You write a novel. Edit and revise it until it’s polished like a shiny, white pearl. You struggle through your synopsis cursing through every sentence and then curse even more as you write your query. Then finally comes the day you are ready to start submitting to agents and publishers. You send the emails, secretly squealing every time you press the send button. Send, send, send, you shoot them off like Billy the Kid shot off his .45 single action revolver. You’re excited, feeling like you are walking on cloud nine, and then it hits you.
Anywhere from 4 to 12 weeks.
You try to distract yourself with another book, chores, another book, blogs, another book, catching up with all the friends you’ve ignored over the last several months while you were neck-deep in edits, another book….. but still no matter what you do, you stalk your email so much you’re afraid your email account is going to press charges against you. The days tick by and you develop a jumpy, nervous twitch. You mark the days off of a calendar. You wait, you wait, you wait, and you wait some more. And then finally, finally the email comes and it’s a contract offer. Perhaps, you’ve received a few rejections along the way, but it doesn’t matter because now here in front of you shinning brightly on the computer screen are the words “Congratulations! We would like to publish your manuscript. Please respond if you would like to move forward with our offer.” Overcome with excitement you immediately respond, again walking on that cloud nine, and then again it hits you.
Up to a week for the acquisitions director or editor to email you the contract (Luckily, mine was only 5 days).
Again, you try to distract yourself by any means possible. Your skin is crawling a bit more this time, because this time is different. This time it’s a CONTRACT. You long to announce to the world you’ve signed your book contract and your precious book that you’ve been slaving over and over is going to be published. Your fingers are just itching to type a blog, Tweet, or Facebook post. And, yet here you are, waiting. To your utter relief, you open your email one morning and there it is, and then the excitement bubbles once more. You open the PDF document, scroll down to the electronic signature box, click on it and type in your name. With a scream of joy you hit the send button and jump up and down. You post your announcement blog, post your tweet, post your Facebook page, and start making phone calls to family and friends. Yes, my friends, this is it. You’ve just signed your book contract. How could this possibly get any better? Oh yes, the process. You’re set and ready to go, ready for the editors notes, ready to kick into edit mode once more to get them done as fast as you can so that the galley’s can be approved, the cover can be approved, the book can be formatted, and ready for sale as soon as possible. Or if nothing else, you at least want to be able to shout from the roof tops your books release date. Bottom line, you are ready for it all, and yet, that is when reality slaps you in the face again.
Six months to a year, for edits, cover, galley approval–the whole process wrapped up in a neat bow.
What every will I do? Oh yeah, finish manuscript #2. Smack my head.
None of the above is the fault of the publisher, of course. And, I’m not complaining about them at all. I can’t imagine how busy they are with several books going besides mine. I think everything is hard because this is my first book. Not to mention, I have the patience level of a gnat. Seriously, I’ve never been able to have patience over anything. It’s a curse.
I’ve been waiting for the moment of holding my book in my hands for a long time and all these steps are leading me toward that moment. I should sit back and relish every second, though, so from this day on, that’s what I’m going to do. Besides, I have a ton of things to get done for before this book is released, so much so I might not have enough time! lol.