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Experiences after submission to publishers??

(62 Posts)
Dontrocktheboat Wed 20-Sep-17 09:15:50

Hi, just canvassing experiences really - after the euphoria of having an agent and months of revision my agent has now submitted to various editors at publishing houses, many of whom she has spoken to in advance. The trouble is, I now have no idea what to expect - it seems from googling it could take weeks/ months/ years for anyone to make an offer on it, maybe never! It's a bit disheartening to realise having an agent is not necessarily end of the process...

If anyone who has been at this stage is happy to share experiences, it would be much appreciated!

schmalex Wed 20-Sep-17 10:58:07

It really varies. Sometimes they come back very quickly and sometimes they take ages.
I submitted a new ms via my agent to my existing publisher in Feb and they still haven't made a decision on it! But if they haven't said no yet I always hold out hope.
Always best to start something new and try not to think about it. Easier said than done though.

Dontrocktheboat Wed 20-Sep-17 12:59:45

Hi schmalex, thanks for the reply, that's helpful, if a big disheartening! Has your agent done much prodding/ submitted to other publishers? What genre are you writing in?

I think with all the build up to submission, working on revisions with a deadline, everything suddenly feels a bit flat and feel like I've been flung into a void of silence! So yes, probably need to put it to one side and use the space to get on with something else....

schmalex Wed 20-Sep-17 14:53:15

I think she had prodded, but as I'm already with them she wants to give them a chance before it goes elsewhere. They just haven't got round to it.
Get used to the long silences! It is not a reflection on you. The cogs of publishing turn slowly.

Dontrocktheboat Wed 20-Sep-17 15:49:18

Thanks - I knew it was slow but not knowing what is going on is stressful! Hope you hear something soon as well!

GetAHaircutCarl Wed 20-Sep-17 18:42:26

My agency sent my first novel out to publishers almost fifteen years agoshock.

I got some almost instant rejections in the UK and an instant offer from Germany confused.

I then got a pretty speedy offer in the UK, some more rejections. Then, by chance, an offer from a publisher who hadn't been on my agent's radar, and that's who I went with.

The truth is there ain't no telling. And it's up to you whether you want feedback from your agent as it happens or only when you get some positive news. I wanted the former.

GetAHaircutCarl Wed 20-Sep-17 18:45:33

Someone cleverer than me once coined publishing timescales as glacial.

Dontrocktheboat Thu 21-Sep-17 09:19:20

Thanks getahaircut - glacial is what I feared! I guess they have to have time to read it and discuss and make a decision so I need to be patient! Bit confused though as there seemed to be a thought that submission should be in advance of Frankfurt book fair, which gave some sense of urgency, so not really sure what that is about (or even what happens at s book fair really....)

GetAHaircutCarl Thu 21-Sep-17 09:26:50

A book fair is where agents and publishers are all under one roof and try to interest one another in their books/authors.

How many deals are actually done there I don't know.
Not many I suspect.

Dontrocktheboat Thu 21-Sep-17 09:33:33

Yes, that's the general idea I had .... So I guess perhaps the plan to submit manuscript ahead of the book fair was to be able to talk to publishers about it there and also (as I gather) scouts for foreign right companies etc).

So not sure am going to hear much in advance of this - though on the other hand they may all have decided to reject it before it even gets there! (Need to stop dwelling on this so much!)

GetAHaircutCarl Thu 21-Sep-17 09:41:42

I'm sure your agent will have a plan.

Perhaps send out your novel ( or an outline and first chapter), then agree to meet up with potential buyers at the fair for a face to face. That way a lot of meetings can take place over a few days.

Whether anyone can make an offer at the fair I don't know. These days, publishers want to discuss a potential purchase with everyone from the sales to the art department. They're so bloody conservative!

Dontrocktheboat Thu 21-Sep-17 17:12:51

Thanks - she seems to have a plan, guess I just have to wait and get on with something else!

histinyhandsarefrozen Sat 23-Sep-17 09:28:08

Hello don'trock,

I remember you from other thread. ''Tis I, helmet. Hooray for having an agent, and her submitting...

my experience- last year, agent submitted about may. She went v quiet. I've worked out No news is bad news. I poked her and she explained, end of Aug, that we were at the end of the line. Boo.

I revamped a mss, submitted it, agent liked it, reworked it a bit, then started submitting again in April/may this year.

Nothing. Nothing. Nothing.

And then two weeks ago, (four months after submission), a bite! Hopefully signing a three book deal next week.
(I say hopefully coz I'm so nervous.)
Anyway, the point I wanted to make is....you might have to wait bloody ages, so, as op have advised, and you have agreed! try and immerse yourself in next project.

Good luck!

