Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Why Writers Should be Honest with Publishers

I'm an introvert, and I used to work in retail. Back then, I was a shy introvert too. But because I needed the job, I lied on my application and during the interview when they asked, "Are you a people-person?" I gave them a big fat, "YES, I AM. I'm so friendly and outgoing and I love working with people! Woo!"

Which was all fine until I got the job. I faked the people-person thing for a couple days, until my batteries dropped to zero, I cried myself to sleep (not really...maybe), and dragged myself back into work as a zombie. It's exhausting trying to be someone you're not.

Eventually, my boss had to remind me to smile and say hi and ask the customers if they needed help. I'm sure by now they realized I wasn't the people-person I said I was, but they kept me because I was a hard working and, ironically, didn't waste time talking to my coworkers like everyone else. (They told me this.) So my personality wasn't everything they wanted, but it still benefited them.

Not me, though. I was dying inside. That sounds dramatic, doesn't it? But any introvert who has tried to fake an extrovert personality and lifestyle knows I'm not being dramatic. It's suffocation.

I learned from my lies, quit the job, and accepted that it's for my own good and for the good of those around me if I accept who I am.

That is until I got an email from a publisher I had queried, asking me what my expectations are from a publisher. My immediate thought was, "What answer are they looking for?" I mulled that over for a while before I realized I was making the same mistake I made with the retail job.

If I lied to a publisher just to get the offer, that wouldn't be a good deal for either one of us. So I sent an honest response, and I'm so glad I did. Maybe my response will show them I'm a good fit and maybe it won't. If it doesn't, that's okay. I can't be in such a rush to make my publishing dream come true that I actually spoil it.

So if you get that question, be honest with yourself and with the publisher. I mean, do your homework so you understand how the industry works. Your expectations need to be realistic. But be honest. Our time will come with the right publisher fit for us.


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