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Little Bird
04-01-2009, 11:52 PM
All you talented published AW authors, what surprised you most about the process, especially in the stages after getting an agent?

What do you wish you knew before?

How has your life, your writing, or both changed since publication?

I'm still in the querying agents phase and just curious.

Thanks!

C.M.C.
04-02-2009, 12:11 AM
Nothing really surprised me about the process, since I know people who have gone through it all already. I may not have known every little thing that was going to come my way, but I knew enough that the only things that changed were minor details.

I wish that I had known just how frustrating waiting is. Even though things moved rather quickly for me, I was still beyond aggravated by the amount of time spent waiting for things to happen. I've tried to train myself to be more laid back, but there's enough of a Type A in me that I was ready to snap if time passed any more slowly. the best advice I could give you would be to find a way of forgetting that you have anything in the pipeline. It might save your sanity.

Nothing has really changed much for me now that I have a book with my name on it. I didn't expect it to, so I'm right in line with what I had thought. I have a little bit more pride in myself for having accomplished anything, but other than that, no one really looks at me any differently than they did before. Maybe if they were readers they would, but I can't control that.

ChaosTitan
04-02-2009, 03:58 AM
All you talented published AW authors, what surprised you most about the process, especially in the stages after getting an agent?

Even though I'd heard it said again and again, the length of time between the handshake deal and actually signing the final contracts. It took almost two months from auction to signing. Things move sloooowly in publishing. :)

What do you wish you knew before?

The difference between galley proofs and galleys. Silly, embarrassing story.

How has your life, your writing, or both changed since publication?

The book isn't on shelves yet, so I'll answer this as "since selling." My life hasn't changed a lot because of the book--I moved at the same time the sale was happening, so life just sort of changed all on its own. All for the better.

I do think my writing has matured, now that I've felt the wicked blue/green pencils of my editor. I pick up on this as I'm writing--mistakes I've made, things I know I'll need to go back and flesh out later. I discovered I have a tendency to forget my reader can't see into my mind and under-explain things. I've learned a lot from the process.

Good luck with querying!

illiterwrite
04-02-2009, 04:47 AM
Hmm, nothing has changed. Waiting for news is just as hard. Rejection is worse, because it comes in the form of published reviews. I'm still broke.

I wrote a light-hearted article (http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20090210.wbksherriessay/BNStory/globebooks/home) about my publishing experience, if you're interested. :)

Irysangel
04-02-2009, 05:25 AM
Got to ditto the time it takes. :)

Accepting bid to contracts: 5 months
Bid to publication: Not there yet, but will almost be 3 years

maestrowork
04-02-2009, 05:28 AM
What surprised you most about the process, especially in the stages after getting an agent?

How long it takes. No, I know this is a slow business, but it still takes a long time. I mean, 5 months between galley and reviews. A few more months before release. 4 months to edit. Etc. etc.


What do you wish you knew before?


Everything is negotiable.

How has your life, your writing, or both changed since publication?


Not much -- I'm still living the life I know... but I think I'm more relaxed about my writing. I think I've proved that I can a) write, b) finish a big writing project such as novel, and c) get published with due diligence. I'm taking my time to get this WIP right and I don't feel the burning angst. ;)

Little Bird
04-02-2009, 10:24 AM
Thanks to everyone who's responded so far. I like to dream (oh, to be published) but I think it's best to do it within the limits of reality, if that makes any sense. Knowing what to expect will hopefully help me to enjoy the process as much as possible.

Little Bird
04-02-2009, 10:26 AM
Everything is negotiable.


Like what?

maestrowork
04-02-2009, 05:47 PM
Thanks to everyone who's responded so far. I like to dream (oh, to be published) but I think it's best to do it within the limits of reality, if that makes any sense. Knowing what to expect will hopefully help me to enjoy the process as much as possible.

Like I always say, reach for the stars while your feet are firmly on the ground.


Like what?

Contract. Editing/rewrites. Author's copies. Dealing with book stores, etc. etc. What I really mean is, a lot of newly published writers (me included) feel like we "owe" the agent or publishers and we should count ourselves so lucky that we shouldn't ask for anything except what is being offered. The reality is, this is a business deal -- you give them a product that is going to sell, they mass produce and market and distribute it, and you share the profit. So, like any business deals, everything is negotiable and no one should feel like they should just kiss the ground the other person walks on.

scope
04-02-2009, 08:11 PM
The reality is, this is a business deal -- you give them a product that is going to sell, they mass produce and market and distribute it, and you share the profit. So, like any business deals, everything is negotiable and no one should feel like they should just kiss the ground the other person walks on.


