Every day I am, for a brief moment (thank goodness), plagued by anxieties about my career as an author. As a poet, it’s just beginning, but as a novelist, it’s stalled due to the closing of AEC Stellar Publishing, Inc., forcing When Stars Die to become an orphaned book. Along with these anxieties, jealousy briefly pricks a minute hole in my heart.
I am not bitter that AEC Stellar Publishing, Inc. had to close its doors. What I hate is that my novel has yet to find a home, despite every publisher I’ve sent it to requesting a full, then rejecting it. It’s like holding out a bag of Swedish Fish to me, then yanking it away. I received an acceptance–finally!–but the contract fell through, which was very unfortunate. Yes, my novel is with a publisher who allowed me to skip the entire process, which looks promising, but it’s still part of the waiting game I wish I no longer had to play. It’s been four months since I requested my rights back and my book removed from all retail sites. Other AEC authors decided to self-publish their books, and one received a contract from a publisher about two months ago. This is where jealousy pricks my heart and makes me wonder when or if my book will ever find a new home. I hope the publisher it’s with will take it. I sense promise, but I also cannot presume anything, just because the publisher took charge of the book instead of the acquisitions editor, who is actually the one who rejects or accepts a book.
It’s especially difficult when you detail the journey of your book, and when you talk about your rejections, those who have read and loved your book reassure you that your book will find a home–and then you wonder. It isn’t enough to have a decent amount of ratings on Goodreads with an overall good rating; the publisher still has to love your book to want to work with it. So this is just a lesson that you’re always in the same boat as unpublished authors. Always. Unless you’re Stephen King or some other massively popular author.
Unfortunately, rejection is part of the game. To me, it’s simply harder when you have two houses who wanted your book, one it was published with and another that didn’t work out. I would feel differently if When Stars Die had never been published, but I don’t, so I feel like the waiting game is much more agonizing than it is for unpublished authors. It’s especially agonizing, as my options for publishers are limited since not every one will take on a previously published book. I am exceptionally grateful for those that do. All beautiful, well-loved books deserve a second chance. I also keep in mind that publishers who accept books are probably just as anxious for writers to accept their contracts as the authors are for waiting to hear back from a publisher.
Luckily, I am keeping busy by writing, so it’s not as if I’m sitting around doing absolutely nothing. I’ve finished the revisions for 39 poems I’m including in my collection. I have chapter one outlined for the novella that will begin this collection. I have two places in mind to submit it to. I have two poems being published and appearing May 2nd. I’m also slowly copy editing a finished novel with two publishers–thus far–in mind to submit it to, though one publisher doesn’t want simultaneous submissions, so that will be my first publisher of choice. Reading helps, too, and I have been reading plenty of novels and poetry.
All I can do is keep carrying on. No matter what happens, When Stars Die will see itself back in print. I will not let The Stars Trilogy die.