Friday, April 8, 2011

Sorry To Say This, But Publishing Takes Time

Simply put, publishing is a hurry up and wait business. We have a deadline we push our writers to achieve, and then we sit around and wait for something to happen. Getting you to a published status takes a long time, with or without an agent.

I was working recently with an author who is still new to this game. She's still got some great stories, but from our conversations, the frustrations of not seeing that immediate success is coming through loud and clear. There are many steps we have to go through to get a project ready to hit the book shelves, let alone get ready to be sent out. I was going to say hoops but there is a real negative connotation to this. We're not taking all of this time because we want to make it difficult on you. We want to see the best product available to the readers.

If you are working with an agent, you will often find that the project you sent in the early stages of the acquisition process will change. We know the market and we know what will work and not work. We have an idea of where we want to send this project to. That means tailoring it especially for that publisher. So you write and revise. Then you get feedback from us and maybe you have to go back and do it all again. That's fine. Just don't give up.

Once we get through that revision process, we will now put together proposals and start sending those out to editors. This step alone is time consuming. For example, I spent one full day working on writing proposals for two of my authors. This involved drafting and revising of the proposal letter as well as making initial calls and getting some feedback.

Now it is in the editor's hands and they too have things they have to deal with. Not only do they have to read the whole proposal and decide if they like it, but they have to insure the other members of the editorial team like it and the numbers all work out before they even think about offering to buy the book.

You may have written the book in 3 months or less. Your critique partners may have given you feedback in 48 hours, but that will just not happen on this end.

Just wanted to give you a bit of a reality check.



  1. I was just having this same discussion with a friend. She's been supportive of my writing, eager to see it out there. Readers don't realize what a tedious process getting published really is. On the bright side: It gives us more time to write new stories.

    Have a great weekend!

  2. I have noticed that a person who writes in time learns patience. It takes time for agents to read your work and give you feed back.It takes time for the editor to read and let your know what changes needs to be made. It takes time when you resubmit. I think in the long run it takes more patience for this than raising children and I raised five. :)