The Next Circle of Hell, Vol. 2

editing_for_authors
Editing for authors: because every writer needs a good editor.

A.P.M.

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Agent likes the YA sci fi, at least. Only problem is she asked me to provide some good comp titles for pitching and I'm drawing a huge blank. Is this something I could ask about in QLH, maybe? The project was already posted there.
 

Nether

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I’m so sorry, APM. Hoping the book that your agent is reading is the charm.

It really is rough out there.

I lurk in some self-publishing groups. Recently someone expressed incredulity because they’d just heard that trade-published authors publish only one book a year, and how can anyone make a living that way?! I don’t know whether to be happy that some people are making a great living from writing (enough to assume that’s the norm) or to cry. If I quit my day job, I could write several hundred thousand words a year, but I wouldn’t be able to sell those words and make a living—not unless I switched to writing very different stuff and self-publishing it, and even then it would be an iffy proposition.

Somebody shared some trade-pub statistics a while back and, from what I recall, it didn't look like the one-book-per-year crowd was earning a lot. Then again, Mark Twain had a few words when it came to statistics (or, I guess, statisticians).

I have no desire to write three books a year. Or whatever it is. But some people truly do. I keep coming back to the idea of food. Street carts can serve fantastic food of one sort. Michelin star restaurants can serve a different sort of fantastic food.

Honestly, the idea that trade-pubbed authors are encouraged to cut back on what they write -- since agents and publishers worry it could cannibalize their other sales -- has made the whole thing sound a bit less appealing.

Even if I was able to trade-pub 1-2 books per year and make a living off that, I'm not sure I'd be comfortable not writing the rest of the time (or doing something with that writing). It reminds me of those stories about the government paying farmers to burn half their crops.

Then again, this past year and a half I've been making up for decades of lost time and I might feel differently down the road. Who knows? 🤷‍♂️
 
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goddessofgliese

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Well, I've been pretty tight-lipped, but I got an offer for publication in January. My agent and I are waiting on the contract. We're thrilled with the editor and publisher. Came in our first round of sub.

I can't believe this is happening. I'll share more when I can.

So excited about this. Just so pleased and proud and ... for the last couple months I've just started laughing at random. I can't wait to hear readers' thoughts!
Congrats, utesfanimi! I'm just curious, why have you been waiting for 2 months on the contract? Does it usually take this long to draft a publishing contract?
 

kkbe

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utesfanimi, congrats to you, so happy to hear your good news. angeliz2k and Fuchsia Groan, you guys are so sweet. I'm sorry things are tough, angeliz2k.

And again, my apologies for not being here for a while. Things have been challenging to say the least. Family health stuff. It's hard on one's best day.

So, one day at a time for me. For those of you who are struggling or waiting or getting discouraged, I am hoping for good things to happen soon for you fine and talented people.

And <3 to all you guys.
 
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Xtina

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Hi, I'm new to this circle of hell, but fully aflame: on week 3-ish-forever of being on submission. My agent went "wide" with 29 submissions (!) the range-likes of which I haven't yet seen mentioned in the four years of this thread that I was able to read before my eyes crossed. I'm up to six (very kind) rejections. My MS is a collection of linked essays, many of which are experimental in form, and the editors at the big presses seem to love the themes and writing but struggle with the lack of traditional narrative (which was not as I hoped, but about what I expected). I was doing a pretty good job of focusing on cleaning closets and overdue doctor/vet visits, but yesterday I allowed myself to wallow fully in my submission angst and I wanted to share a few resources that helped me remove myself from the panic circle and get objective again. Sometimes information overload actually does help. I'm sure this link has been shared before, but I think it's worth bumping/repeating:

What It’s REALLY Like to Go on Submission to Publishers

And the podcast episodes at the bottom were of great comfort to me as well:
Okay, school just called and I have to pick up a sick kid and I never ever thought I'd consider that a relief but kids are great for ensuring less time to fret. Off to be more worried about someone other than myself. ;)
 
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utesfanami

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Congrats, utesfanimi! I'm just curious, why have you been waiting for 2 months on the contract? Does it usually take this long to draft a publishing contract?
Contracts are behind across the industry. It's an issue with a lot of publishers right now.

A lot of people are overwhelmed.
 

Fuchsia Groan

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Somebody shared some trade-pub statistics a while back and, from what I recall, it didn't look like the one-book-per-year crowd was earning a lot. Then again, Mark Twain had a few words when it came to statistics (or, I guess, statisticians).



