Getting published (Part 3) – Or tickling the Penguin: And not only judged… rejected. Unless you’re the genius you always thought you were or didn’t realise you were, or unless you hit the zeitgeist slap bang between the eyes and bag a six-figure advance and film deal right out of the gate, you’re going to get rejected. It’s your agent’s job to get your script in front of everyone who might pick it up, the rest is in the lap of the gods. All you can hope for is not to get rejected by all of them. In my case some publishers said no thanks, some didn’t even reply (apparently this is normal behaviour – they have a lot to read and like everyone else, they’re busy). The rest said how much they loved the book and came close to offering on it, but… This was of course painful. What was interesting, however, was that word ‘but’ kept being followed by more or less the same thing… great writing, great characters, ‘but’ the crime needs more oomph. This, in itself, was advice. And just like before, I listened. The publishing editor at Penguin (Michael Joseph Imprint) had offered to sit down and discuss it. So, I sat up till 2:30am drafting a revised synopsis, took it to the meeting and met my future publisher. He loved the proposed revisions and that tipped the balance. An offer followed, was discussed, considered and agreed, and that was it; my book, my labour of love, toiled over, pushed, pulled, prodded and poked for the best part of three years now, was over the line… it was being published. Only… not yet.