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Protecting the egg

March 3rd, 2011

Here is a guest-written blog post from a faculty author who feels worry about a positive response from a press. This is completely normal, of course (sometimes acceptance feels more worrisome than rejection, oddly enough), but also worth pondering from her perspective:

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After years of fearing the book publishing process, I finally pushed myself into submitting a book prospectus to several presses.  Amid the rejections, I was awarded with one golden response of interest from an academic press.  For over a week, I allowed that glorious email to linger in my inbox.  I wanted to protect this fragile egg of interest from being crushed by my own missteps.

The editor wants to see my manuscript, but of course my manuscript is not quite ready.  How could I write a response to the editor that could ever so carefully tell the editor that I needed more time without crushing that egg of hope?  By not responding to that email (a great email, even!), I was preserving the possibility that this could be the press that would see my manuscript through to publication.  The road to publishing is fraught with so many insecurities.  It may seem absurd that I would be afraid to respond to positive news, but I was.  The press’s interest in my work seems so
fragile to me that I feel the need to protect it, even from myself.

I ultimately did respond to the editor’s good news.  But I have yet to receive a response.  So I wait while I write.

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