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smallthunder
11-27-2005, 10:27 AM
Let me start off by saying that I do know that the gears of the publishing world grind ever-so slowly -- even slower grind the wheels of the want-to-be-published world.

Nonetheless, at this point in time, I am starting to have my doubts -- about my novel, about my agent, about my writing & the possibility of ever being published.

My agent is one of those NYC agents who come highly recommended -- so how long does it take for a novel to be picked up by a publishing house if it was good enough to attract a good agent?

I know it can take years -- I know it can take hours (theoretically) -- but, on average?

Could published novelists (esp. those who write "chick lit" or historical fiction) share their experiences -- with reference to their agents' roles -- please?

Christine N.
11-27-2005, 04:20 PM
Mod will probably move this to a more appropriate forum, but, welcome! I don't write chick lit or hist. fic. but the wheels move just as slowly for YA Fantasy, let me tell you. I waited nearly two months for an agent rejection, and another agent is going on six weeks without a peep. My publisher has has my current offering for five months. I haven't a clue when she's going to read it.

You're in a hot market right now, which means that there are a TON of manuscrips in every agent/editor's pile. And each and every one must be read, and possibly read again. Patience, but you know that.

James D. Macdonald
11-27-2005, 04:50 PM
What does your agent say?

Really -- once you've written the book and it's started its submission journey, forget it. Write your next book. When/if the first one sells let it come as a happy surprise.

Julie Worth
11-27-2005, 05:35 PM
What does your agent say?

Really -- once you've written the book and it's started its submission journey, forget it. Write your next book. When/if the first one sells let it come as a happy surprise.

No, donít forget it! Get to work, for there is so much to do! Think of your book as a fiery missile shot high into the stratosphere, which will soon explode into a dazzling blossom, showering the world with light, with your incomparable brilliance. Soon...oh so terribly soon! But for now, the world remains in a dark age, and you find yourself in a momentary respite from a world made hungry for your delectable stories, a tick of the clock from an entire surging planet of readers who will want to devour you and your book. Now, in this too brief period of nascent celebrity, now is the time to create new folders for your inbox. Folders for the thousands of letters that will pour in like a tsunami from across the oceans. Separate them by continent, then by country, then by province and city. By street! Folders for the scores of publishers with their offers of riches, for the reporters with their incessant questions on every possible topic, and, of course, for those sad and demented souls who will inevitable fall in love with your photo on the dust cover. Donít wait until itís too late! Hire a bodyguard. Hire several, with big black guns in their shoulder holsters. Tough guys with sad faces, like Bogart.


No, smallthunder, donít forget your book. Donít be unprepared for overnight success.

James D. Macdonald
11-27-2005, 05:38 PM
Was that intended as humor, Julie?

victoriastrauss
11-27-2005, 10:12 PM
smallthunder, there is no average--and it can take years (eight for me). Unfortunately, the fact that your agent loves your novel doesn't mean an editor will.

What's important is that you feel your agent is working for you. Is s/he actively approaching publishers? Following up? Do you know what his/her marketing plan is, and are you satisfied with it? At some point the possibilities may be exhausted, but till that happens, the agent should be diligent on your behalf.

If that's the case, I second Uncle Jim's advice--try and forget about it, and write your next book. Many writers never do sell their first novels.

- Victoria

smallthunder
11-29-2005, 12:29 PM
Thanks, everyone, for weighing in -- I found Victoria's comments particularly sobering.

[it can take years (eight for me). Unfortunately, the fact that your agent loves your novel doesn't mean an editor will.]


Julie's contribution, however, made me smile (albeit a slightly perplexed smile).
:Huh: