I recently received word of my submission. Judging from the title of this post one might be given the impression that it had been thrown out. The truth of the matter is far from what you might think.
I am living in South Korea and have my manuscript sealed, stamped, and delivered via a friend within the UK. They sent the package, recorded delivery, some seventy-seven days ago via Royal Mail. There was an expected three-month period of waiting and therefore after seventy-seven days had elapsed I was getting close to full ninety. I was wondering what was happening with the submission, whether it had been discarded and not returned via the enclosed s.a.s.e. or if perhaps it was still under consideration. No news being good news after all…
Not in this case. My friend contacted me to inform me of the situation. My manuscript had been returned after seventy-seven days… undelivered. Yes, that is correct. The recorded delivery remained undelivered. After the first attempt at delivery (which found the literary agent’s office closed after a Bank Holiday), Royal Mail returned the package to the depot and shelved it whereupon it was promptly forgotten about and only recently discovered. Rather than attempt delivery for a second time they immediately returned it to my friend with a sheepish apology.
There are many reasons as to why I chose to leave the UK and why I have not resided there for the past eleven years. This is just one of them and it is not the first time that I have been on the receiving end of the Great British failure when it comes to professionalism in the work place. I’m not sure if the UK still claims to be a First-World nation but in my well-travelled opinion it would be hard pushed to make it into the Third-World category when it comes to ability.
Needless to say, the incident is being followed up and the original package has since been redelivered to the agent in question. I was in two minds about doing so since it may well have been fate trying to move me in another direction. Since I have never done this before, I do not know if perhaps I should be trying other avenues but if this doesn’t work then I’ll ignore the advice I have been given about only submitting to one publisher/agent at a time and just send it out in a batch.
To hell with it all and be damned.