Most of you know I write fantasy/paranormal books. Although I’m not yet published, I’m not a newbie to the publishing world. I’m on my fourth full-length book. The first three are not published. The first, quite frankly, wasn’t good enough for publication, although I didn’t realize that at the time. The second is a sequel to the first: rookie mistake. The third is currently under consideration by a NY publisher. I met an editor at a writing conference. The fourth is more a jumble of sentences than a novel but I’m working on it.
When I’m done, I’ll send it to CPs who will tear it apart, then I’ll rewrite and send it out again. After it shines, I’ll write a query and a synopsis, which will also go to the beta readers half a dozen times. After researching exact submission requirements–which can take days–I’ll send these to 10 or so of my favorite agents, because by this stage of the game, you do have favorite agents and publishing houses. Later, if necessary, I’ll send it out to 50 more. I’ll wait up to 12 months for some of them to reply. Listen, they’re busy, I understand.
If someone likes it, they’ll request a partial. It’s about a 6 week wait on a partial. If he or she liked the partial, they will request a full. You can easily wait up to 3 months on a full. If they love the full, and think a publisher will love it, I just might have an agent. If not… it’s back to the drawing board.
During the above, months and even years pass. In the world of publishing, waiting is the norm. But I learned a long time ago that waiting isn’t passive. At least it shouldn’t be. Think of waiting as an active verb.
Because if you want a career in publishing, sitting on your laurels is never a good thing. While you’re waiting, write, read, edit, learn. Get involved in a critique group, an on-line community. Sketch out those plot bunnies running around in your head. Start on the next book. (Just don’t make it a sequel to one you’ve already written) Actively continuing on your journey to publication, actively waiting, is always a good thing. It’s stepping forward.
It’s your career, grab it by the… er horns.
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