Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Publishing Takes Time

Hello readers!

I've been thinking about this topic for a while now and I went to the SCBWI Editor's Day at Cal State Fullerton this last weekend.

Check out this line-up!

Our fabulous guest Editors are:

Alexandra Penfold, Editor at Paula Wiseman Books/Simon & Schuster
Yolanda LeRoy Scott , Editorial Director at Charlesbridge
Frances Gilbert, Editorial Director of Doubleday Children's Books, a
division of Random House
Kira Lynn, Publisher at Kane/Miller Book Publishers
Jeffrey Salane, Senior Editor at Cartwheel Books and Scholastic Press

Our Agent Panelists are:

Sara Sciuto, Literary Agent from Full Circle Literary
Taylor Martindale, Literary Agent from Full Circle Literary

Our Guest Authors are:

Chelsea Quinn Yarbro – Horror Author and Living Legend – International
Horror Guild (2006)
Marilyn Donahue – Middle Grade Author
Dr. Mike Mahin – Picture Book Author/Professor and Pitch Guru
Candace Ryan – Picture Book Author

Several editors and authors talked about how long it takes to publish a book. In short, a very long time. It can be expected to take 1-2 years AT MINIMUM to publish a book. And now you're staring at the screen thinking, "This girl is crazy!" No, really. It does take that long. Let's check this out.

-You write your book. (And rewrite it, edit it, rewrite it, etc.)

-You submit it to publishers/agents.

-Agent accepts your work. Sells it to a publisher. (This can take years to do.)
Publisher/editor accepts your work directly (without an agent involved).

-Sign a contract after discussions. (This can take a few days to a few weeks...possibly months??)

-Editor reads your book and edits it. (Takes weeks/months.)

-You revise it based on editor's comments and return it. (Takes weeks/months, depending on extent of edits.)

-Editor reads it again. Sends it to copy editor for proofreading.

-Copy editor sends it back to author for more edits.

-Author sends back *final* copy to copy editor.

-Copy editor and editor both read over it ONE MORE TIME.

-Meanwhile, cover art is being done by illustrator. Needs to approved by head of illustration department. (Author often has no say in cover art.)

-Book gets sent to initial print run for Advance Review Copies (if it's a big name publishing house with lots of $$). Did you know that it costs more to print ARCs than it does to print the finished copy of the book?? That's why not every company prints ARCs. More will offer e-copies of books for review.

-Sales and marketing team work on...sales and marketing. ;)  Getting bookstores to stock the book, setting up other author appearances, printing posters, etc. Review copies are sent to reviewers/book bloggers/journalists. This often takes the longest time. The publishing company wants to build up a buzz for the book.

And then...the book comes out. UNLESS there are other factors that delay it. There could be a delay at the print shop. There could be many other books coming out at the same time and your book gets moved to a new slot in a different quarter for the publishing company. A major edit may be discovered and need to be fixed before the final print run. Stuff happens and books get delayed.

And sometimes, we freak out about it.
 One of the authors who spoke on Saturday was asked what was the longest she's waited for a book to get published. "21 years." Gasps around the room. "I'm still waiting for that book to get published. But you know  what? I just kept writing other things."

One of the editors said she had to wait five years for a children's book to get published. They couldn't find the right illustrator for years. The author was patient and hung in there and when the book finally came out, it was fantastic. But it took a long time and a lot of faith.

So, if you're getting discouraged about the amount of time it's taking for YOUR book to be published, relax. Just keep writing another story. Eventually, your book will come out. And then you can throw confetti and eat cupcakes and twirl around the room.

Happy waiting! ;)

1 comment:

  1. Wonderful post. It does take time. The funny thing is once it happens, I think it'll be worth the wait.


Hello there! Please comment. I do read all comments and they make me happy. :)