First, I'd like to thank TeenShiver for inviting me to join this wonderful blog and for the opportunity to support such a classy bunch of authors. :) I'll do my best to make you Texas Proud.
Normally, I'll write up new posts to share here, but today I'm reposting a prior journal entry I originally wrote in 2008.
I know a couple of our TeenShiver authors (and possibly some of our readers) are in the very place I was just a month ago: agented, on sub, and waiting at the gates of publishdom.
To encourage you, here's some insight as to why we don't always hear back within a week or even a few months on those subs, and why sometimes hearing nothing can mean a really big something.
There are six flaming hoops a manuscript usually has to jump through (not to mention clear without any residual char marks) to end up a shiny new book.
Let's have a closer look at each of them:
- Your agent deems the MS a masterpiece and makes up a list of editors that she’s convinced will be enamored of your story and writing. She calls or emails a pitch. Just like when we send queries, it’s all subjective from there. Best case scenario, your agent is an ace at pitching and the majority will tell her to send it their way.
- Tick-tock, tick-tock. Now the waiting (Umm, shouldn’t we be used to this by now? Yet somehow, it’s still excruciating)—anywhere from days to months depending on: how excited your agent sounded when she pitched the book (salivating and heavy breathing usually garner a faster read) and how much interest is generated from other editors along with how quickly feedback comes in.
- YAY! The MS passes its first read with glowing acclaim, but don’t pop that champagne cork quite yet (in fact, it's likely you won't know about the editor love at this point--they may not tell your agent anything yet). From there, the initial editor sends it anywhere from two to four other editors at her imprint for "second reads". If the book is to move one iota further in the process, these editors will have to share the first one’s enthusiasm.
- Happy day! The votes are in, and all of the second reads LOVE your MS. Okay. So, time for an offer. Right? Nope. Now the MS is run by marketing to decide not only if your book can sell, but how well will it sell? It all comes down to bling. How much money can your precious baby rake in?
- Yippee! Marketing thinks you’re a shoo-in. But it’s still not time for the bubbly. The marketing team has to present their opinions at an acquisition meeting. If you’re keeping count, you’ve already had to impress at least six or more people at this point. Well, publishers have a set amount of books they buy per year. So everyone on board for your story now has to prove why this book is the best thing for their imprint at this given time. From what I hear, this is a thumbs up--thumbs down kind of meeting. Whoever thought this book's entire future would be teetering on a thumb?
- Hallelujah! Your editor and new fan club managed to push your book through the acquisition meeting. Your agent gets the call or an email for a formal offer. What’s that sound I hear? Ahh. The sweet song of Veuve Clicquot purling into a long stemmed flute. Salud and drink up, my friend. You’ve earned it!
Though it may seem daunting, don't let these steps discourage you. One look on Amazon or B&N (books galore) proves how many other authors have done it. You will, too. The only thing you need is tenacity, and the will to keep writing while waiting. That way, when they sign you for that two book deal, you're already well on your way to fulfilling the second part of your contract.
Wishing much luck, good vibes, and "fire repellence" to everyone out on submission, and to those of you seeking agents, too. :)
Thanks to these two blogs for their info on this subject:http://midnightwriters.blogspot.com/2007/1