Shattering Illusions

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Pat Rice here:

Suffering the summer doldrums and reaching into Ye Olde Wench Question Box.  Madelaine Culp has come up with a question my tired brain might be able to handle, and I owe her a recent Patricia Rice book of her choice.

“I’d love to know how these authors submit their books to publishers now that they have a fan base and following—full manuscript?  Partial? Proposal? Or just write me a book by Christmas order?   Since everything is now governed by computers, do these authors still use paper and snail mail, or electronics?  And how so? Hey, maybe their agents call and say ‘So-and –so house needs a book by Monday. Whatcha’ got?’”

Oh, such a lovely, wonderful world that you live in Madelaine!  Would that I could go there. Maybe, once upon a long time ago, or twenty-five years, whichever comes first, selling by Christmas order might Christmas_presents
have been possible.  Some of my early proposals were sold simply because my editor told me she had an opening in next year’s schedule if I could fill it. Maybe some authors still do this today. Not me. (And never, ever by Monday! It takes roughly six months from a finished, approved manuscript to produce a copyedited, printed book and sell it into the stores. We won’t go into how long it takes to produce that ms!).

Today, a very basic process of obtaining a new contract for established authors such as the wenches would be:
(a) submitting a proposal of roughly 50 pages to editor/agent
(b) submitting a “concept” to an established editor who agrees to go to contract based on the idea but expects a proposal later.

Books
Of course, many of us have multi-book contracts, so we might just talk about the next book of the contract with our editors, then begin refining the idea, and the process generates from there.  The hardcovers and trade editions that the Susans are writing tend to be single book contracts, and they require much toing-and-froing between agent/author/editor until the topic is nailed, a proposal is approved, and a contract generated.  It can, indeed, be a hair-pulling process.

And should we decide we’d like to dabble our toes in a different genre than we’re currently writing (oh, the horror!), the business is set up to crush our frail egos (I promise, they’re frail!). First, we must consult with our agents to be certain writing Frankenstein meets Bo Peep won’t kill our current careers, destroy our sales numbers on the computers, insult our editors, and require a complete changeBo_peep
of name.  Once we’ve been patted on the head and assured that the world is waiting breathlessly for Bo Peep’s fate, we then have to research our premise, write at least fifty pages plus a summary of what happens next, and—heart in throat—hand our newborn infant to our agent.  Who may laugh herself silly and say forget it, we’ll ruin our numbers, insult our editors, etc.  Really, business people lack our imagination. They can’t know these things until we turn in an actual product.

But should Bo Peep really fill a perceived niche in the market, our agents then send the baby out to be admired.  Up until recently, this was still done the old way by killing trees and keeping couriers and post offices employed.  But mail costs and slow speed and just the general foolishness of sticking to paper proposals has dragged most of the business into the electronic age.  Both my editor and my agent now agree to even receive the whole book electronically, as of last year. See how modern publishing is? So Bo Peep can be sent to several interested editors with one punch of a computer key, or she can be sent exclusively to a preferred editor.

Holding_head
And then we chew our fingernails to the knuckles, dye our rapidly graying hairs, punch windows in our walls with our heads, and wait. And wait. Because—despite the speed of electronics—editors still read at the speed of molasses in January. I know, I know, they’re covered up in work these days, and reading proposals is something they do while watching holes sprout in walls. Even after they’ve read it, the proposal is usually submitted to a committee of naysayers for more argument. At this point, anything beyond “Oh, isn’t this baby adorable!” is agony.

Of course, even after re-doing our walls and hair, if the baby is rejected, the agony is a thousand times worse than waiting.  By now, most of the wenches are well aware that we can write, and that anyRejection
rejection is a result of market conditions, but…  Rejection hurts.  We wouldn’t have proposed a new book if we weren’t a hundred percent confident that the book will sell, but publishing has become a numbers game.  If the Bo Peep market is only half the size of our historical audience, it’s not practical to pay us for a year’s worth of work.  Or maybe the editor just bought a Dracula meets Bo Peep book and doesn’t want two authors in that niche.  Or maybe marketing says Bo Peep is getting old and their money is on Little Red Riding Hood this month.  And even though Bo Peep is a fantastic book, there just isn’t room in next year’s schedule for her. It’s enough to make one want to eat their babies, except megabytes aren’t very filling.

