Maybe?

Throughout my submissions process, I’ve prepared myself to hear, “no.” I’ve heard it quite often actually. I’m getting use to the feeling of rejection really. In fact I must commend Agents on the soft approach most of them use to let an Author down easily. Rather than a “thanks but no thanks,” approach, most wish the author well and tell them “good luck in their search.” I’ve yet to run into a rejection that felt insulting.

So I’m prepared for “No.”

I’m also very hopeful for a, “yes.” I’d love to hear those magic words “I want to represent/publish your book.” I have beautiful daydreams about getting a phone call or an email from my dream agent/publisher. I’ve fantasized about signing contracts, practicing my signature so it looks perfect on the page.

So, I’m definitely prepared to hear “Yes.”

But what if the response you get is neither? What if the response you get is a maybe?

I’ve started looking at smaller publishers, since my list of Agents has dwindled down to almost nothing. I sent my submissions package off, fully expecting it to take weeks to hear anything back.

To my great surprise I had an email from said publisher waiting in my in-box this morning.

“Thank you for your query....This is a tad on the "light" side for a page count perspective but I've been running across some interesting marketing opportunities for vampire fiction as of late so I'm not going to "pass" on it out of hand. I'll move it to the top of the pile and give it a look.

Thanks.”

It’s not a yes, it’s not a no, it’s just a maybe. I wasn’t prepared for a response like this. What do I do? Do I allow my self to get my hopes up? Do I wait with baited breath for another response? Do I pretend I never saw it and act as if nothing has changed until I hear further word?

I want so badly to get my hopes up and be excited, but I know it will only crush me if I do this and a future response comes back, “no.”

Argh, I so wasn’t prepared for this!

Comments

Tara Maya said…
As you say, it might still come down to a No. But here's the good part. A Maybe-Turned-No is still a better quality No than before. It's an Almost-YEs! That means you're on the right track.

As of course does an actual Yes. But you knew *that*.

Best you can do at this point is cross your fingers and wait.
Lazy Writer said…
The way I look at it is that a maybe is like a request for a partial. It's one step closer. I will tell you this, though, I've gotten my hopes up twice because of requests for partials, and for me, it was a much greater let down to receive rejections on those than the regular rejection. But it's also a great opportunity to get some personalized feedback. I'd say you should be celebrating the fact that you've gotten that far! If a rejection follows, well then, you can cry about it later. Don't waste your time worrying about it now! In my opinion, your maybe was a huge success in and of itself.
Jessica said…
OH LOL!!!!
I completely hear you because I've had a query and pages with an agent for almost a year. The thing is, she's a very good agent and I really want her! So when she first got back to me and said, can I put it in my consideration file, I was like, sure! And about three months ago I e-mailed about the status and she asked for the first fifty pages. So LOL The first response was a maybe. Now I'm waiting for a no or yes.
Congratulations though! It only takes one yes.
I've queried over thirty agents. I think only four requested more material and of those I'm still waiting to hear back from two.
Heh.

How exciting for you though! Yay! :-)
B.J. Anderson said…
That is so cool though! I think it's too late to not get your hopes up (MY hopes are up for you), so I guess you'll just have to hope for the best. I SO hope it's a yes. :D I always keep a 5 gallon bucket of ice cream handy, though, just in case . . .
I agree with BJ. And a bottle or two of wine might help also. :)
quixotic said…
I'm trying to keep a level head about this. It is really exciting that I have someone interested enough to take a further look. Fingers crossed!
Rene said…
Well, that's exciting, and you should be elated, but be prepared. Also, make sure either way this is what you want. Do some homework now and have a list of questions in the event the publisher says yes. This isn't just about one book but also the future of other projects. When I got an agent, I was too excited to ask any questions. It worked out fine, but I wish I had been more prepared.