I've been hitting the gym pretty hard lately. Yoga on Sundays, circuit training on Mondays and I'm adding cross-fit on Wednesdays. There are many reasons for this. Yes, cardio is good for your heart. Yes, I want to sleep well and have more energy without drinking something that might make my eyelids spasm. But, I have all those purely egotistical reasons for working out too - it's the summer, and magazines, pop-up ads and commercials have been asking me for months if I've got my bikini body ready.
The short answer: no.
The long answer: I look pretty good with clothes on, but strip me down for the beach and we're looking at razor burn that might need medical attention and dimples in places that aren't so flattering. My fair Irish skin is pale like a post-mortem Scarlett O'Hara. If you put all these things together, no my beach body is not ready. Quite honestly, I'm confident enough to not care a whole lot, but it does provide me with an interesting writing comparison.
The trick of a bikini is that you're not wearing much, and everything you've got is up for dissection by the public.
Same goes for your book.
Too often I hear writers say, "Yeah there's a downswing here but the next scene really picks up." Or, "I know there's a huge info dump at the beginning but if you can get past that, it's totally awesome."
Right. And people can't tell that I'm 40 from a distance, but once they move in, it's there.
I'm good with being 40 and I don't need to defend that, but the same is true of your book. You're not going to be present when the general public is reading it. You can't hang over the arm of every reader and tell them that yes, the first 50 pages are slow, but that's all world-building, and if they can just get to the plot parts, they'll be glad they did.
Nope. Just as there are plenty of fish in the sea, so too are there many books in the bookstore.
Your book will be exposed to your audience. Every page is going to be turned. An eyeball will and on each word choice.
Be confident that you have done everything in your power to get that book where it needs to be before pushing "publish" or sending out that full request.