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Noman
08-18-2013, 10:03 PM
1.My full ms. was requested by 5 agents and 3-4 publishers. I sent it as nonexclusive.
Looking at the worst scenario, how long is an appropriate wait time? If they all reject it, it could be a waste of months.
2. I've thought of independent publishing while waiting. A good move or not?
3. What are the best times of year to put out a book?

cornflake
08-18-2013, 10:07 PM
1.My full ms. was requested by 5 agents and 3-4 publishers. I sent it as nonexclusive.
Looking at the worst scenario, how long is an appropriate wait time? If they all reject it, it could be a waste of months.
2. I've thought of independent publishing while waiting. A good move or not?
3. What are the best times of year to put out a book?

Uhm, what do you mean 'independent publishing while waiting?' You mean you'd self-publish the book while waiting to hear back from an agent and/or publisher?

Then what do you do if one of them wants to sign you/buy it? Tell them, 'oops, sorry, too late?' What would be the point of having sent it out in the first place?

You understand that if an agent wants to take you on and sells your ms. to a publisher, it'd probably be between one and two years from then that your book would actually be released, right?

suki
08-18-2013, 10:23 PM
1.My full ms. was requested by 5 agents and 3-4 publishers. I sent it as nonexclusive.
Looking at the worst scenario, how long is an appropriate wait time? If they all reject it, it could be a waste of months.
2. I've thought of independent publishing while waiting. A good move or not?
3. What are the best times of year to put out a book?

What Cornflake said, plus it's a really bad idea to submit to publishers at the same time you are querying agents. If the publishers pass, and then an agent is interested, those passes may eliminate possible places the agent can submit. And then the agent might decide there aren't enough viable publishers left since you've already subbed the manuscript. And, the agent might have notes that would strengthen the book and make it more likely to be picked up by a publisher. So, why send out the book in current form, if you want an agent?

If you don't really want an agent, then research trade publishing versus self-publishing and decide which course if most in line with your professional goals. And pursue that course of action. But self-publishing while you wait is not only a very, very risky idea (some if not many publishers will not be interested in self-published book unless it sells extremely well -- so, once you self-pub, it may knock a good number of publishers out of interest just because of that). It's also, IMO, unprofessional. You sent inquiries, offering your work to the agents or publishers. You didn't disclose in the query that you planned to self-publish in the meantime, right? So, they have no way of knowing you might do that. And that information will likely make at least some of the publishers or agents reject -- they will not longer be interested once it is self-published, unless it sells extremely well.

If you want an agent, query agents -- but do not self-pub or submit to publishers while doing that.

If you decide you don't want an agent, but want to be trade published, then you can try submitting to publishers. But the wait time in the unagented slush at many good publishers will be much longer than querying agents.

And if you are too impatient to do either of those options, then go ahead and consider self-publishing. BUT, do your research first -- make sure you have the money, time, resources to self-publish effectively.

Seriously, this business requires patience. It might be a good idea to start practicing patience now. ;)

Decide what course of action is the best one for your professional goals, then pursue it in a professional manner.

And if you choose option one or two, work on something new while you are waiting to hear from agents or publishers. The best thing you can do is write more, and keep working on your craft. An agent or publisher interested in this book is going to want to know what else you have sitting there ready to go or in progress.

So, decide on a course of action based on your professional goals, not your lack of patience.

~suki

katci13
08-18-2013, 10:23 PM
There are is no best time of year to put out a book.
It can take 3 to 6 months to hear back from people. I would work on something else in the meantime. Though surely with that many you'll hear back from someone a lot sooner than that.

I don't know what you mean by independent publishing either. Do you mean submitting to independent/trade publishers? If so, personally I would wait, but it looks like you've already that. If you mean to self-publish, I hope it's a different book. If so, go ahead, it would be a great distraction while you wait.

GinJones
08-18-2013, 10:45 PM
1. Four months to forever.

