“My dance card is filling up…

…and you are not the only game in town.”

No, this isn’t about those early Cotillian days where we were trussed up like a Sunday roast beef dinner replete with dressy dress, patent leather shoes, and gloves. I’m talking about when two editors are reviewing your work and one has expressed interest in making an offer. What do you tell the other editor who also has a full or partial?

Janet Reid has a blog post regarding this issue, and she touches on whether authors should contact other interested parties about an impending deal. Janet sez yes, with a caveat – which I wholeheartedly agree – and that’s the case where the author is undecided about the offer. To that end, there have been times when authors have asked me after a week or so whether I finished reading their full yet.

Huh? A week? Honey cheeks, I read fast, but not that fast. Not when there are other fulls in the queue before you. I usually write back saying something along the lines of, “when three months have passed, feel free to send me a nagmail. Until then, I appreciate your patience.” And no, I don’t read things necessarily in the order they arrived. I’m more like the doctor in triage – I assess the ones that have the most interest to me and read those first. But I do read them all – eventually.

I’m always somewhat leery of the “I’ve been offered a contract” unless I know who it is. If I have a carrot dangling in front of me, how do I know that carrot isn’t a load of yak droppings, said just to get to the front of the line?

I’m more likely to remove my name from your dance card if I know you have a contract offer from an editor because I don’t like making rush decisions. In that case, I’ll say, “If you find that you decide not to take up the offer, I’m still interested.” But I’m not going to get into a situation where I’m being played against an unnamed editor just to get me to hurry up and read the manuscript and make a rushed decision. Thar be lotsa great writing out there, so play your dance card smart-like.

2 Responses to “My dance card is filling up…

  1. Frank says:

    Ha! The favorite trick of Realtors (their sticklers about wanting the “r” in higher case) making its way into the literary world– “There’s already a generous offer on the table for this property from an upstate couple, so if you want this beautiful home, you’ll have have to act now!”

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