SledgehammerDoes anyone else have any illusions they’d like shattered?  My sledgehammer is ready. 

125 thoughts on “Shattering Illusions”

  1. Pat, I do have a question about the comment you made on having to change your name…
    Several authors write one genre under one name and one genre under another. If I can phrase my question correctly, do the two different pen names generally come from the agent/editor’s suggestion? And why?
    The reason I ask this is because the author behind the pen name is generally exposed, either immediately or eventually, so do they think the book is good enough, but people won’t be interested if a contemporary vampire novel comes from a regency historical author?
    Convoluted question I suppose, but I’ve always wondered that.
    Thanks!

    Reply
  2. Pat, I do have a question about the comment you made on having to change your name…
    Several authors write one genre under one name and one genre under another. If I can phrase my question correctly, do the two different pen names generally come from the agent/editor’s suggestion? And why?
    The reason I ask this is because the author behind the pen name is generally exposed, either immediately or eventually, so do they think the book is good enough, but people won’t be interested if a contemporary vampire novel comes from a regency historical author?
    Convoluted question I suppose, but I’ve always wondered that.
    Thanks!

    Reply
  3. Pat, I do have a question about the comment you made on having to change your name…
    Several authors write one genre under one name and one genre under another. If I can phrase my question correctly, do the two different pen names generally come from the agent/editor’s suggestion? And why?
    The reason I ask this is because the author behind the pen name is generally exposed, either immediately or eventually, so do they think the book is good enough, but people won’t be interested if a contemporary vampire novel comes from a regency historical author?
    Convoluted question I suppose, but I’ve always wondered that.
    Thanks!

    Reply
  4. Pat, I do have a question about the comment you made on having to change your name…
    Several authors write one genre under one name and one genre under another. If I can phrase my question correctly, do the two different pen names generally come from the agent/editor’s suggestion? And why?
    The reason I ask this is because the author behind the pen name is generally exposed, either immediately or eventually, so do they think the book is good enough, but people won’t be interested if a contemporary vampire novel comes from a regency historical author?
    Convoluted question I suppose, but I’ve always wondered that.
    Thanks!

    Reply
  5. Pat, I do have a question about the comment you made on having to change your name…
    Several authors write one genre under one name and one genre under another. If I can phrase my question correctly, do the two different pen names generally come from the agent/editor’s suggestion? And why?
    The reason I ask this is because the author behind the pen name is generally exposed, either immediately or eventually, so do they think the book is good enough, but people won’t be interested if a contemporary vampire novel comes from a regency historical author?
    Convoluted question I suppose, but I’ve always wondered that.
    Thanks!

    Reply
  6. sledgehammer indeed. the graphic of the writer tearing out hair at the keyboard seems woefully apt.
    but – “Frankenstein meets Bo Peep” – hahaha! reminds me of the classic animated short “Bambi meets Godzilla”. lasts about 30 seconds and mademe laugh for half an hour

    Reply
  7. sledgehammer indeed. the graphic of the writer tearing out hair at the keyboard seems woefully apt.
    but – “Frankenstein meets Bo Peep” – hahaha! reminds me of the classic animated short “Bambi meets Godzilla”. lasts about 30 seconds and mademe laugh for half an hour

    Reply
  8. sledgehammer indeed. the graphic of the writer tearing out hair at the keyboard seems woefully apt.
    but – “Frankenstein meets Bo Peep” – hahaha! reminds me of the classic animated short “Bambi meets Godzilla”. lasts about 30 seconds and mademe laugh for half an hour

    Reply
  9. sledgehammer indeed. the graphic of the writer tearing out hair at the keyboard seems woefully apt.
    but – “Frankenstein meets Bo Peep” – hahaha! reminds me of the classic animated short “Bambi meets Godzilla”. lasts about 30 seconds and mademe laugh for half an hour