2. There's a whole sub-forum on self-publishing, with many threads on the issue of whether to self-publish.

3. The best time to put out a book is when it's ready (well-written, edited, formatted, marketed, etc.).

Putputt
08-19-2013, 01:05 AM
1.My full ms. was requested by 5 agents and 3-4 publishers. I sent it as nonexclusive.
Looking at the worst scenario, how long is an appropriate wait time? If they all reject it, it could be a waste of months.
2. I've thought of independent publishing while waiting. A good move or not?
3. What are the best times of year to put out a book?

1. I've had replies to full requests as quick as the very next day and as long as...well, it's been over two months on a couple of them and they only replied when I sent them a nudge telling them I've received offers. It could be a waste of months if all you're doing is sitting back and waiting to hear back from them. The best thing you could do for yourself is move on to the next book.

2. Like others have said, if you mean publishing it yourself while waiting for the agents and publishers to come back to you...well, why bother querying them in the first place?? If you mean subbing it to indie publishers...ehh, I'd wait for the agents to get back to you.

3. No clue. Try google.

buz
08-19-2013, 01:33 AM
1.My full ms. was requested by 5 agents and 3-4 publishers. I sent it as nonexclusive.
Looking at the worst scenario, how long is an appropriate wait time? If they all reject it, it could be a waste of months.

It's only a waste of months if you sit there and don't write anything else.

After you send your MSs, forget about them. Seriously. Just forget about them and shift your focus to your next project. You will hear back when you hear back. Write something else.


2. I've thought of independent publishing while waiting. A good move or not?

No.

Write your next book while waiting.

:D And congrats on all the requests :D

Noman
08-19-2013, 07:24 PM
Thanks to everyone for your replies. Confusion still reigns--and pours.

Jamiekswriter
08-19-2013, 09:44 PM
1.My full ms. was requested by 5 agents and 3-4 publishers. I sent it as nonexclusive.
Looking at the worst scenario, how long is an appropriate wait time? If they all reject it, it could be a waste of months.
2. I've thought of independent publishing while waiting. A good move or not?
3. What are the best times of year to put out a book?

1. It depends on the agents and publishers. You can check querytracker to get an idea of how long an agent takes. The publishers also may give an estimate wait time on their website. I've been waiting 2 years for DAW to get back to me. On the last nudge my agent was told "be patient". :D

2. Sure, as long as you're self pubbing a different book than what you submitted. Go for it! (Of course if you do, you pretty much can't sell that book to an agent or editor after it's been out there. The caveat is if it sells over 10,000 copies, you might get an interest for a reprint. Most agents aren't interested in a book that has lower sales.)

3. I've heard that sales are dead in December. But pick up in January -- since the people that got e-readers or gift certificates for the holidays are itching to use them.

wampuscat
08-19-2013, 11:01 PM
Getting an answer from an agent and editors can take months. Even a year or more.

And then if you do get a pub deal, it will likely take many more months before getting published. My understanding is that at most larger pubs, books take 18-24 months to go from contract to on the shelves.

The others are right. If you want to self-pub your book, you're shooting yourself in the foot. The chances that agents and especially editors will want it once it is already out there in the world is greatly diminished. (Also, some people advise not to sub to both publishers and agents at the same time. If an agent takes you on, and you've been rejected by some editors, that agent has a smaller pool he/she can sub to. And oftentimes, agents will have some revisions for the author prior to submission.)

How many queries have you sent out? You can certainly continue to send out letters while you wait on the responses of those who have your work!

In the meantime, as others have said, it's always a good idea to work on your next book!

Congrats on the interest in your book thus far!

I'm not sure what you're still confused about.

ETA: I saw this Q&A today and thought of this thread. I thought you might be interested in the question regarding self-publishing. http://www.michelle4laughs.blogspot.com/2013/08/query-questions-with-kate-mckean.html

That's a series on that blog, so there are several other posts with other agents answering the same questions.

Sheryl Nantus
08-19-2013, 11:33 PM
Stop thinking so much and write the next book.

