Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Manuscript Therapy

My agent sent out my non-fiction book to an editor at a major publishing house (Transworld) a couple of months ago. It was in an advanced but incomplete stage and we got word back from the editor saying he was intrigued by the book's central premise, but thought that it needed some work to sound more convincing. He said he would "love" to be able to see the complete manuscript. I finished it a couple of months ago and sent it back to him. My agent seen him a month later at the London Book Fair and the editor let him know he was "very positive" about it, but now needed to "get his senior collegues on board". The London Book Fair was two months ago now and I've since chewed my nails down to a gnarly stump, but still no word back. I thought the editor's response sounded like he was going to take it to an acquisitions meeting, but does it usually take so long to prepare? I thought that the whole acquisitions process thing would be a hell of a lot quicker than this. Is this a good or bad sign? Help! The longy waitness is driving me mental!
Yes, it takes that long sometimes. Look, this is promising. And even if it doesn't pan out at this publisher, this is promising in terms of the project's eventual publication somewhere. Your agent could certainly nudge the editor now to remind him, but take deep breaths. Your manuscript is in a good place, emotionally. Put yourself there, too.


Chris Eldin said...

We all need more therapy posts.

Stephanie J. Blake said...

Therapy for waiting.

Sign me up!

Anonymous said...

I have my fingers crossed for you!

I was in this situation recently. It took a couple of months between an editor's positive comments and an actual offer. I had written it off as a no in my mind. Turns out they had been doing a lot of work (cover ideas, promotion plans etc) in those few months. I imagine in non-fiction there is even more research to do, to see if there is a gap in the market and so on.

Good luck! Have you started writing the next thing?

Kristi Holl said...

I wonder if this is something new we're running into. Lately with my book contracts, the process has gotten a lot slower, but when the contract finally is offered, a tremendous amount of marketing pre-think has already been done. In years past, I don't remember so much of it being done until quite a bit further along in the process. And all that marketing research takes time. I think they want to be very sure ahead of time that it has a good chance out there.

Anonymous said...

Thanks anon.
Yeah there's so much to the acquistions process that you can't even begin to second guess it. As for the next project, that has to wait until I get this one up to the standard I want it. I just want to make sure I'm in a better position with the next publisher if this one comes back with a rejection. I don't know about fiction, but the room for approval in non-fiction seems to be never ending.
Good luck with your book too!
You seem to be better at the waiting game than me!

A patient mental.

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