I’m in a REAL quandary. What shall I do?
My last email from froma Publisher was in early October. They reminded me that I was still Under Consideration with ‘Me and Her: a Memoir of Madness’ and I needed to be patient.

But I need to let them know that I will be overseas for most of January and I’ll be almost non-contactable by phone.

Two facts kept regurgitating in my head.
•   Publishers ALWAYS contact authors by phone on final Publishing decisions.

•    Publishing Houses close over Christmas / New Year holidays.

Do I email the Publisher with my Contact Details? YES? …  NO?

Or is it just a case of WHEN?

WHEN do I email  them to update them with my latest details?


Or closer to Christmas?

I’ve come this far with ‘Me and Her: a Memoir of Madness’.
I don’t want to stuff it up with the WRONG decision.

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26 comments to Yes?…No?

  • Karen: DO NOT CALL THEM! Seriously. If it’s only been a few months, you’ve hardly started to wait. It could take them a long time. It could take a year or more. (Admittedly, that would be a worst case.) The very earliest you could even *think* about sending them a query note would be about six months, and if you were to contact them, it would be extremely polite. No, “oh, guys! It’s been AGES!” or similar. More, “I’m writing to enquire after the status of my manuscript, .”

    I know you’ve been waiting a long time already. Fine. Write more stuff to keep yourself busy. Read good books. Start planning new books. Do interesting stuff. But don’t sweat over the publisher and their decision process. They will contact you, one way or another. And if they do say no, they won’t then appreciate you writing back, asking why they said no. Just move on to the next publisher on your list and start over.

  • Adrian, I hear what you’re saying loud and clear. But what about when I’m overseas in January for a month and they try to ring me at home. What then? Cheers, Karen.

  • The wait is always tricky – I think the process makes writers edgy and start to sweat the small stuff. I wouldn’t worry about it too much, Karen. The most likely scenario is that they will actually e-mail you first. They usually only call after they’ve been in touch already. Do they have your mobile number? I’d try not to contact them and just let them move at their own pace, but in the end you have to do what makes you comfortable!

  • Helen-Louise Usher

    DO NOT CALL THEM! I agree with Adrian. If you’re not home, will they leave a message? Will they wait? Of course.
    If you contact again, they may feel harrassed. I can understand how hard it must be… But be patient. Think of it this way- the answer is NO until it’s YES.

  • Thanks Katherine, You sound so reasonable and relaxed in your attitude. Allen and Unwin don’t have my mobile number. Wasn’t going for International Roam while I was on holidays. May have to consider that. Cheers, Karen :))

  • My lecturers at UQ (writing, editing, and publishing program)said to NEVER contact publishers or editors directly once you’ve submitted your m/s. Just hang in there, Karen! If it doesn’t happen now, it will happen later. Joanna :))

  • Hi Joanna, Did your lecturers at UQ ever mention a strategic plan of what do to about leaving contact details?… I’m still in that Quandry State. Cheers, Karen :))

  • Helen-Louise Usher

    Can I just add that I have no doubt that you will get published, Karen? And that I plan to be there for a signed copy!
    Have a lovely holiday, too.

  • Hi Helen, Somehow I like that calming quote “the answer is NO until its YES”… Cheers, Karen :))

  • Hi Helen, Have been a little stressed reading the Replies and trying to work out what to do. Thanks for your kind, calming words. Cheers, Karen :))

  • Karen,

    Wouldn’t they already have some kind of contact detail? If a publisher wants a book, they will find the author and let them know. I know it must be hard and frustrating but realistically – they have one book of yours on their desk – AND they have who knows how many others to wade through. Give them time. I’m sure it will be worth the wait. They will find you when they need to.

  • Nicky

    Hi Karen,

    I support fully what you’ve already read in your comments. Don’t contact them. If you are that worried over it, set your email up with an “out of office” response.

    Adrian is right. It’s very early days yet. Continue on focusing on all the other projects not to mention looking forward to said trip. (Imagine what your kids have been like over the years waiting for the teacher’s reply on something – you’ll get to it in your own time – but for them it’s their time. Same situation except in this case, you’re the student & the publisher is the teacher).

    EVERYTHING takes time in the creative spheres (ask musicians, artists & other writers). Patience is most definitely a writer’s bane & virtue.

  • Hi Lyn, You’re right … They do have my home phone number and my email address. Your quiet calm comes through in your comment … Thanks, Karen

  • Hi Nicky, wonderful advice … Patience is my BANE. My stress levels are a little high at the moment trying to complete many projects before I go on my trip. Have to learn how to CHILL … Karen :))

  • Damon

    Hi there.

    Can I join the chorus of people saying don’t contact them. If you are only away for a short period of time (i.e. a month), then the wait won’t hurt.

    And, is your home phone the only contact they have? Don’t they have an email or postal address? If they want to contact you, they will find a way.

    In the grand scheme of things, a month is practically nothing and you’d be better off enjoying your trip and waiting to see what news (if any) awaits when you return.

    Besides, there is a good possibility you won’t hear anything while you are away. Not a comment on your book but simply the reality of modern publishing and the time of year (post-Christmas).

    Sit back, relax and enjoy your trip is my advice.


  • Thanx Damon, The reason I agreed to this holiday in January was because its the ‘off-season’ … Your logic wins out.
    I won’t be back to the 24th. Shame I miss Aurealis this year. Hear its your last. Wishing you all the Best …Karen :))

  • Lindy

    Karen honey – most publishers are probably already winding down for the year; and they rarely do anything in January. Also, as you acknowledged, they have your email address – which these days is the more likely form of first/next contact.
    Whatever else you do… do NOT hold your breath waiting for ANY publisher to do anything in a hurry, in a reasonable time, in your time or any semblance of it.
    So relax, have a good holiday, and know that when they decide to say yes, they won’t change their mind just becuase they can’t phone you in January.

  • angie leeming

    Hi Karen, You have been waiting for this opportunity for a long time…..don’t pressure them and end up offsiding someone. It’s Christmas, everything shuts down for at least a couple of weeks. Kick back relax and enjoy your holiday.

  • Marjorie Sawyer

    Gee, Karen. That would be a hard one for me to decide. Follow your instinct. I’d send them a short email and wish them a Happy Christmas! But that’s me. Do what you think is best.

  • Hi Lindy, You make the whole process sound so simple and logical … I have a couple more weeks of work then I’ll be able to start winding down and relax myself. I won’t be doing anything rash. Thanx, Karen :))

  • Hi Ange, Thanx for your advice. I like your words ‘Kick back, relax’ … from your friend Karen :))

  • Hi Marjorie, It’s so hard to decide. But I DO like the Merry Christmas wish. LOL … Karen :))

  • Diana

    Hi Karen,
    It’s a “catch 22” situation, I’d probably wait a bit longer. Perhaps when you go on leave overseas you could leave a voice message on your home number saying you’ll be overseas and provide a phone no. they can contact you on should it become urgent. If they decide to email you as well, you could use ‘Tools and Options’ in the email and say when you’ll be back and leave them a friend’s/relative’s ph. no. too. Don’t know if this is of any assistance, it’s probably something you’ll do anyway. Best wishes, I’m sure you’ll be a published author soon!! Regards, Di 🙂

  • Marian

    If you are really concerned get a mobile that will receive international calls. Leave a message on your answering machine to ring your mobile and check your emails at intervals while you are away.

  • Hi Marian, Nice to see you here. I appreciate your advice and concern… Karen :))

  • Hi Diana, Thanks for your advice and your personal support. It’s always appreciated … Hope your writing is going well. Cheers, Karen :))

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