The Sweetie Chronicles

Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart. ~William Wordsworth

The Waiting Game

The world of publishing is insane. I think most people just don't realize how long it can take to get a book published. What comes out as a new release today was probably written two years ago. How can fiction writers possibly keep their finger on the pulse of the times with turn arounds like that? Sometimes it's more than two years.

Let's look at my first submission attempt... a novella of about 23,000 words called 'Steal My Heart'. First, I sent it to Brava, a romance publisher who is print only and very well-respected. I got a response within a month even though I'm sure their editor is extremely busy. Then, I sent it to an online publisher. That was around christmas time, so it took just over a month before I heard back from them. I sent it out again, and yet another month went by before I heard back from the third editor.

All told, the story was finished in November, so at the point I got my third rejection, I had already been sending it out for about 4 months. I put the novella away at that point and let it sit, but when I got a chance to pitch to an editor at Wild Rose Press, I took it. I reworked the story and sent it out again. Now it's been about six weeks and no word. It's possible that this time it's taking longer because they are actually considering giving me a positive reponse, which would rock.

But the truth is that even if I do get a contract and they buy my novella, they said that their time from acceptance to actually publishing the novel on their website is right around 9 months. Sooo... even if I got an acceptance today, that would mean it took 17 months to publish it from the time I finished it. And this is just a short story for a small online press. Yikes, huh? It can take even longer to get a full length novel published with a big publishing house.

Then again, I have read some accounts of agents getting a query letter about a novel one day, requesting a full manuscript right away, and then selling it to a huge publisher within one month and getting it on the shelves in less than six months. It doesn't happen often though, so for the most part, what you read and think is 'new' is really a couple of years old. So, a word to anyone wanting to be a writer: beef up your patience and get ready for a long ride.


tonya July 7, 2009 at 11:58 AM  

now if only you could take your own advice life would be grand:)

Sarra Cannon

Young Adult Indie Author

I always secretly wanted to be a cheerleader. And a witch. Now, I write about both. The first five novels in my Peachville High Demons Young Adult Paranormal series are available now in ebook!

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Beautiful DemonsThe Time Traveler's WifeLoveroot: PoemsFear of FlyingWe the LivingAnthem

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