Today I received some disappointing news re my book, Imperfect Strangers.
I am extremely disheartened in their news and also in the way Oleb (the publisher) let me know of their decision.
I initially reached out to this publisher because upon researching them I learned they only publish books from authors who identify themselves as disabled and who are candid (and maybe even graphic) in their narratives about having a disability or living with a medical condition.
Their mission is to raise awareness re what people have to live with, as well as how they do it and how, in spite of the odds, make great achievements.
When I first queried them, I told them that I did not identify myself as disabled, in fact I am very abled, given the chance.
Oleb replied by saying they appreciated my position on the term, "disabled," and asked me to send them my synopsis re "Imperfect Strangers."
As I stated back in August, I sent them the synopsis and got this response:
Thank you for considering Oleb Books as a possible publisher of your
work. While we use the word disability, we understand that everyone
has their own way of identifying themselves to the world. Thus, as you
pointed out in your note, we only ask authors to share a bit about how
they negotiate the world in their bios for context to our readers.
Based on the brief summary you provided, it seems as though that
readers will be able to understand your conditions by the descriptions
in your narrative. Ultimately, this is not an issue for us.
We will need your manuscript in to us by August 30 in
order to have it considered for our final review cycle of the year.
All the best,
The Oleb Books editorial team."
Here's the next step that happened:
Oleb sent another email saying:
Your query letter has sparked our interest. Please submit your
manuscript as a PDF or MS Word attachment and send back to this email."
And so I sent them the manuscript in August!
This was followed by an email from them (which I shared here on Blogger):
"Thank you, Patricia. We will be reviewing manuscripts over the next
couple of months. You will have an answer from us in early November.
I never heard back from them after this and so this past Friday, a friend (RF) of mine "pushed" me to send them an email re my status. she felt the reason I had not heard was that my manuscript was rejected.
I felt the reason i had not heard from them was because it was still under consideration and given that Oleb had been to respond during our entire correspondence, I felt certain that they would be letting me know.
Plus, given that their mission is to be sensitive to those who need their voices heard re a given circumstance I convinced myself that meant they would be courteous in any status update.
Hope this email finds you well.
I’m writing to say that I am surprised that I haven’t heard from you and I hope that means my book, “Imperfect Strangers” is still be considered by Oleb.
Please let me know the status.
Their response can be seen in the talk bubble image accompanying this entry, which may be hard to read, so here's what it says:
With over 1,000 submissions in our inaugural review period – 233 in
August 2019 alone -- the Oleb Books editorial team has been busy
reading lots of great stories.
However, as a fiscally sponsored project that relies on donations and grants, we were only able to
offer two publishing contracts in this cycle.
As a consequence, we had to turn down several wonderful books. Sadly, yours was one of them.
We wish you all the best in your writing career and hope you consider resubmitting to us in the near future.
It seems they might never have contacted me had I not reached out to them this past Friday!
It will still query other publishers in the not too distant future.
Just a reminder, I have videos for Imperfect Strangers posted on You Tube and Vimeo:
Imperfect Strangers Video One:
You Tube: http://bit.ly/2ZaYJ0v
"Imperfect Strangers" Video Two:
You Tube: http://bit.ly/2kpRXAP