    Reply
  10. sledgehammer indeed. the graphic of the writer tearing out hair at the keyboard seems woefully apt.
    but – “Frankenstein meets Bo Peep” – hahaha! reminds me of the classic animated short “Bambi meets Godzilla”. lasts about 30 seconds and mademe laugh for half an hour

    Reply
  11. Theo, using different names can come about for a multitude of reasons. Trying not to scare off one’s sweet Regency readers by writing vampire gothics under the same name is one of them. It doesn’t matter if the reader later learns the same writer writes both kinds of material if they know they can pick up the name they like and read the genre they want.
    Another reason for having two names is so the computers that record sales number won’t confuse the books of A.Author, multi-million selling historical writer, with the titles by A. Author, midlist contemporary romance author. Computers are ignorant. When generating orders, they don’t know to order a kazillion more copies of the historical. They just look at the last A. Author sales figure and base their orders on that. I know, I know… but remember publishing is just accepting electronic submissions! Teaching old dogs new tricks takes time.
    LOL, Maya. Maybe I ought to make videos…

    Reply
  12. Theo, using different names can come about for a multitude of reasons. Trying not to scare off one’s sweet Regency readers by writing vampire gothics under the same name is one of them. It doesn’t matter if the reader later learns the same writer writes both kinds of material if they know they can pick up the name they like and read the genre they want.
    Another reason for having two names is so the computers that record sales number won’t confuse the books of A.Author, multi-million selling historical writer, with the titles by A. Author, midlist contemporary romance author. Computers are ignorant. When generating orders, they don’t know to order a kazillion more copies of the historical. They just look at the last A. Author sales figure and base their orders on that. I know, I know… but remember publishing is just accepting electronic submissions! Teaching old dogs new tricks takes time.
    LOL, Maya. Maybe I ought to make videos…

    Reply
  13. Theo, using different names can come about for a multitude of reasons. Trying not to scare off one’s sweet Regency readers by writing vampire gothics under the same name is one of them. It doesn’t matter if the reader later learns the same writer writes both kinds of material if they know they can pick up the name they like and read the genre they want.
    Another reason for having two names is so the computers that record sales number won’t confuse the books of A.Author, multi-million selling historical writer, with the titles by A. Author, midlist contemporary romance author. Computers are ignorant. When generating orders, they don’t know to order a kazillion more copies of the historical. They just look at the last A. Author sales figure and base their orders on that. I know, I know… but remember publishing is just accepting electronic submissions! Teaching old dogs new tricks takes time.
    LOL, Maya. Maybe I ought to make videos…

    Reply
  14. Theo, using different names can come about for a multitude of reasons. Trying not to scare off one’s sweet Regency readers by writing vampire gothics under the same name is one of them. It doesn’t matter if the reader later learns the same writer writes both kinds of material if they know they can pick up the name they like and read the genre they want.
    Another reason for having two names is so the computers that record sales number won’t confuse the books of A.Author, multi-million selling historical writer, with the titles by A. Author, midlist contemporary romance author. Computers are ignorant. When generating orders, they don’t know to order a kazillion more copies of the historical. They just look at the last A. Author sales figure and base their orders on that. I know, I know… but remember publishing is just accepting electronic submissions! Teaching old dogs new tricks takes time.
    LOL, Maya. Maybe I ought to make videos…

    Reply
  15. Theo, using different names can come about for a multitude of reasons. Trying not to scare off one’s sweet Regency readers by writing vampire gothics under the same name is one of them. It doesn’t matter if the reader later learns the same writer writes both kinds of material if they know they can pick up the name they like and read the genre they want.
    Another reason for having two names is so the computers that record sales number won’t confuse the books of A.Author, multi-million selling historical writer, with the titles by A. Author, midlist contemporary romance author. Computers are ignorant. When generating orders, they don’t know to order a kazillion more copies of the historical. They just look at the last A. Author sales figure and base their orders on that. I know, I know… but remember publishing is just accepting electronic submissions! Teaching old dogs new tricks takes time.
    LOL, Maya. Maybe I ought to make videos…

