Monday, February 6, 2012

How to Get Published: Part 2

Be Patient

Last week I wrote a post on How to Get Published: Part 1. It was about all the things we need to pay attention to if we want to increase our chances of getting published. This post is about the crucial need to be patient.

The publishing world turns slowly. It takes time to write a novel, time to edit it just right. It takes time for critique partners and beta readers to read through a manuscript and get back to the author with their impressions and suggestions. Writers also need time away from their stories at each new phase in its development so they can regain a clear perspective on the story.

It takes time for agents and publishers to go through countless queries. They have to not only read your submission, but they also need to research whether or not your story will fit the current market, whether it will fit a publishing schedule, whether it's different enough from other books already on the lists.

Once the novel is accepted it then takes time to get it ready for publication. That means more edits, proof reading, cover art, printing, marketing strategies, a build-up of publicity. It also means sorting any legal requirements and permissions. For example, this is required if the book includes lyrics not written by the author or illustrations not created by the author.

Don't try to rush the process. Resist the temptation to send out your manuscript too soon. And don't give up. Keep writing, keep learning, keep improving, and be patient.

What part of the process are you most impatient with? How have you managed to stay patient when things seem too slow?

66 comments:

  1. 'Resist the temptation to send out your manuscript too soon.'

    Zing.

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  2. It is not a game for the impatient, that's for sure.

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  3. I wish patience was on sale somewhere, that way when needed, I could just click and be patient again:)

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  4. This is my 6th year editing my wip..!
    LOL!

    Take care
    x

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  5. although I'm always patient, sometimes I do wonder if that's the right way to go through life. When you turn around most of the successful people are the ones who grab things, and who grab life, not the ones who patiently wait. This of course is my meditation on life in general not on publishing. In publishing my advice, as someone who works in the industry, is - send manuscript only after you think it's a master piece :) You will save poor publishers from reading so much crap they're swamped with.

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  6. Dezmond makes an interesting point. I think we need to be patient but not idle.

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  7. The same goes for the Indie author. Take time to have beta readers, contemplate what you've written, got to a critique group, and hire an editor.

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  8. You must keep focused on the goal...and this goes hand in hand with learning the craft, keep pushing forward, critique groups, and so on. That's the only way to keep sane.

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  9. Timing is everything in this industry! It does take patience. But it takes hitting the right person at the right time.
    "Poor publishers?" That's their job.

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  10. I think I've been the most impatient with myself, I want to write faster than I do. Unfortunately, life gets in the way. :)

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  11. Fabulous post! Yes, definitely a long process from submission to the end product. I think the trick is not to wait around for a letter of acceptance or rejection, but to get on with the next novel or whatever new project you have in mind. Waiting would drive me absolutely mad. I have to keep occupied and focussed on the the next best thing!

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  12. Great post! To the point and so true!

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  13. I am most impatient with the long wait for agents to reply after they receive our query letters. Great post and a wonderful reminder for us writers :)

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  14. The biggest problem with me would probably be not getting help from others.

    If I were to publish a book I'd try to do it in secret and I'm certain I'd be turning down a lot of help by doing that.

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  15. good post - I'm dropping by to say hi on the campaign trail - let the fun begin:)

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  16. 'Resist the temptation to send out your manuscript too soon.' Wise words indeed. I learnt this the hard way, when I sent out short stories too soon.

    Great post.

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  17. Patience is not my strength. But this process of writing and editing does require it - and it's helping me to be more patient. It helps me to be working on something new while my story is with beta readers.

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  18. I'm with Jessica S. on this one. I'm most impatient with the actual writing process. Finding the time to sit and get the story out is hard for me when I try to juggle kids, work, and house. Maybe someone can fill me in, but what's a beta reader?

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  19. Lynda! I almost posted the exact same thing today, and then I went with something else. Taking my time, being deliberate, selling no wine before its time... LOL! :D

    that's my weakness. Bingo! <3

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  20. I have failed at the patient thing time and time again, LOL!

    Nice post!

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  21. Haha :) I'm at the needing to be patient part right now, and it's hard! I'm in between projects too, and the new one is coming slowly, so that's making it even harder. But we keep going, right?

    Sarah Allen
    (my creative writing blog)

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  22. This is an incredibly frustrating element of being a writer, I've found - it just takes so much TIME to get anywhere! It takes so long before you have anything tangible to show for all your hard work.

