I invite you to not tear me apart for what I'm about to tell you. I'm embarrassed to admit that I did it. I've been hiding it for a while now. But I've just gotta ask. Just gotta.
Is it possible to recover from sending an incorrectly formatted full manuscript to a publisher?
Let me explain.
Sweetwater Springs is my first completed novel. It's my baby. And I love it. About 2 years ago, I started the process of sending out query letters. Then I sent out more, and more, and more - and received plenty of rejection letters. I was ignored by many as well. That's OK. That's the way it works. I understand that. It's never fun - but I did it.
During my query research, I came across Avalon Publishing. I was very interested in them because they published clean books. I write Clean Historical Fiction/Romance so was anxious to submit to them and hear back.
I submitted my query letter and first 3 chapters to Avalon and waited for what felt like forever. I might have been a bit anxious. Maybe it was closer to a couple of weeks.
When I heard back from them, I was ecstatic that they had requested a full manuscript.
Without going into a lot of details, in an effort to finalize what I planned to send to Avalon, I was working on making some changes to my manuscript and inadvertently inserted some grammar problems, missing words, bad spelling and other minor things.
I am blessed to have a husband that reads my manuscripts thoroughly and finds all of those problems. But this time, in an epic failure of communication between my husband/editor and myself, we didn't catch these things before mailing off my story.
One year and 2 weeks after submitting my baby to Avalon, I received a rejection letter.
I was devastated.
At this same time, we were in the process of buying a house and moving. So the book sat dormant for a few months. Then we decided to self-publish. We took the same file that we had printed and sent to Avalon and published it to Kindle and Nook.
I was happy.
As probably most authors do who self-publish, I downloaded a copy of my book to my e-reader. As I began to read, though, I started to notice little issues. I started to notice the missing word here or there, the spelling problems, the grammar issues.
With haste, I talked with my husband about what had happened and why all these problems are in the book! We realized our mistake, pulled down the wrong version, re-edited the book, and republished it back up online with all those problems ironed out.
Whew - all is well there now.
But this gets us to thinking. And brings me to my question.
I wonder if my manuscript was rejected by Avalon due to the spelling and grammar issues rather than content and plot problems. If they had read the original 3 chapters (that we had meticulously edited), and liked the story enough to request a full manuscript, but then received what turned out to be a very poorly formatted and edited manuscript, I can't imagine what they must have been thinking. Surely they expected better from me.
So, finally, after all that, here is my question:
Is it possible to recover from this? Is it possible to recontact Avalon and ask for a 'second chance'?
I am happy that we chose to self-publish Sweetwater Springs, but I'd love a chance to have a traditionally published book as well.
I'm interested in your opinions. Please comment and tell me what you think. Should I recontact Avalon? Is it worth my while? Do I stand a chance to recover from this terrible flub-up?
Please comment and let me know.