Monday, February 6, 2012

In for the Long Haul

Usually one of the first questions someone asks me when I tell them I’m writing a book is, when can they read it or buy it. The long explanation that always follows is as convoluted to me as it probably is to them.

It’s not easy getting from a manuscript to a published book in the store, which is why I now find myself at the beginning of a long deserted road that’s riddled with bumps and unseen challenges, the road to publishing.

Of course, I’ve heard plenty of horrible stories regarding publishing houses and literary agents, but the most disturbing to me are the statistics that literary agencies release at the end of a year because to me these are the most factual. I don’t care if the publishing industry is deemed a self indulged arrogant crowd; they have a right to be if they are serious about making money.

It’s the stats I worry about. For example some of the literary agencies I’ve looked into received over 15,000 queries last year and out of those 15,000 individuals hoping to snag a literary agent, only 6-7 succeeded. If you do the math, that’s like a .05% success rate. So say you’re one of the lucky few to snag a literary agent, the next step is selling it to publishers, who are even more selective than literary agents.

Oh and I’ve yet to mention any timelines for all of this. Say I send in a query to a literary agency, their typical response time to a query is 3-6 weeks. Say I pass that step and they request my full manuscript, their response time is then 3 additional months. That’s only the minimum time it takes to find someone to represent my book.

I have a feeling J.K. Rowling’s story may be one I’ll need to re-read repeatedly to keep my spirits up. After all some publishing company out there is kicking themselves for turning down her work, which ultimately made her a billionaire.

Needless to say I’m in for one long haul. If all of this fails….there’s always self-publishing. In the mean time all of this waiting will give me time to begin the second book.

Either way I’m determined to publish one way or another...

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