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Thursday, May 24, 2012

The Pub Panel: Part 3, Publishing Timelines

If you missed Part 1 and Part 2, see them here

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.
Krista: HAHA
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.

1 comment:

  1. This was a really cool thing to be a part of. I definitely learned a lot, and it solidified how I felt on things I'd already decided.


About Me!

I've been writing since I was old enough to grasp a crayon--my grandma even has an early copy of a "book" I made her. I have a bachelor's degree in history from the University of Wyoming and will (hopefully) soon be starting a graduate program in English. When I'm not breaking up impromptu UFC fights in the living room or losing miserably to my boys at Uno, I'm ... well, writing or editing, of course! I'm married to my best friend, and we have three rambunctious but simply amazing little boys.


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