Friday, April 19, 2019

When to hit the rooftops with Huzzah!


About a year ago, you graciously answered my question about publishing an excerpt from my WIP in a lit journal (essentially: go for it). Took some time, but I finally mustered the nerve to submit a chapter to Very Impressive Journal and one other well-established, though slightly less impressive journal. Well, Very Impressive Journal responded first--with a yes! Couldn't believe it. First try! Wow. I know the odds. I know my luck. I signed the publishing contract this week (and immediately withdrew my piece from consideration by the other journal).


Question: When is it appropriate to announce the forthcoming publication? I haven't been assigned to an issue yet but am told my essay will appear within the year. It's my first publication ever. With Very Important Journal. I'm excited. I want to brag. How and when may I do so? Do I have to wait for the issue to be released, or can I share the news now? Yes, this a great "problem" to have.


This is a terrific problem to have! Huzzah!

The question you want to ask yourself: what do I want to accomplish with this announcement?

If it's just "share my excitement" shout now.

BUT if it's "buy this journal to see my work" you MUST wait until someone reading the news can click to buy. Pre-order, or order, either is fine.

People WILL NOT remember to look for your book or your story in three days, let alone three months.

And, not to throw any cold water on hot news, until it's published, it's not published. I recently had a client who was told a story had been accepted for an anthology. Only to have the publisher kibosh the story. If we'd hollered huzzah too soon it would have been mortifying rather than just annoying.

If we'd had a signed contract, they still could have pulled it and let us keep the money.
Generally, it's a done deal if you've seen the page proofs.

So, two thing to consider when faced with "when to huzzah?"

1 What's the goal here?
2 Is there any chance it won't actually come to pass?

18 comments:

Aphra Pell said...

That's great news OP - congratulations :-)

Jennifer R. Donohue said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
E.M. Goldsmith said...

Congratulations, OP. Great problem to have indeed.

Carolynnwith2Ns said...

Congrats OP but hold your water.

I had a lengthy piece accepted by a prestigious (peel me off the ceiling) magazine only to wait and wait for a publication date. When I poked the editor I was told they were closing down publication.
I was upset because if they had notified me earlier I could have resubmitted. Because the piece was timely, and very specific, submitting elsewhere would have been folly.

I would have cried in my beer but I hate beer so I ate a gallon of Rocky Road with a soup spoon. Ah...Rocky Road ice cream, the joy of someone else's failure.

Kate Estabrooks said...

Bask in the glow of acceptance, OP! Who you tell, whether everyone or a few close friends, is down to what you're comfortable with. In other words, you're ready to tell those same people if the publication doesn't work out.(To be accepted is still an accomplishment in my humble opinion.)

The (few) times I've had a short story published, I've talked about it on my blog right away then mentioned it again, many months later, on or near publication day. I'll probably do the same in the future (she says hopefully). But I'm also prepared to write the 'so remember that short story I mentioned...them's the breaks' post if it comes to that.

Megan V said...

congrats OP!

Sam Mills said...

If in doubt, ask them! Sometimes when I sign a short story contract I immediately do the "woo it's signed, I can't wait to share this one, I'll let you all know when it's out!" post, and in the SFF pro mags things pretty much always go through, unless the publication folds entirely, in which case everyone will commiserate with you.

The one time I asked first was for an anthology because it hadn't been announced yet and I didn't want to bungle a planned Table of Contents reveal or anything like that. (They told me go ahead.)

Emma said...

Congratulations!

I know what it's like to want to share, but be unsure. So share but be vague. As in "I'm thrilled to have found a home for my latest short story! Details coming soon." Don't mention the name of the story or the publication. If it falls through, you can always act like this was about your NEXT published story. This way you get to bounce up and down and collect pats on the back, and then get to do do it again when you have all the details months later.

Claire Bobrow said...

Hooray, OP! Way to go!!

Beth Carpenter said...

Congratulations, OP! This is exciting!

Craig F said...

Tossed on the velvet horns of the Huzzah dilemma, way to go.

Never underestimate the shortness of the human attention span. It is even more important in trying and momentous times, like these that we live in.

Y'all have a wonderful weekend, tornado watch here to start it. My other half, Kathy, seems to have turned the corner of her recent health problem, so it is worth it.

Bethany Elizabeth said...

Woooooh OP! That's great news! If it were me, I'd just tell my family and maybe a close friend, but I also totally get wanting to shout it out to the whole world.

Kate Larkindale said...

Congratulation, OP! Exciting news. If I were you, I'd tell the people close to me, then make a more public announcement once the issue is actually available to purchase.

Lennon Faris said...

We'll Huzzah with you for now. Yahoo!

And Craig, very glad to hear she is doing better. Say hi to the Tin Man if you go visiting Oz. We go way back!

Theresa said...

Congratulations, OP! If you're an optimist, you could announce when you have a signed contract. If you're more cautious, you should wait until you see the proofs. Whichever, enjoy the great news.

Steve Stubbs said...

You wrote: "People WILL NOT remember to look for your book or your story in three days, let alone three months."

Yes, I agree. That is something I have been scratching my head about since your post about newsletters. I don't doubt the advice. But I don't see how people could get intense about the news that someone they don't know and have never heard of is musing about possibly writing something someday that might be finished in the next two years and maybe get published in three. (Or maybe not.) There has to be something I am not seeing there.

It has been very little reported, and I do not know the title of the book, but Bernie Sanders, who has made a career grousing about millionaires has published a book and is now a millionaire. What a cruel fate. He is very embarrassed, but appeared very briefly on the news to say he is not going to apologize.

He can give the money away if he's worried about being embarrassed. I know whom he can give it to. But I have not seen a check yet.

Anyway, people out there who are writing memoirs about recovering from a cold or something should sweat on. It is possible to get rich writing, and to do it at the end of life.

Joseph S. said...


At the far extreme, an applicant for a faculty position included on her resume she had an article forthcoming in UCLA Law Review.

Not quite.

UCLA Law Review had not accepted her article for publication.

In fact, She had not submitted the article to the Review.

In fact, she had not yet written the article.

But she did have a potential co-author who she thought could pull some strings to get the article published in UCLA Law Review.


Craig F said...

Oz never did give nothing to the Tin Man
that he didn't, didn't already have
and Cause never was the reason for the evening
or the tropic of Sir Galahad

Thank you Lennon, you are a dear. I really do prefer hot air balloons, though.