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Paranormal_Writer
07-15-2010, 12:46 AM
Ok, so my agent contacted me yesterday to say that one of the big six American imprints loved my book!! This came as a big surprise to me. I mean, I thought she was just submitting to the UK publishers! I was beyond excited at hearing this news.

HOWEVER, before they make an offer they want to 'work on the first few chapters with me.' Of course, I'm more than willing to make any changes the editor wants in order to get published, but I'm worried that now I'm pinning too many hopes on this.

My question is, does this happen to a lot to authors, ie revisions before an offer is made? And if so, how often does the publisher ask the author to do revisions on the MS, and then reject it?
I need some people to bring me back down to Earth here and give me the godís honest truth.

Thanks! :)

thothguard51
07-15-2010, 01:32 AM
From what I have been told, this happens a lot, but that is not to say it can not lead to them buying the book.

My thoughts, they want to see if you understand what the editor is looking for and if you are capable of refining to their standards. They point out things in the excerpts they choose, have you fix in your own style and if they feel you understood what they want, then they have a notion of your working ability.

After all, it does not help an editor if she points out 6 issues she wants corrected and when she gets the corrections back you totally did not understand what she was refering too. Multiple edits waste time and cost the publisher...

Or so I have been told...

suki
07-15-2010, 01:53 AM
It's a very, very good sign. BUT, and it is a big but, it doesn't automatically mean an offer will follow. So, be optimistic, but they still have to like the changes you make, and the book as a whole. And if it's one editor, pre-acquisitions board, that's one thing. But if it's post acquisitions, that's another.

Honestly, ask your agent what this means and how optimistic to be. He/She should be able to give you more specific advice than those of us who don't know the specifics of your situation and the editor/house involved.

But good luck! :)

~suki

Perks
07-15-2010, 02:07 AM
That's very exciting! You're close for sure, but not there just yet. This happened to me and it fell through. As difficult as that's been, I still know that I almost made it - and that I'm not done yet.

Hang in there and keep us posted! Best of luck!

Jamesaritchie
07-15-2010, 02:24 AM
My question is, does this happen to a lot to authors, ie revisions before an offer is made? And if so, how often does the publisher ask the author to do revisions on the MS, and then reject it?


Thanks! :)

Many first time novelists are asked to do revisions before acceptance, usually under teh guiding hand of an editor.

How often do such novels get rejected, even after the revision? I'm not sure it's possible to put a number on it. Such things are on a case by case basis.

But I will say that if you do your part, chances are very high that you'll get an offer.

Paranormal_Writer
07-15-2010, 02:29 AM
Thanks thothguard51 and Suki for your replies.

Suki, I don't know if its been to the acquisitions board yet, all I know is that she is the executive editor. That's quite high up isn't it?

I guess I will know more when she actually contacts me. (My agent said she's going to soon). Can't wait to know what she wants me to change. I love doing revisions. Is that weird of me lol?

suki
07-15-2010, 02:37 AM
Thanks thothguard51 and Suki for your replies.

Suki, I don't know if its been to the acquisitions board yet, all I know is that she is the executive editor. That's quite high up isn't it?

I guess I will know more when she actually contacts me. (My agent said she's going to soon). Can't wait to know what she wants me to change. I love doing revisions. Is that weird of me lol?

Yup, if the executive editor is asking for some revisions, it's a very good sign. :)

Relax and listen to the requests, and then mull them over and make sure you agree, talk to your agent, etc. Then, if you agree, good luck.

:)
~suki

Perks
07-15-2010, 02:40 AM
I love doing revisions. Is that weird of me lol?

I love revisions, too. My close call didn't work out, but the revisions ended up being something I (and my agent) loved, so it's still got legs.

Paranormal_Writer
07-15-2010, 02:51 AM
Totally! Sometimes I get revisions back and I'm like "Why didn't I ever think of that?" Itís exciting when you know that what you are doing is going to make the book so much better.

Perks, how long has your book been on submission?

Perks
07-15-2010, 03:02 AM
Six of probably the longest months of my life. But my agent has a very cautious nature. She's really good, but she's operating on a plan that does not lob it around. It's hard not to scream, "JUST GO! SEND IT TO EVERYBODY! AAAAAGGGGHHHHH!"

Of course, I don't. I'm a very nice client.

Ryan_Sullivan
07-15-2010, 03:53 AM
Well, editors are the first step. They usually have to pitch to two other groups of people to decide whether it goes or not, so if an editor likes a book, they'll frequently work with the writer to make it as good as possible so they have the best chance at getting an offer approved.

