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helga
03-29-2007, 02:16 PM
To give you some background Ė
Last October-November I tried to find an agent for my NF book. I sent four queries and got one rejection, the rest just ignored me. I know, I could have tried again and 4 rejections is nothing but I decided to aim at publishers instead. My book proposal and a couple of sample chapters got the attention of one of the publishers and they offered me a contract (no advance though, only royalties). So I finished my book and posted the MS in the beginning of February this year Ė and nothing has happened! They received it alright but no feedback so far. Iíve sent several polite e-mails and got Ďwe-are-still-looking-at-ití responses, the latest one was Ďyouíll hear from us in the next few daysí. The problem is, it was a week ago. Do you think they donít like the MS, or itís turned out to be different from what they expected. I donít know what to think, and waiting for ANY feedback and getting nothing is very frustrating. Itís uncertainty thatís killing me.

Birol
03-29-2007, 03:25 PM
I think you need to show a little patience.

Look, your project is not the only project on the editors' desk. Its probably not even the most pressing project on their desk. I don't know when in February you submitted your manuscript, but at most, you're only looking at eight weeks since they received it. At a minimum, you're only looking at four weeks. Four to eight weeks is nothing.

As for a "a few days" being a week ago, well, yes. A week is just five business days.

Unless you were given a more targeted time frame, such as you sent the manuscript on February 15th and they told you they would have a response to you by March 10th, you need to go work on something else and let them do their thing.

helga
03-29-2007, 03:49 PM
Thanks, Birol
I do need patience, (theoretically I agree with your arguments, but in practice it's very different. Yeah, you are absolutely right, it's better to start a new project and try to forget about my 'baby'.)

BTW, I sent it on 6 Feb.

scarletpeaches
03-29-2007, 03:51 PM
I've gone months between submission and hearing anything, before. Course, that was fiction, but I'm guessing in my case that's nothing unusual. In fact, hearing back quickly is the unusual thing!

Quickest I've heard is within the week, longest was about three or four months. And two never replied, despite my SAE.

Little Red Barn
03-29-2007, 03:53 PM
Sorry Helga, but Birol is right...patience in this biz,,...
Put yourself on "Island time" ;)
Good luck-

CaroGirl
03-29-2007, 06:05 PM
Don't keep bugging them or they might see you as difficult and not take you on. I agree about going to work on something else. Get your mind off it any way you can and they'll get back to you when they're ready. You are at their mercy, unfortunately.

Good luck at finding the patience! It's not easy.

helga
03-29-2007, 06:30 PM
Thanks all. I feel better now, I'll try to forget about their promise to respond 'in the next few days' (in publishing it may mean weeks or months, I know). It's funny, really, at the state I'm in, I'd prefer a 'no' answer to 'no-answer'. Does it make sense?

Edita A Petrick
03-29-2007, 06:56 PM
To give you some background Ė
My book proposal and a couple of sample chapters got the attention of one of the publishers and they offered me a contract (no advance though, only royalties). So I finished my book and posted the MS in the beginning of February this year Ė and nothing has happened! They received it alright but no feedback so far. Iíve sent several polite e-mails and got Ďwe-are-still-looking-at-ití responses, the latest one was Ďyouíll hear from us in the next few daysí. The problem is, it was a week ago. Do you think they donít like the MS, or itís turned out to be different from what they expected. I donít know what to think, and waiting for ANY feedback and getting nothing is very frustrating. Itís uncertainty thatís killing me.

Just something I don't quite understand. If the publisher gave you a book-contract, and you signed it and sent back a copy, then he/she accepted your novel for publication. There shouldn't be an issue of "we're still loooking at it" -- at least not in those terms. Their editorial staff may be "looking at it" in terms of providing edits that will be mailed to you (the author) for fixing. If that's the case, then you just have to wait and it's nothing threatening. Editors can take weeks to get back to you. Then suddenly an email with attachment will appear in your mailbox with a note to "fix" and return the edited manuscript to them asap.

Now, "hearing from them in the next few days" is a bit strange for a reply. They should have said you'd be getting your edited m-script from them in a few days because there's nothing much to "hear from them" about. You have a book contract. The m-script needs to be edited and then the cover needs to be chosen. If you're with an e-publisher, these things can take upward of 3 months - depends on a particular e-publisher.

It all depends on what you asked them about in your e-mail. Without specifics, I'm just guessing. It also depends of whether you're dealing with a regular publisher or e-publisher. But if you have a book contract, then it means your novel's accepted and what remains is just tedious details that need to be ironed out before it comes out. Hope this helps and just go on to the next project.

