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gettingby
04-11-2008, 01:01 AM
OK, I haven't had it, but I know some people have. I want to join the super fast success club. How do I get in? I am going to really lose it if I have to wait a million weeks to hear from the agents that have my proposal. And I want to have a book deal today. For some people, it all seems to work this way. Who are those people and how did they do it? If you've had quick success and good luck every time to touch a keyboard, I would love to hear about it. I think it could give us all a little hope. Thanks.

FYI - I am most interested in hearing from nonfiction book writers since that is what I am working on.

bluntforcetrauma
04-11-2008, 01:41 AM
Just push the EASY button! It's what all the biggies do.

DWSTXS
04-11-2008, 01:42 AM
Just push the EASY button! It's what all the biggies do.

genius! (and oh so pop-culturally astute!)

Birol
04-11-2008, 02:27 AM
They work hard for twenty years or so.

bluntforcetrauma
04-11-2008, 02:28 AM
They work hard for twenty years or so.

Lori! I'm speechless! You don't have an EASY button? For shame.

Birol
04-11-2008, 02:29 AM
You could always send me yours. ;)

bluntforcetrauma
04-11-2008, 02:30 AM
You could always send me yours. ;)

It's on the fritz.

Birol
04-11-2008, 02:31 AM
See you in about twenty years, then?

bluntforcetrauma
04-11-2008, 02:33 AM
See you in about twenty years, then?

Sounds about right. *sigh*

scope
04-11-2008, 04:11 AM
Sorry to disappoint you, burst the bubble, whatever, but with extremely rare exceptions reserved for celebrities and previously published "big names," publishing isn't designed for quick success.

Let's look at it this way:
1. It takes a writer one to two years to research and write a complete "final manuscript."
2. It takes the writer one to two months to research the publishers to whom s/he wants to submit.
3, It takes two months to prepare the best possible query letter.
4. The query letter is sent to let's say six publishers.
5. You wait for an average of six months before getting replies.
6. You get a positive reply requesting a proposal and sample chapter(s).
7. Assuming the writer has already prepared the proposal and has it ready, s/he sends it off with the sample chapters.
8. You wait another two to three months before hearing from the publisher.
9. The publisher requests the entire manuscript and you send it off.
10. The writer waits another two to three months before hearing from the publisher.
11. The publisher requests some changes in the work.
12. The writer spends one month making the changes.
13. The writer sends it off to the publisher and waits another two to three months for a verdict.
14. Let's assume the editor likes everything and tells the writer s/he will propose it at the next editorial board meeting for company approval.
15. The next editorial meeting is one to two months out.
16. Editor receives a GO at the editorial board meeting and advises the writer of same. S/he tells the writer that the legal department will draw up a contract and get it to him or her in a months or so.
17. The writer gets the contract and requests some minor changes.
18. It takes another month or two before the contract is signed.
19. The book will be published one to two years after the contract is signed.

So, what do we have ---- about two and one-half years before the editor can first agree to offer the writer a contract.

Writer's must understand this and work on other books during this process and waiting period.

Like you gettingby, I only wish there was a way to achieve quick success.

bluntforcetrauma
04-11-2008, 04:37 AM
Uhhhhhhhhh...........
http://www.what-a-world.com/whataworld/images/easy_button.jpg

johnrobison
04-11-2008, 03:27 PM
In most cases, if you look at non fiction authors who have achieved very rapid success in publishing, it's because they have spent a lifetime accomplishing the things they write about.

And even then, they only achieve success if they have a well written and compelling account.

If, for example, you have spent 20 years in the Senate and you decide to write a memoir, there WILL be interest from agents and publishers. But will they buy it? That depends on how it's written. The accomplishments do get you in the door and get you read, but the work still must stand on its own.

The lifetime of accomplishment certainly does get agents and publishers to pay attention to your work. It's your PLATFORM - your qualification for writing the story. You know the workings of the Senate because you've been a senator. You know how to have a healthy heart because you've been a cardiologist for 25 years. With all the queries publishers and agents get, your life accomplishments are what make them pick up your letter and say, "I need to read this."

But that's it - the work must still stand on its own. If you have both a name and a well written book, you are probably destined for somewhat quick success, though "quick" may still be a 1-2 year process.

jenngreenleaf
04-11-2008, 04:49 PM
Just push the EASY button! It's what all the biggies do.LOL Great answer!!

After spending from 1999 until 2007 churning away in the trenches, I landed my first book contract. Is that fast? Is that slow? I have no idea.

Did it require A LOT OF WORK? Yep. I had to figure out what my niche was, search the markets constantly, and send thousands of queries. Did I build myself up with other non-fiction article work? Yep. Did I read 100's of books, articles, blog posts, and forum discussions? Heck yeah. Did I follow the lead of other writers I admire for advice, experience, and know-how? Mmmmhmmm.

