Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Publication Timelines

A popular post from May 2009

by Heather Moore

Admit it. When you wrote your first book, you thought you'd find a publisher within a few months, and your book would be out before the year was up. Right? Now that you know better, here is the real story:

27 months . . .

My first book that I got published took 6 months to write, 2 months to edit, 10 months to hear back from the publisher, 9 more months to be released. Total time: 27 months

When you show up at an author’s book signing for his/her latest release, you should ask, “What are you working on now?” Chances are they are writing a book that will come out after the book that they just submitted or had accepted. Clear as mud? The reader sees the new release as the fruits of an author’s labors about 1-2 years after the book was actually written.

Often, when I’m at a book signing promoting my newest book, I’m in the throws of writing the next thing.

A sneak peak at my projected schedule:

July-November: Writing Historical Book “B” (sequel to “A”)
November: Historical Book “A” is released (written in 2007)

January: Book “B” accepted
January-July: Writing Non-Fiction Book
July-November: Writing Book “C”
Sept/Oct: Book “B” released
Waiting for news on book “Q”
Will start a sequel for book “Q” if it’s sold

*2010 Projection
Spring: non-fiction book released (if accepted by publisher)
Fall: Book “C” released (if accepted by publisher)
Fall: If “Q” book sells in 2009, it may come out 2010 or 2011

Currently I have book “Q” with an agent. I wrote the book Spring/Summer 2006. I handed it off to readers Summer/Fall 2006. In January 2007, I had an agent’s interest but she didn’t like the ending. I did mass revisions and finished them Summer 2007. The agent never responded back. At the beginning of 2008 I found another agent. A year later in January 2009, the book was “approved” for shopping (after more revisions). Five more months have passed. This might be a record. 36 months total . . . and counting.

Now, just for fun: The book “A” that I wrote Summer/Fall 2007 and was released Fall 2008, guess when I received the first royalty check? February 2009.


Annette Lyon said...

Publishing can really feel like a time warp at times! Fun post.

* said...

Great time line. I have a vague idea about this but as an aspiring-writer/newbie to this all, it's good to read something in writing about someone else's experience.

Danette said...

My question is: When submitting do you hold off on submiting other works to different publishers? If a publishing house is interested in your stuff, don't they want to see any of your other work before you submit somewhere else, therefore locking you in more. I have a few novels and I have submitted one but worry about submitting a different one to another publisher house in case they first one wants to carry my work. So how does one proceed. (clear as mud?)

Fiauna said...

Oh, I needed to read this post right now. This really put things into perspective for me.

Great post!

Julie Wright said...

In answer to Danette, I would keep submitting to other houses until you have a contract with the first one. Until papers are signed anything can happen to make a deal fall through. I've had verbal agreements before that have fallen through (which let me assure you--it really hurts to hit the ground after a fall of that magnitude) Once papers are signed for one book, you will want to make certain the publisher knows how prolific you are and show them your other work. They may or may not be interested. You may or may not be able to submit to other publishers after that depending on your contract. But keep submitting until you have a contract so you have fall backs in place for things that fall through. (and I think it is awesome that you have more than one manuscript ready)

Heather Moore said...

Danette--yes, Julie hit it right on :) You are under no obligation to any publisher unless they have accepted one of your books. When you do have a contract in hand, make sure you go over it carefully in regards to their first rights of refusal for your next books.

Although, in the industry it's "polite" to wait to hear back from a publisher who has requested your full manuscript before submitting a "full" elsewhere. Sometimes these preferences are outlined on their websites. Or you can do the courtesy thing and say to publisher A "another publisher has requested my full manuscript, please let me know when you will have a decision for me."

Danette said...

Thanks, Julie and Heather. This writing thing is definitely a waiting game. So submitting more than one else where might help. I have just been doing the waiting impatiently thing.
This process is like aging "wine" (wine meaning, writer in non-author existence. I'm not a wine drinker just so you know but I know that age makes it richer. Ah and richer in the writing sense would be nice too. HA)