by S.D. Skye
I self published my first novel before a lucky break resulted in a two-book deal with a “Big 6” publisher. While I’d learned a lot about the publishing business through indie publishing, I knew zero, zilch, nada about the traditional process. Two years and two books later, I can tell you from experience that understanding The Waiting Game will save you lots of stress.
When you finally say yes to the brilliant editor who had the professional insight to recognize your brilliant prose for the literary jewel it is, the waiting game begins. From that point forward, be prepared to hurry. And wait. And hurry. And wait.
Your first wait will be a period of several weeks/months between the day you/your agent accept the offer and the day you receive the contract to sign. You’ll hurry to sign it…and then wait. Another few weeks/months will pass between the time you submit your contract and receive your first advance installment. Then you…wait.
Once “you’re in” and your book is on the schedule, there’s…well…more waiting. Your editor will first do a developmental edit to flesh out issues in your manuscript. You wait, hurry up to complete your revisions, resubmit, and…wait. Next your manuscript may go to a copyeditor who will provide your “first pass” pages (the pages that actually begin to look like your book). You’ll hurry up and revise, resubmit, and, yep, wait. You may receive second and third pass pages at which time you will…well…(see above). Concurrently, you will receive a mock up of your cover design. Requesting changes? You guessed it…more waiting. This could go on for several months, depending on your publication schedule.
During this time, it will be critically important that you conjure up every ounce of patience you can muster and just take the waiting game on the chin. Every author must endure it—even the bestselling ones. Understand that you aren’t your editor’s (or publisher’s) only author. Understand that depending on your publisher, they may collectively be working on tens to hundreds of books at the same time. Understand that the often deafening silence from your editor is not professional rejection, nor a personal slight. He (she) is busy purchasing and publishing books.
The traditional publishing process is a lot like giving birth. Yes, the labor can be arduous. But when you hold your beautiful baby in your hands all will be forgotten.
S.D. Skye is an award-winning romantic comedy author and a former Senior Intelligence/Operations Analyst for FBI Counterintelligence and other members of the US Intelligence Community. She’s a member of Romance Writers of America, International Thriller Writers, and the Maryland Writers Association. The first book in her debut romantic suspense series, loosely based on her 20 year career in the U.S. Intelligence Community, is slated to be released in 2013. For more updates, please visit www.authorsdskye.com.
The Seven Year Itch: A J.J. McCall Novel
A born lie detector, FBI Agent J.J. McCall is drawn into a desperate Russian mole hunt when a valuable source slated to identify an FBI turncoat mysteriously gets recalled to Moscow and her jerk boss is arrested for the unthinkable. Although she'd like nothing better than to let him rot in jail, her "gift" reveals nothing is what it seems, pitting J.J. and her sexy co-case agent in a race against time to save several lives—including their own.