    But... be patient, be patient, be patient... It's worth it in the end :-)

    Anyway, I'm in the YA group for the campaign, so just came over to say hi :-)

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  23. Since my book came up for publication and I told a few in my family, they're now constantly asking me when the book will be ready. I keep telling them it takes time. With all the editing and designing and formatting involved, sometimes from pick up to delivery, it's a year or more.

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  24. Hi, just popping over from Rach's campaign. Great post. Patience is so important

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  25. Holy... no kidding. That's the biggest thing I've learned in this business. Patience. And to keep working WHILE being patient. Spot on, Lynda :D

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  26. Great post. I tend to get especially impatient with myself when the general chores of life chime in and I don't have time to write. I guess I just get frustrated because I feel like I'm delaying the process full of waits even more.

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  27. Marta, I'm sure there's a possible novel in that :)

    Old Kitty, I can relate...

    Dezzy, I agree with your sentiments. In terms of writing, the 'grabbing what we want' means actually writing the novel and getting it to a stage that's ready for publication.

    Southpaw, exactly.

    Shelly, especially so for indie authors.

    Loree, yes the goal makes a huge difference, as does enjoying the process.

    Jessica, life will happen, but it's also a great fuel for our creativity.

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  28. Joanne, yes! Keep writing! Exactly.

    DWei, aw, it makes a huge difference if you could find people to share your work with--not friends, but other writers.

    Alberta, hi!!

    Honey, beta readers are generally readers who aren't writers although this isn't always the case. They should fit into the audience you've aimed your novel at. They don't pick up the little things like typos or grammar, but they will give you an impression of your novel as a whole and whether or not it's working.

    Leigh, great minds!

    Sarah, between project is the worst time for me because I flop around like a fish out of water until I find a new idea.

    Rachel, it does take so much time!

    Kate, Hi. It will be a great campaign.

    Jenna, yes, not having the time to write can be frustrating. I should write a post on that.

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  29. With the relative ease of self-publishing, I hear more people say they don't want to wait. I figure I can learn about self-publishing as I wait on the traditional process.

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  30. Yep, traditional publishing is definitely a waiting game. But one that I think is worth the wait. :)

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  31. It is all about patience. No matter which publishing route an author decides to go. Patience is key.

    Visiting you from Rach's campaign challenge. We're in the same YA group:) Nice to meet you.

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  32. Hello! I'm following you from the Campaign! :)

    I totally have an issue with patience. I queried two agents last month and am now pretty sure it's not ready to go. Thank god I only queried two!! I need patience, that's for sure!

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  33. So true.. but the waiting is still hard...:)

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  34. I honestly believe that I won't have any problem being patient if I ever get to this stage. It will have taken me so long to get there that I'll be used to it. Of course, ask me again if and when it happens ;-)

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  35. Yes, the time just passes by so quickly. Patience is a virtue.

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  36. Hello,
    I seem to be following you around to all the blogs in our group so I figured I'd stop by and leave you a comment! I'm in your YA group.

    Interesting stuff! I'm following you now.

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  37. Stacy, one of the lures of self publishing is that a book can get published a whole lot faster, but all too often it'll get published too soon--before enough edits are done.

    Carol, I totally agree

    Angela, hi fellow campaigner.

    Vicki, welcome!! Yep, it's why I so often hear the advice to send out a manuscript to only a few agents at a time.

    Sarah, good theory, but I bet it will be different ;)

    Fairview, and I thought I was following you everywhere! hehhe

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  38. Lynda,
    Fellow Campaigner here. Patience is an imperative but it's sure hard to come by. Or maybe it's that it is hard to maintain. :-)

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  39. Hi, Lynda! Thanks for stopping by and following! I'm following you back. :)

    I'm very impatient when it comes to the publishing process. I always want to be one step ahead!

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  40. Hi Lynda, (new follower - same campaign group) do you only query agents based out of Australia? Sorry if you've already answered this somewhere.

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  41. I've definitely learned to be more patient since becoming a writer. It's a big change from my old drug rep job. Impatience was a virtue back then. ;)

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  42. Great post! I'm a new follower from the campaign. I'm looking forward to reading more from you!

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  43. I used to be impatient with every aspect, but I've changed with time. Now I know that things need to stew and simmer.

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  44. Last year after I thought I'd finished my novel, I had no patience. I sent it out to beta readers, pitched it, thought it was going to get picked up right away. Didn't happen. I was glad, though, because I discovered changes that needed to be made, and it took having a little reminder that I was jumping the gun and my ms. definitely couldn't yet be perfect. I no longer feel that sense of urgency that I need to get published NOW. That is always a good reminder, thanks!

