books aren’t just what we do, they’re who we are


I’m about to head off for a somewhat unexpected trip, but before I do, I wanted to say something about waiting. One of my authors who’s awaiting a response from an editor made a comment the other day about publishing time bearing a stronger resemblance to glacial time than normal, human time. And unfortunately, it’s totally true. Like my Ask Daphne question of the other day, you may think it wouldn’t take long to read a 250 word manuscript, but what about all the other 250 word manuscripts on that editor’s or agent’s desk? What about the 250,000 word manuscripts? And then there’s all the meetings, and work to be done on already acquired manuscripts…
Let’s just say, if you want a career in publishing, get used to waiting.
And don’t think it’s only on the author’s side of things — as agents, we have to wait ALL THE TIME. We wait to hear the news from an acquisitions meeting, we wait for draft contracts, we wait for payments and royalty statements… we wait a lot.
So we know what you’re going through. And my advice for myself, as well as for you, is the same thing: Keep busy! Waiting on a draft contract from publisher A? Email editor B for a response to a manuscript. Waiting on a response to manuscript C? Read author D’s latest revision. Waiting for a response from Agent E? Write your next book!

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