book's length and when it would be done, and a (very short) description of the intended audience. What I included with it varied depending on the press, but usually I sent a cover letter with a short, punchy summary of the book (or as "punchy" as I could get it); a table of contents; sometimes a sample chapter or two; and a CV.

Does that help?

Oh, and I didn't really work on it for a year. For most of that year I was just going around telling people that I was almost, *almost* ready to send out the proposal--any day now--really!

Hilaire said...

That is awesome! You rock!

Fretful Porpentine said...

Congratulations! Another question, because I feel kind of stupid about all of this stuff: how much revising of the diss did you do before you started sending out proposals? (Assuming this book is based on your dissertation, which maybe I shouldn't assume.)

Sisyphus said...

Thanks! And huzzah again!