Tburger
07-15-2010, 05:01 AM
I can only speak from my experience, but I'd say that if it's like what happened to me, you're one step closer than you were before; clearly they liked it enough to want another look, and/or see if they can work with you. I'd only be repeating what others have already said if I went any further, except one thing needs to be said again: this is good! Best of luck and keep your fingers crossed.

triceretops
07-15-2010, 05:29 AM
Always a good sign when this happens. See the edits through. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain.

Tri

Paranormal_Writer
07-15-2010, 03:08 PM
I can only speak from my experience, but I'd say that if it's like what happened to me, you're one step closer than you were before.

If you don't mind me asking, what happened in your experience? Did you get an offer?

Paranormal_Writer
07-15-2010, 03:10 PM
Also, thanks to everyone who replied. I'm going to work my damn hardest at making these edits the best that they can be! Fingers crossed for me please! :)

Tburger
07-15-2010, 04:12 PM
If you don't mind me asking, what happened in your experience? Did you get an offer?

Yeah - eventually I got an offer after re-writing the entire book! I just signed the contract and am waiting for the lead editor to countersign. But it easily could have gone the other way; just do your best and the rest is out of your hands.

Paranormal_Writer
07-15-2010, 05:17 PM
Yeah - eventually I got an offer after re-writing the entire book! I just signed the contract and am waiting for the lead editor to countersign.

Wow, congrats! That's great news. :)

shaldna
07-15-2010, 11:51 PM
keep us updated.

Susan Littlefield
07-16-2010, 07:50 AM
Paranormal writers, this is wonderful news! Please do keep us updated during this process!

PortableHal
07-16-2010, 09:11 PM
I'd view this as a terrific and hopeful situation. I think you should, too.

Best of luck!

cagedrobin
07-16-2010, 11:56 PM
Paranormal,
I'm in the same spot. What I can add to this discussion is that my very experienced agent said in days past, the editor would have just bought it and worked with you. These days it's this kind of market, with hoops for you to jump through. I did most of the edits suggested, and changed some very essential elements of the book. There were things I felt were not right to change, though. So, for me, it is a good, new version, thanks to the rewrite, but one that could still use an editor's hand in. Agent and I agreed on that, that if the editor wants more changes, it should be a deal this time.

Unlike some posters here, my book isn't doing that 5-days-on-sub-and-here-comes-the-auction thing. It's a risky book, and I'm looking for a house that wants to back my risk all the way. But who doesn't?
As far as will we be successful, let's find out what tburger does for good luck.

Paranormal_Writer
07-19-2010, 03:45 AM
Paranormal,
I'm in the same spot. What I can add to this discussion is that my very experienced agent said in days past, the editor would have just bought it and worked with you. These days it's this kind of market, with hoops for you to jump through.

Hi Cagedrobin,

So, so true... My agent has commented a few times on how tough the market is at present. Obviously an auction would have been the best scenario, but I'm just happy to have some interest.

I was told last week that the editor would contact me directly. She hasn't done so yet but I'm not too worried, I realise that publishing time is much slower than real time. How long did you have to wait before you got your revision notes?

I hope you hear back from your editor soon, and I also hope that itís with good news! Keep us all updated! Best of luck - I will keep my fingers and toes crossed for you!

Perks
07-19-2010, 04:07 AM
What I can add to this discussion is that my very experienced agent said in days past, the editor would have just bought it and worked with you. These days it's this kind of market, with hoops for you to jump through. Yep. My agent said that even as recently as a couple of years ago, this sort of thing didn't happen.

Best of luck, cagedrobin. Hope it works out! (And sooner rather than later.)

cagedrobin
07-20-2010, 12:28 AM
Paranormal,
It's been going like this: The book was submitted last winter; the editor sent a note, very detailed and long to agent about likes/dislikes. Agent set up a call with the editor. (I liked that the agent took a role in the conversation.) Editor phoned me after that, at a time we agreed on through my agent. I liked the call, liked getting to ask questions and discuss options, and I really liked the editor--smart and articulate and clear. After I reworked I ran the rewrite by the agent (total rewrite time 2 weeks), who sent along the ms. Now, it's been a month. Editor was nudged about a week ago, promised a read.
Every Monday I think: Surely today is the day! And then Friday rolls around.
It's Monday. Blah.
I have a couple of other editors also reading--I know that's excellent, but I'm soooo ready for some kind of response. . . It takes FOREVER.
Paranormal: Set up that call as soon as you can. Before the editor forgets your book. This was my agent's good advice.

