Instant Gratification

Posted by on Jan 30, 2015 in Writing | 0 comments

Okay, so you’ve written your book. You’ve combed over it and you think it’s ready. Your book’s as good as it can be and you’re ready to send it off to the publishers who will, undoubtedly, fall in love with it at first sight and will want to publish it immediately, no further edits needed. You send it to one publisher at a time, starting from the top.

You receive your first rejection letter.

No big deal, everyone gets rejected first try out. You start sending out massive query letters and follow the query guidelines to the letter for each. Finally! You’ve got someone interested and they want to see the entire manuscript. Then, miraculously, they say they are interested. You get a contract a few weeks later and stare in wonder at the contract. You pore over every detail, reading over and over, the royalty percentage. You expected this, think it’s a little low, but you researched it and it’s above industry standard, so that’s okay. Then you look at the publication date…

What? Two years? Are they crazy?

What would possibly take two years to get a book such as yours published? Heck, it should practically publish itself.

Most reputable publishing companies require sixteen months to two years to publish, and for good reason. The editing process alone takes approximately six months, sometimes more, depending on the extent of the rewrites needed and how fast the author turns it around. In order to get it into the catalogues and to reviewers, it has to be ready for publication three or more months ahead of time. There are also a thousand other minute details that are required to give the book its best chance at survival in a world where people are being fed  books by the hundreds, even thousands.

While two years may seem a long time, think about how long it takes sometimes to finish a book. Some authors take a lifetime to finish one book. Some people remain stuck for their entire lives. Even if there is silence coming from your publisher, please remember that your success is their success, and they want your story to succeed as much as you do, and please be cautious when someone promises to have the book out in less than a year. Quantity does not usually mean quality.

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