The Waiting Game

on November 10, 2005

Publishing is an odd business. I’m still learning the ropes, but the more I know the more I realize I don’t know.

For example, there is a lot of “hurry-up-and-wait” in the business. Considering patience is not my strong suit, can you imagine my frustration these last 20 months? I’ve often said me getting published is penance for my lack of patience.

First, my sale came quickly–a week after my agent sent out my manuscript (now known as The Prey. This was in March of 2004. The book hits the shelves December 27, 2005. That’s a long time. I know at least six people off the top of my head who sold well after me and already have their books out.

Not that I’m complaining. There were valid reasons my book took so long to be published, namely I needed to write a trilogy.

We had so much time at the beginning . . . months for revisions, for example. But there were times I thought everyone had forgot about me because I didn’t hear anything from my editor or agent. Then I learned that publishing has a schedule and they work about six months out. So a January release gets priority in about June. My March release is in production now, meaning I’ll be seeing the copyedits in a week or so. But a year ago? I was a speck on the radar.

But what does being done mean for me? It means, aside for the relatively easy process of copy edits and page proofs for The Kill, I now have 47 days to stress and be neurotic as P-Day approaches. I’ve asked multi-pubbed authors if it gets any easier, and they just laugh at me (very nicely, of course, because writers as a whole are a great bunch of people, even when they’re laughing at you.)

Some authors focus on self-promotion, and I suppose I do some of that, but I have this big problem spending money when I can’t see the immediate result, or that doesn’t have a proven trackrecord. And there are soooooo many things we can do from bookmarks to postcards to ads that it can easily exceed ones advance if you’re not careful.

So right now I’m putting together my press kits. I have an on-line kit, but I’m going to send out a hard copy via snail mail with everything I have on-line, plus an excerpt from each book. It’s very hard to get earned media outside of the romance publications, and I might be wasting my time, but I won’t be wasting a lot of money so I figure it’s my time to waste, right?

Besides, if I didn’t have something to do I’d go batty waiting for December 27. I might do something completely neurotic, like clean out my pantry (did it yesterday), go shopping (daily), or scrub down the refrigerator (on the schedule for today.)

Gasp . . . I’ve already gone batty.

Of course, I could always write another book . . .