Perks: Thanks for seconding my experience. It's a tough market even though we hear these Amazing stories about getting an agent, adding water and stirring, and having an instant auction!

Paranormal_Writer
07-20-2010, 10:43 PM
Paranormal,
Paranormal: Set up that call as soon as you can. Before the editor forgets your book. This was my agent's good advice.

I would but the problem is she's in America and I'm in the UK so we're going to do it all through email. Another thing is my agent told me the editor will contact me directly. It's been a week and I havenít heard anything yet.
Do you think I should just wait patiently or ask my agent to give her a nudge if I havn't heard from her by next Tuesday?

cagedrobin
07-21-2010, 12:28 AM
Paranormal,
If I were in your shoes, I would ask the agent how long to wait. The best advice I've gotten on these boards is about keeping these nudge notes very very short--a "haven't heard yet, was there a time frame mentioned?" kind of note. Your time zone could be a factor, and also an excuse to ask--"Wondering especially because of the time difference. . . "

Paranormal_Writer
07-21-2010, 02:58 AM
Hi Cagedrobin, thanks for your advice. As it happens, I actually received a lovely email from the editor this evening letting me know how much she enjoyed the book and that the revision notes will be with me shortly. Guess I was worrying over nothing again lol. Now I can't wait to get to work on it! :)

cagedrobin
07-21-2010, 03:48 AM
That's terrific, paranormal. Let's keep track of each other, now.

Perks
07-21-2010, 03:51 AM
Eeep! Paranormal! That sounds promising!

Paranormal_Writer
07-21-2010, 03:56 AM
Thanks Perks :)

Cagedrobin, yes let's! I've got my fingers crossed for you! :)

cagedrobin
07-22-2010, 08:11 PM
News: Editor wants a second read on the rewrite before going to the board. Editor didn't just go ahead and get the second read, but told us this (without nudging). Why tell us? To manage expectations? I didn't feel major enthusiasm, but maybe I'm just really weary from all the suspense. Glass half-empty/half full? Any thoughts?

Paranormal_Writer
07-22-2010, 09:29 PM
News: Editor wants a second read on the rewrite before going to the board. Editor didn't just go ahead and get the second read, but told us this (without nudging). Why tell us? To manage expectations? I didn't feel major enthusiasm, but maybe I'm just really weary from all the suspense. Glass half-empty/half full? Any thoughts?

I don't think its cause for concern. She probably just wants to make sure it's absolutely the best it can be before she takes it to the board. She might want several opinions on it in case she needs to ask for more re-writes.

She told you and your agent this because it could take a few weeks and she wants to keep you in the loop. I wouldn't worry! This doesn't sound bad to me. :)

cagedrobin
07-23-2010, 12:03 AM
I guess I'm really worried because the editor said it needs a lot more revising, and I'm wondering--probably should post this somewhere else--is there a limit to how much you would change a book in order to sell? Not that I'm not ready to revise, not that at all, but how much to change?

That's a good point, Paranormal, about how it might take more time, now and the editor wanted to keep us updated--

Paranormal_Writer
07-23-2010, 12:26 AM
is there a limit to how much you would change a book in order to sell? Not that I'm not ready to revise, not that at all, but how much to change?--

Personally, If I agreed with all the changes and believed that overall they would make the book better, than yes, I would revise as much as I needed to. If you do this and they don't end up making an offer then you still have an even stronger manuscript to submit to other publishers.

If you don't agree with all the changes however, then this is something you would need to discuss with your agent.

Perhaps post this question in a new thread like you suggested. That way, youíll be able to get additional opinions from more experienced people than myself.

P.S I get my revision notes from the editor tomorrow eeeeeeeek

Jamesaritchie
07-23-2010, 06:14 PM
I guess I'm really worried because the editor said it needs a lot more revising, and I'm wondering--probably should post this somewhere else--is there a limit to how much you would change a book in order to sell? Not that I'm not ready to revise, not that at all, but how much to change?

That's a good point, Paranormal, about how it might take more time, now and the editor wanted to keep us updated--

I make any and all changes I believe will make the book stronger. I refuse to make any and all changes I believe will make the book weaker.

I also make any changes that I don't belive matter one way or the other.

It's largely a matter of picking your battles with care. If it really doesn't matter, don't fight over it.