View Full Version : God! How long does it take?

08-30-2007, 02:49 PM

I know this is a foolish question to ask and I almost know the answer but can't help asking you guys anyways. My agent in the UK sent out my MS to nine publishers, four of whom have rejected it. It's been two months now. By when do you think I will come to know of all the other rejections, assuming they will be rejections? Just some personal examples might help.

My agent tells me it's holiday time in the UK and that nothing's going to happen right now. For my pleasure, she did remind me though that no news is good news.


08-30-2007, 03:13 PM
Patience. Chocolates. Late nights and early mornings in front of the television/computer. Outings with family or friends. Travel. Movies. Patience, patience, and more patience.

It's frustrating enough in the journalism world, can't imagine how hard it must be with books.

Good luck though! Sometimes it takes ages, sometimes just a few moments. Always worth it.

08-30-2007, 04:43 PM
Also 2 months is nothing! JK Rowling had to wait a year, and I know others who have had to do the same. You'll get through it! Just remember to breathe! :)

08-30-2007, 04:46 PM
Ah. You are getting fidgety again, I see. What did I tell you? Patience, patience, my friend.

08-30-2007, 05:48 PM
Just remember to breathe! :)
Good advice! Remembering to breathe is high on the list of important things to remember to do. Waiting is difficult. I hate it too. The only way to get through it is to distract yourself so time appears to pass more quickly. Write the next novel, or a short story, or an article. Hell, write a letter to the editor of your local newspaper. Indulge in your favourite hobby or sport. Visit with family and friends.

Above all, tell us first when your book sells!!!

08-30-2007, 05:49 PM
I have an option. I think I will just stick to editing the magazine. And yes, it's edition time tonight! You talk of chocolates, I am thinking only of ulcers and the late night (early morning tomorrow, thank you) today. But thanks, all of you. Breathe I will but fidgety I will be too. Nah, it's bad anyways, but change myself, I cannot, Aruna.

08-30-2007, 07:50 PM
Funny you'd bring up such a subject. I think most of here are hopelessly neurotic. I know that I spend too much time checking my e-mails while waiting for editors to reply. Others here are trying to land an agent, a hurdle you've already crossed. I haven't gotten there yet but when I do, I'm going to be a frigging mess!

the waiting game is little like X-mas; there's these present out there you can't open until it's time and they tend to be things you grimace and hold your nose at (Thanks Aunt Sylvia, this crocheted pot holder will look great in the kitchen. What, they're boxer shorts?) Just try to occupy you time with more work (such as you've already done) and gab with us here at AW. And good luck!


08-30-2007, 08:01 PM
Took me over six months--almost seven--to achieve acceptance. So good luck, and keep distracted!

08-30-2007, 08:03 PM
Personal examples? Sometimes I've waited as long as a year.

08-30-2007, 08:19 PM
I can't speak to waiting for an editor to get back to one's agent -- but as to patience, I've been learning a lot lately.

The best thing I did was distract myself with writing a new novel - then just when I wasn't thinking about all these partials that are out with 4-8 more months of wait-time, I got another request for another partial.

Now, to keep from going completely nutso, I'm diving back into that WIP and putting all these partials out of my mind.

Well, that's the theory, anyway :)

08-30-2007, 11:41 PM
I've had people take two months (or more) to get back to me on a query. It's really not long at all for publishers.

How long does it take? As long as it takes.

You're in the pipeline. Patience, and work on other stuff. *passes chocolate*

Chicken Warrior
08-30-2007, 11:53 PM
There are publishers that openly state 9 months on exclusive queries. No kidding.

David McAfee
08-31-2007, 12:02 AM
I waited 13 months for a rejection from one publisher.

I did a post about waiting (http://whenintheworlddidthathappen.blogspot.com/) on my blog (yeah, yeah...shameless plug).

08-31-2007, 12:18 AM
7 months for an acceptance here. Publishers just don't work on the same time as we do. :)

08-31-2007, 11:10 AM
Thanks everybody. As always, you guys make me feel better and I shall take your advice. Distractions, that's it. One thing's for sure, I can't write to save my life and nerves now. So, the next best thing. Drink...I think I will hit the bottle. And call my agent from some 6000 km away early in the morning (dead in the night for her) and slur away some imbecilities about me being on a suicide trip. May be, just to get me off her back, she will wake up early and call her editor? :-)

Mike Lynch
09-01-2007, 09:16 AM
Like the others, I too have waited for months and months before getting that rejection letter in the mail. Of course, that's when they bothered to send one. There are publishers I've sent query letters or chapters of my manuscript to several years ago, and I'm still waiting to hear from them. Yeah, I'm sure they'll arrive anytime now. But that is just the business we're in. Some publishers write back promptly, others take longer, and some, not at all.


09-01-2007, 01:59 PM
Thanks, Mike. I am slowly getting around to thinking in terms of years and not months. But at least, I am learning and that helps. By the way, pardon my ignorance ( as if I haven't proved that in ample measure already), pray, what is Labor Day and why do editors go on leave then? ( No, pleeeease don't ask me to google that!)

09-01-2007, 02:04 PM
I don't know what Labor Fay is but we are now officially in the run- up to the Frankfurt Book Fair, and the nearer we get to that (it's always in the first week of October) the less time editors and agents (especially in the UK) have. US, not so much; but ALL UK agents start running around like headless chickens in the weeks before Frankfurt. On the other hand, it's good to make a sale immediately before the Fair, because then you can sell all the foreign rights, and who knows, yours may the book they all go ga-ga over this year! (There's always one...) Or even to get a UK agent in the run-up, because then she can make a fuss about the book!

09-01-2007, 04:36 PM
Thanks for that, Aruna. But why does everything have to happen NOW? Couldn't Labor Day and the Frankfurt Book Fair waited till after all the rejections had come in? Darn! :-)