Bravo. Well said. I completely agree with you.

Claudia Gray
04-02-2009, 09:05 PM
All you talented published AW authors, what surprised you most about the process, especially in the stages after getting an agent?

How much time promotion takes. I am not a super-heavy promoter by most standards -- with a full-time job in addition to writing, it's hard to be -- and yet I still spend hours on it a week.

How tough the waiting is sometimes.


What do you wish you knew before?

How different departments within a publishing house operate almost independently of one another, and that you essentially have to build a relationship with each department, not just your editor.


How has your life, your writing, or both changed since publication?

My life is a lot more hectic, but also a lot more rewarding.

My writing is getting better, which makes me happy, and I find that my ability to zero in on what matters in a story is improving.

maestrowork
04-03-2009, 12:11 AM
I also found that book signings are not as glamorous and fun as I'd imagined. :)

Little Bird
04-03-2009, 01:07 AM
I also found that book signings are not as glamorous and fun as I'd imagined. :)

I can imagine! I'm not a salesperson. I run from anyone trying to sell to me. I even turn down the little kids who come to the door selling candy bars for their school band. I have no idea how I'm going to pull off signings and other "selling" of my book if it ever comes to that.

Also, Chaostitan (or anyone else), is there somewhere unpublished writers can find a list of the stages a manuscript goes through during publication, so we don't find ourselves wondering what a "galley proof" is, etc?

maestrowork
04-03-2009, 01:28 AM
Also, Chaostitan (or anyone else), is there somewhere unpublished writers can find a list of the stages a manuscript goes through during publication, so we don't find ourselves wondering what a "galley proof" is, etc?


Check here:

http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=59010


And if you have any questions about the specific process, I'm sure we'll be happy to answer. But please note, it's different at different houses. Some things, like editing and galleys, are pretty universal. But when you get to promotion, etc., mileage may vary.

ishtar'sgate
04-03-2009, 06:58 AM
what surprised you most about the process, especially in the stages after getting an agent?
Well, I can't answer this the way the others have because I sold direct to a publisher, no agent involved. What surprised me was how helpful everyone was. I guess I had an idea they all lived in some kind of rarified atmosphere that set them apart from us mere writers. But they were all super cool, terrific to work with and made the whole process so much easier.
What do you wish you knew before?
Publishers and editors are human and very approachable. Who knew? :D

How has your life, your writing, or both changed since publication?
To my complete surprise my novel was nominated for an award. Totally floored me. Writing is less intimidating and I'm not so afraid everyone will hate my work. This frees me up to take on writing projects I never would have considered before.

Gillhoughly
04-03-2009, 06:35 PM
What do you wish you knew before?

That the insane moron who would become my (gladly ditched) ex would spend my first sales' earnings and a large chunk of future earnings with reckless credit card spending, have a meltdown when it came time to pay taxes on that income, and then blame ME for all that distress.

It might not have helped, but I might have ditched 'em sooner before things got REALLY bad! :D


Moral: BANK HALF YOUR ADVANCE FOR THE TAX MAN.

Little Bird
04-03-2009, 08:25 PM
What do you wish you knew before?
Moral: BANK HALF YOUR ADVANCE FOR THE TAX MAN.

Sorry about your spouse. I'm not worried about my wonderful husband :LilLove:, but the above about taxes is great advice. I assume advances are taxed as mercilessly as a bonus is from a "regular" job?

Gillhoughly
04-03-2009, 08:57 PM
I'm no tax expert but:

I fill out a Schedule C form and have to pay Social Security tax on my income as a self-employed person.

If you have a day job that is your majority income, then earnings as a writer are probably going to be miscellaneous income on a Schedule C.

I list ALL my expenses related to my writing, including what percentage of my house is devoted exclusively to it and what percentage of utilities heats and cools that space. Every box of paper clips, the cost of the computer I bought that year, etc. gets recorded as a deduction.

In January, you get a 1099 MISC form from your publisher(s) or agent with your gross earnings on it. That goes on the C.

It's a bitch, but you can find deductions if you look hard enough.

I tried Turbo Tax but it didn't work for me with my situation, so I just file at the IRS site and let them do the math, then print the forms and mail them in. (I think it costs to do an on-line file, but don't quote me.)

Every year I have to pay in something.

However, I've been doing quarterly advance payments when I can afford it. One year I actually overpaid and got a refund, which was cool.

But yeah--keep back HALF--and if possible go ahead and send it in as a payment so you're not tempted to spend it. You'll likely get a refund at the end.