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Friday, January 10, 2014

The Eye Of The Storm

There's a perfect little patch of heaven reserved for the time between accepting an agent's offer and your baby manuscript going out On Submission (OMG, don't panic, more on that later). Enjoy this little patch of heaven. It's filled with:

  • Random happy breakdowns that someone besides your mother thinks your work is worthy of publication
  • The urge to use animated gifs to explain your emotions, because for all the words you've ever written, none of them are adequate to describe what you're currently feeling
  • Completely blank looks from non-writer friends who didn't even know a literary agent was A Thing
  • An undeterable level of joy. Seriously, I could've been pulled over by a cop and I would have 1) smiled the entire time like a psycho 2) thanked him for keeping me at a reasonable speed because HI DID YOU HEAR I HAVE AN AGENT AND I MIGHT HAVE A REAL BOOK SOON

But I think you know all that's coming. Some of you are reading this right now and your heart is aching to be there. Hey, if you're here, you're on the right track. Not because I'm any kind of popular or have all the answers, but because you're active on Twitter and/or Goodreads and that's how you found this post which means you're chasing your dream which means someday you're going to catch up.

I think I'm supposed to be writing about the business side of what happens after you get an agent. Yes. Ahem.

Okay, so after you've come back down to Earth (and often before you have), things will start happening. The first possible thing is an editorial letter. If you followed my advice about interviewing your agent, this letter shouldn't contain any surprises. Depending on the intensity of the changes and your personal writing speed, you should expect to spend anywhere from 1-60 days on round 1 revisions. Mine took about three weeks, including time for CPs to review. You might have a second and third round of revisions to get it sparkly clean. My second round added about a week to the timeline.

The second thing you'll get, after a surreal email from your agent that says "We're ready to send this out!", is a list of the editors/houses your agent intends to send your manuscript to for round 1. Most agents will have several rounds of submissions planned for you, meaning they will send you to 5-15 houses at a time, then typically wait for a pass from all those houses before sending to editors on their round 2 list. This allows you to make changes based on their feedback. If you have questions or concerns about the list, that's the time to ask.

The third thing is Fight Club. No, really. The first rule of being On Submission is you do not talk about being On Submission. Except I AM going to talk about being On Submission. Next time.

What were/are some of your expectations of what happens after you get an agent? What stage of the process are you in now?

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Stay tuned for the next "After the Agent" series post to come: Sub Club

6 comments:

  1. Haha, oh yes, the gifs. I remember those well. That was FUN :D

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    1. I think we found every jumping hug gif on the Internet. <3

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  2. Yes, my heart does ache :) But I know I'll get there someday (hopefully soon).

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    1. Keep at it! These things happen so quickly when they happen. <3

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  3. Not sure what's more perfect here, the title of the post or the awesomeness within. Great insights here, Nat. And good grief, I get all fluttery every time I think about your awesome news. STILL. Wishing you even more awesome! <3

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    1. Thanks Kimberly! Wishing the best for you in Pitch Wars as well :)

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