For example, if it is an e-book publisher, last year there was BooksUnbound where the publisher ran into health problems (or family member's health problems) and the authors whose work has been accepted had to wait upward of six months for edits - :) cheer up and congratulations on getting your book accepted.

helga
03-29-2007, 07:25 PM
Just something I don't quite understand. If the publisher gave you a book-contract, and you signed it and sent back a copy, then he/she accepted your novel for publication. There shouldn't be an issue of "we're still loooking at it" -- at least not in those terms. Their editorial staff may be "looking at it" in terms of providing edits that will be mailed to you (the author) for fixing. If that's the case, then you just have to wait and it's nothing threatening. Editors can take weeks to get back to you. Then suddenly an email with attachment will appear in your mailbox with a note to "fix" and return the edited manuscript to them asap.

But that's exactly what worries me! I signed the contract in Nov, sent them my MS in Feb., and they said it was with a commissioning editor! How could I interpret this? Do they want it or don't they?

Now, "hearing from them in the next few days" is a bit strange for a reply.

I agree - but that's what they said!

It also depends of whether you're dealing with a regular publisher or e-publisher.

It's an independent publisher (NF books), not e-publisher. (My book is NF, btw)

But if you have a book contract, then it means your novel's accepted and what remains is just tedious details that need to be ironed out before it comes out.

I do hope so, but then why is it with a commissioning editor? Am I missing something?

For example, if it is an e-book publisher, last year there was BooksUnbound where the publisher ran into health problems (or family member's health problems) and the authors whose work has been accepted had to wait upward of six months for edits - :) cheer up and congratulations on getting your book accepted.

I do hope something like this is the case. Thanks a lot

Birol
03-29-2007, 07:55 PM
Who is the publisher, Helga?

helga
03-29-2007, 09:28 PM
www.jkp.com (http://www.jkp.com)

helga
04-28-2007, 12:59 AM
I haven't heard anything from the publisher since the submission (first week in Feb.) but today I've found my book advertised on amazon

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Dashas-Journal-Reflects-Catness-Autism/dp/1843105861/ref=sr_1_14/026-4264770-7664439?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1177697101&sr=1-14 (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Dashas-Journal-Reflects-Catness-Autism/dp/1843105861/ref=sr_1_14/026-4264770-7664439?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1177697101&sr=1-14)


I don't know what to think.

Siddow
04-28-2007, 02:07 AM
What does your contract say?
That's all I would worry about now.

donut
04-28-2007, 02:21 AM
I think you're panicking over nothing. You signed a contract! The book is being advertised! You are an author!

Take a deep breath. They're just working on the edits, is all.

helga
04-28-2007, 02:54 AM
Thanks, donut. I need some reassurance. It just seems a bit odd - to find out about the book from the Internet

Elektra
04-28-2007, 03:12 AM
Just out of curiosity, how did you discover it? Do you randomly Google your name, or what?

helga
04-28-2007, 03:16 AM
No, my daughter's found it - I promised to buy Harry Potter today from Amazon and two more books she wants to read, and she came up with this!

This is the point - I didn't even think about it - obsessively checking e-mails ;o)

popmuze
04-28-2007, 08:26 AM
I would say, as an author under contract, you are at the very least entitled to know the name of your editor!
And then you are entitled to phone that editor and introduce yourself!!!
Forget about waiting for emails.
I mean, they just might publish this book unedited!!!
Once you phone the editor, if you don't get the editor in, I would keep calling without leaving a message. Otherwise, then you'll be waiting for the editor to call you back.
Just keep phoning until you can talk to a real person.

Dollywagon
04-28-2007, 08:57 AM
They are a UK publisher, no warnings on P&E and listed in the Writers Handbook. Founded '87.

I think you need to look at your contract again, because it sounds as if you have simply misinterpreted the publishing procedure. You got accepted and things moved quickly. The publisher also hasn't maintained contact with you to explain things.

Before you do anything get the contract out and have a good old read - it may give you more information in there than you realised. You have the whole weekend to do it.

Congratulations on getting published!!!

Dollywagon
04-28-2007, 09:04 AM
I was going to edit but it won't let me.

Just to say, they also won the Independent Publishers Award this year from the IPG and are along side Faber, Frances Lincoln and the like, so they seem to have a pretty good standing in the publishing world.

helga
04-28-2007, 02:36 PM
I know, they are very good, it's just 'lack of communication' that's killing me. Patience is the word for me to repeat again and again, I suppose ;o)

Dollywagon
04-28-2007, 03:02 PM
To be honest, I'd just leave it another week or so. As Edita said, they are probably doing edits and should be getting back to you with the 'fix it' comment.

