Teen Shiver Tabs

September 20, 2011

Six flaming hoops to publishdom...

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:

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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?

  1. 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?

  1. 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. :)


  1. That's alotta hoops! Thanks, Anita. Good to see you here.

  2. Aw, thanks Mary! And I appreciate you stopping by and showing your support. It always warms my heart to see your smiling face. :)

  3. Gosh. I am so close, lol. This is a terrifying time! And im so happy you made it!!!

  4. Great post! You cleared those hoops with ease, Anita! Can't wait to read SPLINTERED in actual book form, as opposed to manuscript form.

  5. Lindsay~ You'll make it! :) And thanks so much. I'm glad I finally squeezed through w/just a few singed feathers. Heh

    Jenny~ Thanks! And HA. It didn't feel like it was with ease. LOL. I can't wait to bring books to crit for all of you gals. YAY!

  6. I LOVE TEXAS! (minus the heat and...well, the heat)

    This is such a great post--Thumbs up for recycling!

    I'm stuck in the middle of hoop #2 right now--eagerly awaiting the arrival of hoop #3. Guess I better get busy on some Lone Star State sized prayers, eh?!

  7. Bethany~ No worries, pal. I'm sending them up for you already! You can just add yours to mine. :) Thanks so much for stopping by! You da best. <3

  8. Good Job, Anita! :) Loved reading this.

  9. Thanks April! I appreciate you dropping by. :)

  10. I needed to read this so badly. I'm seriously fighting the temptation to declare my love for you. Oops. Oh, well. Now it's out. I lust you. I mean love. LOVE!

    Thanks for the post. ;)

  11. Tori~ LOL! We'll just keep our undying devotion beneath our respective hats. Secret love is the most delicious kind. Hee

    You're welcome! It really helped me keep my sanity during my submission. :)

  12. Great post, Anita! Before I sold, I craved info like this. The approval process in the publishing industry does take time. That's why it's important to keep distracted with the next project. KEEP WRITING! If you strike the fancy of an editor, they may also ask for more.

    A Teenshiver hug to everyone who's waiting.

  13. Thanks Jordan! So true. My first time out, I really believed it only took one editor's love. :) This info helped me find a more realistic mindset.

  14. But we can make it through! Woohoo! :-) It's hard though. When you first posted that, I think I shuddered. lol

  15. Anita, (as with all of your posts) I LOVED this. It seriously made my eyes all misty at the end. Never giving up is the best lesson for any writer to learn throughout the whole publishing adventure. <3333

  16. Yikes! My goodness, that's a lot of hoops! I'm glad you made it through all those rings of fire ;o) Hmm . . . maybe you should try out for the circus next, hehe :o)

    This was very interesting (and a bit intimidating). Thanks for sharing, Anita :o)

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  18. Exactly what I needed to hear today! Still hoping I'll see my book in print...in like 2014. *sigh*

    (Sorry about the deleted comment. I couldn't let the little spelling error stand!)

  19. I think Angela Cook ^ has a good point. I'd totally go to see you jump through fiery hoops at a circus! I'll also read your book! I guess I'm a fan no matter what you do, lol:P

    If (*crosses fingers*) I get an agent, I'll have to come back here and reread this! Great post, Anita!

  20. Jessie~ Haha. I shuddered when I did the research and realized how complex it all is. EEK

    Kerri~ Thanks lovely. :) And that's VERY true about not giving up. You'll never meet your dream head on if you're always looking back.

    Angela~ LOL. Truth is, I have a circus book planned in the near future. Maybe that will suffice? ;)

    Becky~ Ha! I'm the same way. That inner editor is hard to turn off! I hope you get to see your book in print, too!

    A.M.~ Aww, you nicey. And here's hoping you get that agent soon!

  21. Very cool, AG, and congrats again to you~ :D

  22. Thanks Leigh! :) And I appreciate you dropping by the blog.

  23. Thanks for sharing.

    Always frightening to know that our stories will be decided by marketing thumbs. Can someone right a YA Horror on THAT?

  24. LOL. Great idea, Steven. I think you could probably find several authors willing to contribute to that story. ;-/