Dontrocktheboat Sun 24-Sep-17 15:42:51

Hi histiny, yes remember you well from other thread! That's great that you have a book deal now, it must be a fantastic feeling - sounds like it was a really long, drawn out process though, which is making my heart sink further.....,

Were you writing YA fiction ? Did you submit an entirely different manuscript second time or a reworked version of first?

Madhairday Sun 24-Sep-17 15:55:56

Oh dontrock, I hope you hear something soon! I've learned that publishing wheels turn very, very slowly indeed and there is a lot of waiting. I have a non fiction book in edits at the moment before the publishers make a final decision and also another publisher looking at my fiction book. They emailed me about 3 weeks ago to say they were about to look at my full Ms and would let me know their decision in the middle of September. It's not the middle of September anymore! <pouts>

Brilliant, though, that you've come this far, with an agent submitting. Shows your work is excellent - well done! But I feel your pain so much. It's so hard!

Fingers crossed you hear soon.

Dontrocktheboat Sun 24-Sep-17 18:43:16

Thanks, Madhairday - good to hear about different experiences (though they all seem to confirm the slowness!) I hope you hear something from your publisher soon too!

WhatwouldOliviaPopedo Mon 25-Sep-17 09:20:08

My agent told me there's always a mad rush by everyone to submit to publishers before Frankfurt/London book fairs in the hope of getting The Six-Figure Deal Everyone's Talking About so it's likely your m/s is caught up in the stampede as it's Frankfurt in a couple of weeks. So don't worry, no news doesn't mean bad news!

Dontrocktheboat Mon 25-Sep-17 12:02:02

Thanks Whatwouldolivia - that's a really good point that i had not actually thought of ! (Kind of makes you wonder if their is ever a good time to submit though...)

histinyhandsarefrozen Tue 26-Sep-17 12:18:35

Hi Don't rock, yes, first book was YA, second book is/was totally different - contemporary women's fiction maybe?

What genre is yours? (sorry I don't remember)

Yes, the Frankfurt book fair is next week?/soon. That will slow things down again, I imagine.

Hey Madhair, 2 books out there is great - hope you get good news soon.

Dontrocktheboat Tue 26-Sep-17 12:34:16

Hi, histiny, I guess mine is literary fiction (ie doesn't fit anywhere else!)

Impressed you had the motivation to go on and write a completely different book! When is it going to be published?

Had 2 rejections now from publishers submitted to, both very complimentary but still rejections (agent says this is normal and also that you don't always get feedback/ compliments however I guess it is her job to remain optimistic!)

Did you get much feedback from publishers you approached before getting the deal?

histinyhandsarefrozen Wed 27-Sep-17 12:14:52

I dunno if it was motivation or desperation. smile It wasn't starting from scratch, I already had written it as a stage play, oddly enough. Once, I'd got the voice sorted, adapting it was quite quick.
May next year, I think.

With the first book, I got lots of feedback which I was lamenting about on the other thread. It was mostly nice stuff which kind of makes it worse! With this one, there must have been 4 months worth of rejections which the agent didn't tell me much. In hindsight, that was probably a good thing.

I imagine your agent sent to about 12-15 publishers as first round. There's a long way to go. It does feel like, 'wow, if its not snapped up immediately no one will ever want it' but that's not true at all. They're all thinking about their 'lists' and if or where your book would fit...

Bunglemyjungle Wed 27-Sep-17 12:23:47

OP, I am published. My debut was a bestseller.

It took two books for me to sell. Each submission took 2-3 weeks though. My second submission - the successful one - I had a pre-empt on day 13.

Kaybush Wed 27-Sep-17 12:41:49

I hope I'm not derailing this thread, but I'm currently writing my first book and have recently heard a worrying rumour.

Nearly all publishers websites ask you to write the whole book, but to submit just a chapter plus plot synopsis to them for review.

I read recently that what they then do is take your idea and give it to one of the established writers on their books to write as their own, giving them a bigger guarantee of success.

Have any of you heard of this and, if it does happen, how do you ensure your idea isn't stolen? It's a big overriding question for me as I write.

The best of luck OP and hope you get a book deal!

GetAHaircutCarl Wed 27-Sep-17 12:49:46

kay I've never heard of that happening. Indeed I can't see why any established writer would need to do that. They have plenty of their own ideas.

Don't get me wrong. I do have discussions with my editor and agent about what to do next. And they make suggestions, or, more often, consider my ideas and comment upon them as to which they see as having the longest legs.

But I've never been presented with a fully fledged plot and asked to write it. What would be the point of that?

Kaybush Wed 27-Sep-17 13:30:10

Thanks GetAHaircutCarl - I'm feel a bit better about my endeavours now!

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