Honestly, the idea that trade-pubbed authors are encouraged to cut back on what they write -- since agents and publishers worry it could cannibalize their other sales -- has made the whole thing sound a bit less appealing.

Even if I was able to trade-pub 1-2 books per year and make a living off that, I'm not sure I'd be comfortable not writing the rest of the time (or doing something with that writing). It reminds me of those stories about the government paying farmers to burn half their crops.

Then again, this past year and a half I've been making up for decades of lost time and I might feel differently down the road. Who knows? 🤷‍♂️
I’ve got a demanding day job, so I couldn’t write more than one book a year at this point. If I were trying to make a living from writing (and believe me, I’ve thought about it!), I would probably use a pen name to self-publish rapidly in a different genre, one that does better in self-publishing than the YA books I write. Assuming you have a good agent to vet your contracts, publishers’ non-compete clauses won’t stop you from publishing in another category or genre, whether with another imprint or by yourself.

Congratulations, utesfanami! That book sounds like an incredibly gripping adventure. And yup, contracts are taking a long while, I hear…

ETA: Welcome, Xtina! Congratulations on surviving to week 3 and finding those essential distractions! A big first round suggests that your agent has a lot of faith in the book, I think, which is great!
 

angeliz2k

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utesfanimi, congrats! So good to hear positive news.

Xtina, welcome and good luck. That is a large batch of submissions! My first round was only 8!

Elle, congrats on being a published author in America!

It's encouraging to see some good news. I've been so sour on the publishing thing for so long, it's hard to believe there's anything positive happening in the publishing world. Maybe there's hope yet?

I've been distracted by vacation and by non-writing endeavors, but I need to follow up with my agent about the plan for round 2 of submission. I'm a bit reluctant, because it means facing up to the fact that I need to continue slogging on.
 

Elle.

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Thanks everybody!

I had my UK publication day on Thursday which was an absolute roller coaster. I has been surreal going into bookstore and seeing my book there. Now recovering at home and ready to get back at editing book 2.

angeliz2k — sorry to hear things haven't move in the right direction with round 1 of submission. Fingers crossed with round 2.
 

litdawg

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Great to see reasons here for congratulations to Elle and Utesfanami.

Angeliz2k, I hear you on dragging feet in communicating with agent. If you have a good one, you can always trust they'll reach out to you when they have something you need to know.

I've been thinking that before I leave the country, I should ask my agent for a rundown of what she did with the last four presses I suggested she pitch. But then I heard back from Baen that my mss didn't make it out of the slush pile and I realize I probably won't have any irons in the fire during my year of being incommunicado. That's a little discouraging, and so I'm also dragging my feet on asking agent for an update. After all, no news isn't bad news.
 

RaggyCat

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Congrats on the annoucement, utsefanami. Feels real once you can talk about it! I'm glad you weren't left sitting on your news for too long. And congrats again on both your release days, Elle. I can't wait to read it.

I know exactly what you guys mean about dragging your feet communicating with your agents. I used to feel this a lot with my old agent when things were a little uncertain. Communicating with her made me really nervous and it would take ages to draft emails. It's easier to let the status quo continue, isn't it? I do think based on my experience that it is better to just pop the question and ask, and know what's going on, but it's really hard to I sympathise! I'm sorry about the Baen situation, litdawg. That must sting.

My own UK release day was 10 days ago! It was so busy leading up to it, but very nice all the same, and I've been enjoying going into bookshops and finding it. I'm starting to get a little twitchy now because that was a one book contract. My agent is reading my next YA thriller at the moment, and, assuming she thinks it works, the next step is submitting it to my current publishers, who have right of first refusal on it. I think much of whether they say yes depends on how the book that released 10 days ago seems to be doing. (My IP books with them have a different audience, so won't have much bearing on this.) I don't enjoy this stage. Nervous stuff!

So sorry if I missed anything - I didn't realise I'd been gone for so long. The last month was really busy!
 

Calla Lily

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My MS went on submission in early March. I got two offers. Last week, after speaking with both my agent and my author friends, I made my choice. Hooray! I'm going to be a published author!

Thanks to utesfanami, I wasn't shocked when my agent told me that the contract would take 1-3 months.
Congratulations!
 

Elle.

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My MS went on submission in early March. I got two offers. Last week, after speaking with both my agent and my author friends, I made my choice. Hooray! I'm going to be a published author!

Thanks to utesfanami, I wasn't shocked when my agent told me that the contract would take 1-3 months.
Congratulations! Do you have an estimated publication date?