No matter what happens, whether an agent picks it up or a publisher or if you decide to self-publish in the end you're only as good as your last book. They'll ALL be asking you what your next project is.

Have something to give to them.

:)

gingerwoman
09-20-2013, 01:06 PM
Why would you send your book out to both agents and publishers at once? Really you are supposed to make a decision on one or the other because agents aren't supposed to like it that you've already submitted to publishers, because that's what you are asking them to do for you. (Or so I've heard.)

SEHandler
09-20-2013, 07:51 PM
Ditto to gingerwoman. AFAIK, an agent will be annoyed that you submitted to a publisher because you potentially burned a bridge. When the agent approaches a publisher they do it using their own contacts and approaches. You should really choose one way - probably an agent unless you're in a genre that specifically works better when speaking directly with publishers.

gingerwoman
09-22-2013, 05:48 AM
Sorry I should have also said congratulations on all the full requests! Just don't send it out to any more publishers if you really want to go the agent route.

dondomat
09-22-2013, 06:56 AM
Noman,
When you mention "independent publishing while waiting" to me this means "I'm dying for validation here, can't they hurry up"?

There are practical ways to appease this inner monster:
1) write fast short story, submit to magazine/webzine who mention fast response times in submission guidelines.
2) research mid and small publishers accepting mini-books (novelettes) -- (Carina, Momentum, Musa, Bloodbound, Wild Child, Uncial, Solstice, Musitup, Worldcastle, Rogue Phoenix Press) - write fast one, submit to the ones who promise faster reply.

Maybe with a pen-name, because one never knows.

Either you'll get your validation while you still wait for an answer for the bigger book, or you'll get your validations simultaniously, or you'll get simultanious rejections, which will mean that enough time has passed to revisit, and this time really fix the book.

gingerwoman
09-22-2013, 07:57 AM
Noman,
When you mention "independent publishing while waiting" to me this means "I'm dying for validation here, can't they hurry up"?

There are practical ways to appease this inner monster:
1) write fast short story, submit to magazine/webzine who mention fast response times in submission guidelines.
2) research mid and small publishers accepting mini-books (novelettes) -- (Carina, Momentum, Musa, Bloodbound, Wild Child, Uncial, Solstice, Musitup, Worldcastle, Rogue Phoenix Press) -.
Some of those publishers you list have much more impressive reputations than others.

dondomat
09-22-2013, 08:24 AM
Some of those publishers you list have much more impressive reputations than others.

And that's putting it mildly. I'd even say none of them have 'impressive' reputations as such, rather the measurements are between "almost impressive" and "quite unimpressive". These are examples of places accepting unagented novelettes; the quality is up to the author to weigh. Not least through relevant Absolute Write threads. They were not proposed as places to start a career, but as ways to scratch the validation itch while waiting.

wampuscat
09-23-2013, 07:55 PM
And that's putting it mildly. I'd even say none of them have 'impressive' reputations as such, rather the measurements are between "almost impressive" and "quite unimpressive". These are examples of places accepting unagented novelettes; the quality is up to the author to weigh. Not least through relevant Absolute Write threads. They were not proposed as places to start a career, but as ways to scratch the validation itch while waiting.

But by "scratching the validation itch," one would essentially be starting one's career by trying to get a pub deal for an unagented novella while waiting on the agenting process, correct?

I'm not by any means saying it's a bad idea have a book or a novella pubbed by a small press or indy press or whatever one wants, but I would be curious as to whether agents and publishers still consider an author a "debut" author if he/she has a novella pubbed. I'm not well-versed in this arena, so I'm just curious, mostly.

dondomat
09-24-2013, 03:32 PM
I'm not by any means saying it's a bad idea have a book or a novella pubbed by a small press or indy press or whatever one wants, but I would be curious as to whether agents and publishers still consider an author a "debut" author if he/she has a novella pubbed. I'm not well-versed in this arena, so I'm just curious, mostly.

