I asked each of the participates about the timeline of publishing their books . . .
Ranee`: What was the timeline between when you submitted and your acceptance?
Sherry Gammon: 48 hours! Not really a question for me . . . just trying to be funny!
Jolene Perry: Most big pub houses will take at least 8 weeks. At LEAST. I have a book that's been on sub for almost a year . . .
Jennifer Griffith: That's a long time, Jolene. I guess the pins and needles would subside a bit after that long.
Jolene Perry: They totally do. And you stop getting excited when you hear from an editor who LOVES your work. It opens doors for later, but still a bummer when you think - I'M THERE!! Time for my national contract was about 8 weeks, but they already knew me, so that helped. It'll be over a year before it’s on shelves at B and N and I'm lucky it's not two
Jennifer Griffith: My first query to them [Jolly Fish], within about 2 weeks I got a request for the first three chapters, then another two weeks and they wanted the first 50 pages (or something like that), and then they wanted the full. Within 8 weeks from my initial query, I was signing a contract. From query to shelves, it will be 9 months. Super fast, right?
Ranee`: YES--isn't that the time it took to get an acceptance from Covenant, Krista? ;)
Krista: Like I said before, it was 9 months until I heard from them. But at 8 months I sent an email asking if they lost it! HA! They told me it was on the table and to give them a few more weeks. I was pretty happy with that. But it was a LONG 9 months. I COULD HAVE HAD A BABY!
Jennifer Griffith: Hahaha! Sometimes birthing a novel is like birthing a baby.
Jolene Perry: With less throwing up ;)
Jennifer Griffith: I don't know . . .
Jennifer Griffith: Sometimes there's throwing up.
Jolene Perry: ROFL Jennifer . . .
Krista: The following submissions, after being accepted once, were only a couple months, max.
Jennifer Griffith: It does speed up with subsequent novels.
Jolene Perry: Well, like you're set up with them now, like Melanie is set up with Covenant.
Jennifer Griffith: I've never submitted a subsequent novel within six months of one coming out. I'm not a writing machine, I guess. Too many kids.
Krista: I submitted the third book to THE ORCHARD series, and they held off. It's rare they accept more than 2 books from a series from a new author let alone three before they see sales.
Ranee`: So let's go with, describe your decision to sign the contract.
Jennifer Griffith: Just that gut feeling. I loved their enthusiasm for my project. I knew if they were as enthusiastic about it (which was more than I could say at the time because I was SO sick of seeing that book!) they’d do a good job throwing it out at the world.
Oh, plus they had good distribution.
Barnes and Noble contacts.
And the Exec Ed had worked at Penguin.
Jolene Perry: WOW - that's why they're doing so well - awesome to get in at the beginning Jennifer. What some people don't realize is that B and N will only shelve two books per author per year. It's one of the reasons that prolific authors will write under more than one name.
Jennifer Griffith: So nervous for my sales numbers. Can't see straight. It's where the throwing up comes in.
Ranee`: Jo, I'd love to see your thoughts on your contract with Tribute for NIGHT SKY and KNEE DEEP, about your decision to work with them.
Jolene Perry: Tribute is WAY nice. WAY nice. They gave me several choices for covers. Nicole has been great at getting me all over the blogosphere, but if a small press can't get you in bookstores, my feeling is you're probably better to go it alone.
Ranee`: Okay, this one is going to be mostly for Sherry, and then also for Jo as well. Describe your decision to self-publish.
Jolene Perry: The book I self-pubbed with a good friend in two weeks sold more than double what Night Sky and Knee Deep did combined. Our book is priced the same, and I have NO idea what the difference is except that there's this awesome community of book buyers that love self-published books.
Sherry Gammon: I tried to go traditional but no one would even read my story. I heard about self-publishing and thought I’d give it a try. Best decision I ever made. I do wish I had hired an editor right off. I didn't hire Ranee until this past February. I'd never skip that again!
Ranee`: Thanks, Sherry. :)
Jennifer Griffith: This is anecdotal but my friend Donna has self-pubbed three novellas and they sell double what her 3 traditionally published novels sell. They're ebooks. So, yeah. There's that.
Tomorrow: All about editing.