Thursday, July 30, 2015

The Waiting Game

As soon as people find out I'm an author, they pepper me with questions about everything from how well my book is selling to what I'll do when I'm famous. But the number one question they ask is:


When is your next book out?
That's a lot of pressure. Especially if you've just released a book, are busy marketing, and aren't close to publishing again. Sometimes other parts of life (family, non-writing career, etc.) take center stage. When dealing with curious readers, I usually skip the lengthy explanations and mumble something about how I'm working on it. 

These days I tell them that I've submitted Book Two to my publisher. That spurs question two:

Have you heard anything yet?

Because I'm an established author, things are a bit different heading into the big, bad world of publishing. I understand the process more the second time around and therefore have more patience with The Waiting Game. Now I know the rules.

There's a lot more than preference going into the publisher's decision to accept or reject my book. Does it fit their style? Will it appeal to their audience? Is the timing right to put a book like mine on the market? How much editing will be needed to make it successful? Is it worth the effort? It takes time for publishers to consider all of these issues. 

After I submitted Becoming Beauty, I waited for months and nearly gave up before the blessed email arrived. My published friend chose that moment to comment, “I didn't want to say anything, but I thought it was good that you hadn't heard from them.” What I had overlooked was that no rejection meant no rejection. It's something to appreciate, even though it doesn't spring you from The Waiting Game.*

What do you do in the meantime?

Sit back and relax as much as you can. Nothing makes you look less professional than throwing a fit because something hasn't happened yet. When you're ready, get back to work on the next project. 

By the way, wouldn't it be nice if authors had one idea at a time and could work on it to completion? But whether you plot out your novels meticulously or fly by the seat of your pants, story ideas intrude on each other like a group of untrained kindergartners. This problem actually works in a writer's favor when they're playing The Waiting Game.

What if your book gets rejected?

If you garner a rejection letter, you'll join the ranks of writers, many of whom are now published authors. We've all had rejection letters. It makes sense that your story won't appeal to every agent or editor you query. But that doesn't mean it's the end of your story or your career as a writer.

The first time around, I had no idea what I would do if my book was rejected. I had no connections to editors, cover artists, or publishing gurus. And at that point, I didn't trust myself to take the self-publishing route alone. A couple of years later, I do have those connections and I'm becoming more comfortable with the thought of becoming an indie author. If I felt like it was right, I'd take that path. After all, it never hurts to develop a plan B.

I hope that my ramblings have been of help to you. I find that mixing a bit of perspective into any situation makes it bearable. That's all I'm trying to do. While my carpal tunnel surgery has kept me from writing much more than the occasional blog post, it can't keep my mind from flitting onto the next project. As soon as my hands are strong enough to keep up with my brain, that's what I'll do to distract myself from The Waiting Game.

* * *

How do you keep yourself from going crazy or giving up during the writing and publishing process? I'd love to know what others have learned that has helped them to move forward. Leave me a comment! And as always, thank you for reading!

*Let me clarify that I DID hear something from both publishers initially. One was a speedy rejection and the other was interest expressed in my novel along with a request for the entire manuscript. It did take several months for formal acceptance to arrive. 

4 comments:

  1. I tell you what: if they will reject you book, they're just plain stupid, period. ;)

    I'm really glad you are still able to entertain us with your epic blog posts. Love them all. Additionally, I just love you, your writings, all your existing and future books, and your blog; phrased shortly: I love everything YOU, haha.

    Hope your hands are good, my dear! Keep on being that awesome writing goddess you are! *smooches*

    (And if you don't remember, I'm 'paranoid_fish' from twitter :))

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    1. Thanks, sweetie! You're so amazing, honey! :)

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  2. I just go crazy. It's easier in the long run.

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    1. I would if I didn't have so much to do! I'm back at school meetings this week, so there's no time for getting really nuts anyway. Maybe next time I'll try it your way, Carol! ;)

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