Good point, no idea. I'd say having something short out in some non-scam somewhere is a point in your favor when dealing with agents and big editors. A precedent that other non-insane people have found you publishable, albeit on a small scale. It's if you have a string of fat novels already out with small epubs or self-pubbed--then, I'd say you are no longer a 'debutante', and have to struggle to find some agent or big editor to believe in you if you feel you've reached a new level and can now play with the big boys and girls.

Undercover
09-24-2013, 05:27 PM
Ginger is right and is good at pointing out that some of those places are more impressive than others. Some of them are down right bad (IMO) like Solstice. The only reason I would mention them is if I were giving examples of a bad publisher. I wouldn't recommend it to anyone, not even to "appease the monster." Not sure what that's intended for other than to get more responses. Would you even take a deal like that just because they responded quicker while you're still waiting on better ones? More shooting in your feet there I would say.

To the OP, it sounds like you're ALL over the place and don't sound too savvy with the whole publishing process to begin with. Maybe you should set some real goals. Do you want a great deal with a great publisher (preferrably the major publishers)? If so, you'll need to start with the agent route. Is all you want is to get published? You can do that just about anywhere with the hundreds of publishers out there. Do you want to be in control of everything that happens? With the editing and cover art and be in control on when it releases too? Self-publishing might be the route to go. You can't do all of it and then some. Like Ginger said, pick one or the other, not both or all. It just isn't possible to do all for one book. As far as I know I've never seen an author having several different versions of their book, published by a tradional publisher and have it self-published too. Now say if maybe once you get your rights back, you could self-publish it as a reprint, but other than that I can't see how it can done. So why take all those routes at once when only one will work?

gingerwoman
09-25-2013, 12:36 PM
I don't really see why the "debut" thing matters. I'm pretty sure if you only had a novella out you would be considered a debut novelist and if you had a novel out with a smaller publisher you would still be considered a debut novelist at Macmillian or Simon and Shuster etc... I mean a debut author with that company. I don't know what benefits you could get with the title debut.
Although with my debut at Samhain Publishing they had my name on the front page of their website as a debut author with a link to my book and my sales went down when that link was taken off. So I mean I think I got sales from that.
I don't know with a Big publisher it would make a difference (?) they'd still just rave about their great new author with the great new book when they mentioned you at all.

dondomat
09-25-2013, 05:06 PM
I don't know what benefits you could get with the title debut.

I think I can hazard the attractions of the debut aura--possible twofold benefits:
a) eligibility for 'first novel/novella' awards and
b) lack of (possibly unimpressive) track record to work against a good deal with future publishers

I've heard point b) many times, and encountered point a) about a month ago, in conversation with a fellow writer.

wampuscat
09-25-2013, 09:45 PM
I don't know how it applies to a novella vs. a novel, but I have heard that if your debut novel goes badly, it hurts your ability to sell future books, get bookstores to stock your book, etc. I've heard of an author deciding to try to pub one book over another book first because the author and agent thought it would be a better debut.

Like I said, I have no idea if that is affected by a novella. Just curious.

dondomat
09-26-2013, 08:00 AM
Robert McCammon certainly was like that: second novel published first, first novel published second.
On the other hand Dan Brown's first three novels tanked. In the big publisher sense, as in selling under 10 000, not in the small publisher sense, selling under 10.
You sell 7 000 with a big publisher, you're a failure. You sell 7 000 with a small epub outfit--you're their Dan Brown, their proof that they are the real thing, their rocket carrier who will drag everyone else to stardom. But that's another topic entirely.

goathunter
11-16-2013, 03:03 AM
Robert McCammon certainly was like that: second novel published first, first novel published second.

Minor correction: McCammon's first novel was his first published. However, his second-written was The Night Boat, and someone at Avon thought it sounded too much like the movie Shock Waves that came out around that time. So he wrote Bethany's Sin, which was his second-published novel. After that, Avon people saw the movie and decided The Night Boat was nothing like it, so they published it, too.

Hunter