Thursday, January 31, 2013

Baby Evil Writers 101: On Publishing Wait Times

On Publishing Wait Times
Julie Butcher


Before you hit send on that manuscript submission or query letter, realize what you're getting yourself into. Because the honest truth is that you're going to need the patience and restraint of a saint. When you're evil this can be the most difficult part of the publishing process.

Not kidding, guys.

Whatever reply scenario you see on a website's guidelines is the fastest possible reply time. It can be longer. In most cases, it will be longer. That said you'll get rejections at an amazingly fast pace. It's always seemed to me that the no comes much more quickly than the yes.

In my own experience, it took sixteen months from querying my agent to an offer of representation.  I know of writers who had an offer on a book as long as two years after they sent the full manuscript. That said, it probably isn't a good idea to poke at people who have only had your work for a couple of weeks.

Learning to wait is part of the process. You'll wait to get an agent or editor. Then you'll wait for them to find the time to read your work and give you notes. After you write like a fury on the revisions, you'll have to wait some more. Then you'll wait to get a publishing date, and wait for the longed for day.

Seriously. You will wait until every nerve in you body screams for it to be over. Then, when you're at the breaking point, YOU WAIT MORE.

The easiest way to deal is to not worry until at least six months after you've sent your work out there. Then, you can email and ask. Then, wait another six months. Find something to do instead of clicking your email every six seconds. Start another project. Write a different story. Go outside and soak up some sun.

This will take a while.

Things you can learn to make waiting easier:

1. Stand on you head in a corner and spit nickels.
2. Make Latin an undead language and chat with your friends.
3. Invent a hover board. (Marty McFly has obviously fallen down on the job.)
4. Tibetan throat singing/ make it to the international contest.

Any more ideas? 


  1. I plan to while away my wait times attempting to distill Patience and Restraint from toads in my basement so that I might deliver (sell the stuff for millions) my fellow writers from agony.

    Awesome post. Patience is not my virtue, but I hear it is one. :D

  2. Invent the "sober up" pill from J.D. Robb's In Death series.
    Teach your dog to do dishes and laundry. Become international sensation. (And create a new platform). Write book on dog training. Kick Dog Whisperer to the curb.
    Make a real lightsaber. Get killed in court when George Lucas/Disney sue you.
    Eat a lot of homemade cinnamon rolls. (Not really, but I'm sooo craving those right now).
    Solve Global Warming.
    Create peace in the middle east.

  3. Amen! My solution is to get started on the next project. Waiting stinks, and the only thing I've found that comes close to making it easier is to distract yourself with writing.


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