    Shannon at The Warrior Muse, co-host of the 2012 #atozchallenge! Twitter: @AprilA2Z

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  45. I am impatient with how close I am to being ready submit. It would be so easy to rush the last edits and revisions I feel I still need before I actually submit. Thank goodness for my friends who let me go on about it to them when it all gets to be too much.

    I, too, am stopping in on the campaign trail to say hi. Great post topic!

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  46. thank you. I appreciate your information.

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  47. Patience can be hard to come by, but the rewards are so worth it. Awesome post.

    I saw you in the Fantasy campaign group. Glad to see you aboard! :)

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  48. Sometimes I think you write these posts just for me;) Great advice:)

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  49. Patience is my great downfall. :) I try to overcome it by staying busy at all stages. I never just let myself "wait." If I'm at a waiting stage, I work on a new project. Otherwise, all I focus on is the waiting and it drives me nuts!

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  50. I've always been told I'm a very patient person, but I always feel like I'm dying inside from it, haha.

    Saw you in the campaign. Just dropping by to say hi!

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  51. This is a lesson I learned the heard way, making all those typical rookie mistakes, thinking I was ready way, way before I actually was. This past year has been hard, but I'll say one thing, I've learned to be very patient. Which is good. My friend told me never to pray to God for patience, unless you want to end up like Job.

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  52. That's great advice about resisting the temptation to send out your novel too soon. Waiting to hear back from agents is downright agonizing at times, but it's nice to hear from others that are in the same boat.

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  53. It's so hard to be patient! But you're right - Rome wasn't built in a day. Great advice Lynda - thanks for the insights:)

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  54. I'm definitely not tempted to send out ANY of my manuscripts right now. Sadly most of them are far from being anywhere near ready. Even the one that's on its 5th draft is far from ready, I now find! haha

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  55. Being patient is the hardest part of the process for me. But, there isn't much choice, is there? Better to be patient and have a better product in the end.

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  56. Hi Lynda: Just dropping in to say hello for the campaign. I'm in Group 3 for YA. I'm looking forward to a long friendship through blogging. Liked your post.

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  57. Komal, welcome!

    Daniel, welocme to you too. Do I only query agents based in Australia? No. Australia is a tiny market and consequently there are only about 12 agents I could query to.

    Stina, ha, yep, I can see how that would be a huge change.

    Melissa, welcome!

    Shannon, Yes, it's often a positive to get a rejection. (Not always easy to remember).

    Sabrina, hi. Yes, I think those last edits are the hardest because they are so tempting to skip.

    Mark, maybe I do... ;)

    Shallee, oh yes, I could never 'just wait'. I'm always working on some project or other.

    Nancy, lol at your friend's warning ;)

    Trisha, 5 drafts isn't many ;)

    Cynthia, well said.

    KSCollier, welcome!

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  58. Its difficult to stay patient, but what makes it easier is to self publish and sell books along they way. This keeps the hop alive and the fire burning along the way.

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  59. Hi Lynda! Just stopping by from Rach's campaign page. We are in the same group!

    Great post. I'm definitely resisting the urge to send out my stuff too soon. It's hard, but I know it's better to be patient!

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  60. Patience is the key to everything in life. I've recently become much more patient as I continue to take care of my disabled daughter. It zaps my strength if I worry about things that I can't do anything about it. Same is true with the "waiting" part of writing.
    Ann Best, Author of In the Mirror & Other Memoirs

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  61. Just stopping by to say hi! I'm in short stories, Sci-fi, fantasy and YA of Rachael Harrie's Writers' Campaign. I've been a part of Rachael's campaign for a while now. It's amazing how we can network like this and meet some many awesome people.

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  62. Bess, Hi there. And yes, it's much better to be patient.

    Ann, worry definitely saps strength.

    LadyJai, Hi there. Yep, it's a great campaign.


    Thank you to everyone who has left a comment. I really appreciate it.

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  63. I have become a whole lot more patient than I was two or three years ago. But I still find querying tiring ... Because I just hate waiting!

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  64. It'll be close to two years or longer since one of my stories was accepted to publication. Slow is right.

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  65. Thanks for this post. I'm currently waiting to hear back from several agents who have copies of my full and wishing painfully they would hurry up. You are so right. I need to just slow down and be patient.

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