If you haven't heard by then, just give them a call and politely explain that you would like to speak to the editor to see how the work is coming along (because it's being advertised for release)

It's a shame they haven't kept you updated really though, because you should be jumping up and down with a continuous supply of Champers.

... and why the heck is this in the 'Rejection and Dejection' forum?????

jonereb
04-28-2007, 04:29 PM
Helga, is your book time sensative? If not, this could explain the publisher's lack of urgency.

johnrobison
04-28-2007, 05:02 PM
Helga, Jessica Kingsley publishes a number of work on autism, Asperger's and mental health. They have quite a few solid, well known authors. If it's with a commissioning editor you may not hear back for a while, but eventually you're going to make it to the top of the line and the editor will get going on your project.

My only concern would be that the release date is six months out . . . how much work do they plan to do in terms of rewrites? So they should be on it soon.

Did they pay you an advance? Usually you get a payment on signing, and another on manuscript acceptance, then another on publication.

One more thing . . . if it's coming in six months . . . it's time for you to get a blog, a web site, and start telling people about your new book.

helga
04-28-2007, 05:16 PM
Helga, Jessica Kingsley publishes a number of work on autism, Asperger's and mental health. They have quite a few solid, well known authors. If it's with a commissioning editor you may not hear back for a while, but eventually you're going to make it to the top of the line and the editor will get going on your project.

I agree, John. They are the best publishers of Autism/Asperger books!
You are right, my book must be in a queue

Did they pay you an advance? Usually you get a payment on signing, and another on manuscript acceptance, then another on publication.

No, they didn't [sigh]

One more thing . . . if it's coming in six months . . . it's time for you to get a blog, a web site, and start telling people about your new book.

Thanks for your advice

johnrobison
04-28-2007, 05:27 PM
Well, if they've registered the book and Amazon's picked it up, and the publisher gave them a release date . . . it's time to get moving.

I understand how you feel, though. With my own book it took a while to get the idea that it was really happening.

Dollywagon
04-28-2007, 05:57 PM
John's right, get pushing it now. In the marketing sense, I mean.

Aspergers is a pretty hot topic and a lot of people may be interested in seeing your perspective.

Kingsleys only pay royalties according to their listing, so the sale's the thing!

... and I still think this needs moving to goals and accomplishments:Sun:

popmuze
04-30-2007, 05:53 AM
Doesn't anybody else here think it's odd to have signed a contract on a book and not have had a conversation with an editor?
Apparently you also finished the book from the three original chapters, also without consulting with an editor.
In my experience, the editor is an important part of the process, at every step of the way.
Before I got a web site, etc. I would get on the horn immediately to find out who your editor is.

Dollywagon
04-30-2007, 08:28 AM
I don't know about having a conversation with the editor, PM, I know I would have liked to have one. But with non-fiction, you usually submit the idea and several chapters and complete the remainder of the book when you have the acceptance.

Looking at the release date, I would think that the editor is now running about like a two bob rocket trying to finish the proofs to get the book out on time. I'm just guessing, but I would think the proposal was submitted at a time when it fitted and they have done a rush job on squeezing it in - just a guess mind.

Personally, I would have preferred a lot more contact, but then again it is non-fiction we are talking here and maybe that works a lot differently to fiction?

helga
04-30-2007, 11:47 AM
Thanks for your comments. I'll keep you informed - as soon as hear something/ anything...

popmuze
04-30-2007, 05:19 PM
then again it is non-fiction we are talking here and maybe that works a lot differently to fiction?


It sounds like you're saying the writing doesn't matter in non-fiction.
Having published nine non-fiction books so far, I can tell you from experience, the input from your editor, right from the beginning, is not only invaluable, but required.

As much as everyone here is saying this is a reputable house, what reputable house does business this way?

Unless the author has written the perfect book, which doesn't need a drop of editing, just a couple of grammar corrections and some jacket copy.

I thought that only happened at PA.

helga
04-30-2007, 06:07 PM
Unless the author has written the perfect book, which doesn't need a drop of editing, just a couple of grammar corrections and some jacket copy.

I thought that only happened at PA.


I know my book is far from being perfect and I look forward to working with the editor. My explanation (the last one - out of hundreds - I stick with) is my book is in a queue. I'm trying to be patient - and failing miserably ;o)

popmuze
04-30-2007, 07:00 PM
I'm trying to be patient - and failing miserably ;o)


In my not so humble opinion, patience, in this case, is not a virtue. I don't think they'd cancel the contract if you put in a call. The problem is, since you don't have an agent, it's hard to know exactly who to call. Publishers probably don't take kindly to hearing from lowly authors.

Sassenach
04-30-2007, 10:51 PM
I'd contact the person who bought your proposal.