Did I expect it to happen super fast and over night? Of course, who doesn't?! Then reality hit me square in the face and I realized that, even though that seems to happen for some . . . it really doesn't. They had to work just as hard as I did to achieve this goal.

Birol
04-11-2008, 05:08 PM
But that's it - the work must still stand on its own. If you have both a name and a well written book, you are probably destined for somewhat quick success, though "quick" may still be a 1-2 year process.

Odds are,in the scenarios you describe, the book will be ghostwritten by a professional.

IceCreamEmpress
04-11-2008, 09:46 PM
Odds are,in the scenarios you describe, the book will be ghostwritten by a professional.

And there's your "EASY" button right there! ;)

Dale Emery
04-12-2008, 02:25 AM
Lori! I'm speechless! You don't have an EASY button?

Of course she does. It just took her 20 years of hard work to acquire it.

Dale

K1P1
04-12-2008, 07:48 PM
OK, I haven't had it, but I know some people have. I want to join the super fast success club. How do I get in? I am going to really lose it if I have to wait a million weeks to hear from the agents that have my proposal. And I want to have a book deal today. For some people, it all seems to work this way. Who are those people and how did they do it? If you've had quick success and good luck every time to touch a keyboard, I would love to hear about it. I think it could give us all a little hope. Thanks.

FYI - I am most interested in hearing from nonfiction book writers since that is what I am working on.

Send me all your money. I can write html so I can develop your Easy Button, but it'll take time to perfect it. :D

Or you could do what I did. I was doing technical and copy editing for my publisher in my area of expertise. The editor I worked with approached me to see if I'd like to write a book she had in mind. No agent. No propoal (although I did expand her list of topics to include in the book for presentation to her editorial committee). No queries. It did take some months for them to actually send me a contract, but it required almost no effort on my part.

On the other hand, then I had to write and promote the book. I worked extremely hard at it for a long time. Wrote it during 2004, published end of 2005, promotion all through 2006. And then went on to the next book, which still took a long time from proposal to contract, with the same publisher, even after the success of my first book. Writing the second book was hell. Now I'm at the stage of waiting for the proofs of the second book and acceptance of the proposal for my 3rd book. It really doesn't get any easier, I'm afraid. Sorry.

gettingby
04-14-2008, 11:50 PM
I am still hoping everything will come together very quickly. I don't like waiting for things especially when I really want them and am working really hard. I have read the stories where someone queried an agent, signed and got a book deal in a week or two. We should all be so lucky.

Birol
04-15-2008, 12:11 AM
Yes, but how long had they been writing and working to perfect their craft before that?

Jersey Chick
04-15-2008, 12:18 AM
I am still hoping everything will come together very quickly. I don't like waiting for things especially when I really want them and am working really hard. I have read the stories where someone queried an agent, signed and got a book deal in a week or two. We should all be so lucky.

It would be great if it did move this quickly. No one really likes waiting. But for the most part, it just doesn't happen.

ColoradoGuy
04-15-2008, 05:06 AM
I write nonfiction. For me it was just over two years from first, feeble pen-scratchings to publication. I think that's faster than the average.

kimmer
04-15-2008, 06:04 AM
Here's my timeline, which I'm told was fast. It's preceded by more than a decade in my field, memberships in national associations, a moderate platform of writing websites, newsletters, and articles, and a background in marketing:

3 months - write proposal, first two chapters and query letter
1 month - research to find matching agents and publishers
2 months - send queries, receive requests for proposal from agents, waiting, more research, emails, etc.
Sign with agent - modify proposal, create website and blog, keep working on sources, chapter notes, etc.
2 1/2 months - sign with publisher
3 1/2 months - finish writing the book (good thing I was working on it in my "down" time)
4 months editing back and forth with publisher (keep building my platform in the meantime, updates to website, guest speaking, promotional materials, legal preparation, oh yeah, and my day job)
1 month - galleys, indexing, endorsements - I'm at this stage now.
3 months - printing, disitribution, etc. book comes out

That's about 20 months. WAY longer than I ever thought it took to write a book but I'm told that this is very quick.

I feel your pain and I guess that's one reason why some people choose to self-publish, however, I firmly believe that my book will be better because of this process. The professionals who touched my book along the way all made it better.

Good luck in your quest for speed.

gettingby
04-16-2008, 12:14 AM
Kimmer - I could live with your timeline. I am a month into looking for an agent. My proposal has been requested by several agents so I am hoping someone makes me an offer soon. I am working on the book as I wait. But waiting sucks. I guess I am lucky that I have not had to wait so long for agents to respond to my query. No responses yet on the proposal.