Friday, March 4, 2016

This Is When the Fun Starts

Sorry to leave you in the lurch for so long, Dear Blog Reader, but it was with good cause. I finished yet another round with my manuscript and have finally submitted it to my agent. For reals this time. We're finally moving ahead with it. This novel has definitely been hard-won, which makes reaching this milestone all the more satisfying.

Yet, the manuscript is still far from complete.

If my agent manages to find a publisher for it, this version will only be considered a first draft (hilarious, really, since it's actually the fourth draft). I will still have many more revisions ahead of me. I welcome the chance for new insights and suggestions because I want to produce my very best work. I want this book to be the best it can be.

This is how the next few weeks/months will go: Mr. Agent will read my latest draft. Next, he will email my manuscript to a group of editors he thinks would be excited by this kind of book. The editors (or their assistants) will read the manuscript. Some will read a little of it and decide right away if they are interested (or not). Others might be intrigued and read the whole thing. If one editor gets excited quickly, another editor who is on the fence might suddenly jump into the ring and express interest. Interested parties will make offers. If more than one publisher is interested, there could be an auction. It could be over in a couple of weeks, it could take months. Every sale is different. You just don't know how it's going to go.

Given that this is my sophomore literary effort, it will probably take a while. Things went pretty fast with my first book because everyone loves a debut--everyone wants to find THE NEXT BIG THING. Once they figure out you're not THE NEXT BIG THING, everyone is much more cautious the second time around. Back in the day (pre '90's) publishers would take on a writer with the intention of grooming her and developing her career. Conventional wisdom was that most writers didn't break out until their fourth or fifth book and publishers were happy to wait. The business climate is much different now. If your second novel doesn't make a splash, you might not have much of a career ahead of you.

Knowing this--and knowing that quiet literary novels have a harder time than most getting published--I'm still crazy excited. This is when the fun starts. Waiting to hear back from publishing houses is one of my absolute favorite parts of the process. All along the way, I'll be sure to keep you updated with all the highs and the lows that are sure to come. I am so excited to finally give you a real, up-close look at the publishing process. Stay tuned.

Also, in the coming weeks, I have two author interviews I'm sure you won't want to miss. Who are they? You'll just have to come back to find out. 

Finally, the literary world recently lost a giant--Umberto Eco. Among the tributes, I found this short video of Eco imparting a little wisdom for aspiring writers. Click here to watch the short video. This is some of the best writing advice I've ever heard.

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