Wednesday, September 7, 2011

The fine art of waiting. AND, your second chance for a first chapter and query critique!

I ended my last post in my advice for aspiring writers series by telling you that waiting is the hardest part. But waiting is a huge part of publishing. You write a book. You query it. You wait. You get an agent. Your agent submits your manuscript to editors. You wait. An editor buys your book. You wait for your ed letter. You do your revisions. You wait for your copyedits. You do your copyedits. You wait for your ARCs. Then you wait another six months for your book. That's like eighteen months to two years of waiting just to get one book on the shelves. But then, guess what? You get to wait some more. If your book sold in a multiple book deal, everything but the agent bit applies with each new book. And then, if you write something new, it goes through the same submission process, and you get to wait some more to see if your editor wants your next project.

Don't get me wrong. I'm not complaining, per se. The waiting is a necessary evil. There is a reason the process is slow, and that's because it takes time to get it right. Agents want to know they're taking on projects they can be passionate about and that have a good potential for placement with an editor. They work their butts off and only get paid when they sell something, so they're going to take their time and be uber-careful about what they take on. In addition, they're super busy with their existing clients: reading new manuscripts and their numerous revisions; meeting with editors and pitching their latest projects, submitting manuscripts to editors and following up. Likewise, editors have their existing projects, and then stacks of reading for potential new projects. Once your book is in the pipeline, there are revisions, copyedits, pass pages. There's cover art and typography. Then there's the fact that Sales meetings, both in-house and with booksellers, happen months before the book is scheduled to hit shelves. You want time for your book to build buzz before it's released so by the time it's on shelves, someone other than your mother has heard of it.

But, it's hard. To me, it's the hardest part. I'm an instant gratification type person. I don't do well with waiting. I need to know RIGHT NOW OR OMG I'LL DIE if my editor was okay with my sequel, or if my crit partner thinks my plot holds together, or if my agent thinks my shiny new idea has potential. But, in the words of the Rolling Stones, you can't always get what you want. So, while I'm waiting, I'm blathering on to you about all my publishing secrets, book piracy and, yes, waiting.

I'm also reading a lot. And, if you want me to read something YOU wrote, here's your chance! The second of four first chapter and query critiques celebrating my two year agent signing is officially up for grabs. The critique never expires (until I do), and it is fully transferable, so enter for yourself or a friend! All you have to do to enter is fill out the form below. Link this contest on Twitter or Facebook to earn bonus entries. =)

Go ahead! You know you want to! And you might actually WIN and feel like this:

Enter by noon (PDT) on Friday, September 9th. The winner will be chosen by the randomizer and posted here after noon. Good luck!!!


  1. I'd love to win this! Thanks so much for offering up a query critique.

    I know what you mean about waiting. I've done the querying for an agent thing and that is just painful after having polished the manuscript to a shine and working on the perfect query letter for years. I just want to know now. I keep telling myself the wait will be a million times easier when I actually get an agent because then I'll know if I'm actually a decent enough writer to attract attention from the publishing world but I doubt that will be the case once I've moved on to the other waiting steps. Thanks for sharing your experience!

  2. Ha! I just wrote about "waiting" on my blog yesterday. Yes, waiting, wondering...and the what ifs.

  3. Lisa, you are always SO GENEROUS with your giveaways!! :-)