Patting the pocket (Floating the duck, part III)

Three ducks

(Photo borrowed from “Duck of the Day“)

Last spring, I was surfing, looking under “publishers” and what should meet my eyes than this crazy call for submissions by an American company, Bitingduck Press. I enjoyed the cheeky call and the request for ducks in the manuscript (MS).

Did I happen to mention that my MS included significant references to ducks? I think the publishing call had been up for 6 days when I encountered it. I compiled my cheeky reply to the cheeky call and sent in my first 35 pages. To my delight, I received a request for the full manuscript, probably 4 days after I submitted it. A few days after that, I received the good news that they were interested in publishing it.

Just a note, I have been picking up the emotional pieces after rejections for a long time now. So even when I get fantastic news, I don’t allow myself to believe it. That way, if things don’t work out, I won’t be psychically crushed and needing hospitalization any time something doesn’t work out. So in the back of my mind I was expecting it not to go any further. Then, Editor-in-chief, Jay Nadeau, told me a contract was on the way, and I thought, probably not. To my amazement, the contract showed up and I signed it, but it had a 30 day escape clause for the publisher. I thought, they’ll back out before that clause expires. The 30 days came and went. It’s kinda pathetic, eh. That’s how my mind works. These are the kinds of mental games I’ve played to keep the root beer under the ice-cream, so to speak.

Then came the cover art. OK. Something about the cover overwhelmed me, and made the whole project real. Blown away. Yup. The full force of what had been happening caught me in the chops, right around this time. Now we’ve been back-and-forthing as we move towards publishing this story. I think I can finally allow myself believe.

The first step was beginning to tell people about it. I’ve learned not to tell people about when I submit or what I’m hoping to achieve. Simple reason: don’t want to go back and have to explain to them what happened. So when Jay sent me a large number of postcards with the cover art and the book’s explanation, I began to hand it out. And now, I’m in full scale publicity mode. Arranging launches and publicity stuff. November 1, that’s the day we’ve set for the release. And I can’t wait.

It’s a remarkable process. It’s remarkable because it’s been so long and mentally tricky. And the length and difficulty it created has made this moment all the sweeter. It’s still hard to believe some days.

My friend Ken says he walks around with the newly published book in his pocket, and he just pats it as it sits there. He doesn’t pull it out and show it to anyone. It’s just there in his pocket.  I’m not sure, but I might try the same thing.

About Bill Bunn

Bill’s excited because his second YA novel, Kill Shot, is now available everywhere! Bill Bunn is the author of several books, essays, and articles. He is currently writing two pages a day to generate the rough draft of his next novel. Bill Bunn lives in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Bill teaches English at Mount Royal University.
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