With all the editing and formatting I do, I’ve gotten so far behind in my pleasure reading it’s not funny. BUT I finally gave up and started listening to audiobooks for a few of the books that I so want to read but don’t really have the time to read. Right now I’m listening to JR Ward’s LOVER REBORN (I’m a huge fangrrl) and the main male character has lost his shellan (mate) and she’s in the In Between—didn’t go to their version of Heaven (The Fade) or Hell (Dhund); it’s different for everyone and can be a desolate place.
Now you’re probably wondering where I’m going with this reference or thinking I’ve lost my mind (which is a possibility). Most authors at one point in their career go to THEIR version of the In Between. Yes, they do. When? When they see a revise and resub letter. They’re so focused on “they didn’t say yes” that they miss that “THEY DIDN’T SAY NO”. That’s right, they completely miss the entire letter.
Most publishing houses have three types of letters that they’ll send to an author that has submitted a manuscript to them:
- Yes – here’s a contract; we might want some edits and you’ll work with an editor but we want it
- No – sorry but this just doesn’t fit our needs at this time but thank you (and if the letter is from ManLoveRomance/Passion in Print/Featherweight there will be editorial feedback on your story – just FYI)
- Revise/resub – and this is the one that throws authors to their In Between; the house liked the bones of the story but wants to see: a) that you’re willing to work on your story with them; b) that what the house thinks of as major changes are acceptable to you and that you’ll change them; c) you’ve got the determination to work with an editor in a back and forth to put out the strongest book that you can
The whole point of a revise and resub and what most authors don’t see when they read a revise/resub is that the house really wants to work with you but thinks the manuscript needs more work before it can go into edits. A house is not going to take the time to give you point-by-point feedback if they don’t want you to do it and send it back to them.
The In Between for authors really isn’t that bad a place – it just means that the editor wants you to do a bit more work before they send you and “yes, here’s your contract” letter.