Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Publishing Ordeal

I trust you all had a good Valentine’s Day. I got thru it alone, and it wasn’t as bad as anticipated. Life goes on, one day at a time, and the pain lessens little by little.

I’ve given computer-printed copies of my book to Bryan’s oncologist and an editor-friend for their input. It’s kind of like showing off your new baby. You hope everybody admires the little one and says only good things.

Many have asked if my book is published yet. Unfortunately, it’s not that easy. Here’s a brief overview of what’s involved. I need to find a publisher and maybe an agent.

There’s a 3-step process in getting an agent:
Send a 1-page query letter with a brief description of the book and what makes it different. Wait 1-2 months for a response.
If the agent is interested, send a 20- to 30-page proposal letter with a few chapters of the book. Wait again for twice the amount of time, usually 2-4 months.
If the agent is still interested, then send the entire manuscript and wait around 4-6 months.
With all the waiting, it takes up to a year just to get an agent. If the agent doesn’t allow simultaneous submissions, I go thru it one agent at a time until I find one who wants me.

Getting a publisher takes the same three steps and about the same length of time, even with an agent as a go-between. It could take a year or longer just to get the manuscript accepted. Then, it’s another year or two before it’s published! One contact in publishing suggested that I go directly to a publisher for my first book, so I’m trying to decide which one(s) get the query letter.

It could take a total of 2-4 years to hit bookstands. One writer’s website has a list of 39 steps to getting published. Step 1 is to write the book. (That’s the easy part.) Of the remaining 38 steps, 22 of them start with the word “wait.” I guess God will teach me patience if I wait long enough.

The only way to avoid all this waiting is to self-publish. That means that I pay all the publishing costs and have all the books shipped to my house. Then, bookstores and order from me instead of from the publisher, and I handle all the shipping. Doesn’t sound too appealing, so I’d prefer the other way instead.

Now you know that publishing isn’t an overnight accomplishment. I can’t get back to writing articles or other books until the wheels start turning on this one. I would appreciate your prayers in my search. I’m terrified of putting my “baby” in the wrong hands.

Take care and remember that God loves you and knows what you're facing today. I need to remember the same!