So…the thing people tell you that you never, ever believe about the world of publishing is “prepare to wait.” Because…well, everyone else has to wait, right? Your query letter is the one that will get plucked from the pile and immediately noticed. Your story is the one that will sell the instant it goes to editors. Etc.
Maybe it’s my natural impatience (a character defect that continually smacks me in the face), but I seriously underestimated the time every publishing activity ever would take.
Publishing is one of those weird industries that simultaneously moves at the speed of light and the speed of a snail. The “hurry up and wait” phenomenon is in full force here. DEADLINE FRENZY is followed by the lull of the dead. And August?! Forget about it. Nothing happens in publishing in August! Nothing!
Things I’ve waited for in the world of publishing:
- Answers to my queries
- Reaction to my proposal (which got lost in the mail the first time ’round – God help me)
- The first book idea to sell (it didn’t)
- The second book idea to sell (okay, that happened relatively quickly, but a lifetime LIFETIME longer than I imagined)
- Edits and initial reviews
- Royalty statements
- A sense of unstoppable confidence
- A new book idea
- Critiques from every human whose opinion I admire (and those I most fear)
- My ship to come in
Waiting is a mixed bag, I suppose. In its masochistic way, it has taught me to trust myself and to just sit with my ideas, my hopes, and dreams that threaten to engulf me and others and the whole world. And one of my biggest pieces of publishing advice is still “prepare to wait.” What about you?
BIG DISCLAIMER: This isn’t directed at anyone personally, so don’t worry.