    Reply
  16. [Computers are ignorant.]
    OMG! Too funny! You’re absolutely right, of course, but that’s just too funny, seeing as they’re only as ‘smart’ as the people who program them…
    Thanks for explaining though. It makes sense and I appreciate it. 🙂

    Reply
  17. [Computers are ignorant.]
    OMG! Too funny! You’re absolutely right, of course, but that’s just too funny, seeing as they’re only as ‘smart’ as the people who program them…
    Thanks for explaining though. It makes sense and I appreciate it. 🙂

    Reply
  18. [Computers are ignorant.]
    OMG! Too funny! You’re absolutely right, of course, but that’s just too funny, seeing as they’re only as ‘smart’ as the people who program them…
    Thanks for explaining though. It makes sense and I appreciate it. 🙂

    Reply
  19. [Computers are ignorant.]
    OMG! Too funny! You’re absolutely right, of course, but that’s just too funny, seeing as they’re only as ‘smart’ as the people who program them…
    Thanks for explaining though. It makes sense and I appreciate it. 🙂

    Reply
  20. [Computers are ignorant.]
    OMG! Too funny! You’re absolutely right, of course, but that’s just too funny, seeing as they’re only as ‘smart’ as the people who program them…
    Thanks for explaining though. It makes sense and I appreciate it. 🙂

    Reply
  21. Please, Pat, please, tell us which publisher does the Christmas-order method! Bet it’s the same one that pays advances and royalties promptly. *g*
    Confusing everything about proposals further, of course, is that editors are human, and every one of them seems to have different, personal requirements. Even at the same publisher, Editor A might want a detailed proposal 100 pages long, while Editor B doesn’t want to be bothered with more than a three page quickie. For authors, every sale can be a moving target….argh!

    Reply
  22. Please, Pat, please, tell us which publisher does the Christmas-order method! Bet it’s the same one that pays advances and royalties promptly. *g*
    Confusing everything about proposals further, of course, is that editors are human, and every one of them seems to have different, personal requirements. Even at the same publisher, Editor A might want a detailed proposal 100 pages long, while Editor B doesn’t want to be bothered with more than a three page quickie. For authors, every sale can be a moving target….argh!

    Reply
  23. Please, Pat, please, tell us which publisher does the Christmas-order method! Bet it’s the same one that pays advances and royalties promptly. *g*
    Confusing everything about proposals further, of course, is that editors are human, and every one of them seems to have different, personal requirements. Even at the same publisher, Editor A might want a detailed proposal 100 pages long, while Editor B doesn’t want to be bothered with more than a three page quickie. For authors, every sale can be a moving target….argh!

    Reply
  24. Please, Pat, please, tell us which publisher does the Christmas-order method! Bet it’s the same one that pays advances and royalties promptly. *g*
    Confusing everything about proposals further, of course, is that editors are human, and every one of them seems to have different, personal requirements. Even at the same publisher, Editor A might want a detailed proposal 100 pages long, while Editor B doesn’t want to be bothered with more than a three page quickie. For authors, every sale can be a moving target….argh!

    Reply
  25. Please, Pat, please, tell us which publisher does the Christmas-order method! Bet it’s the same one that pays advances and royalties promptly. *g*
    Confusing everything about proposals further, of course, is that editors are human, and every one of them seems to have different, personal requirements. Even at the same publisher, Editor A might want a detailed proposal 100 pages long, while Editor B doesn’t want to be bothered with more than a three page quickie. For authors, every sale can be a moving target….argh!

    Reply
  26. The process you described is amazing. I truly thought that when authors reached your level of writing and number of books published that your editors and publishers just waited around for your next gem. I guess now I will wait with more patience for the next book from my favorite authors and be glad I do not have to go through the anticipation of being “chosen”.

    Reply
  27. The process you described is amazing. I truly thought that when authors reached your level of writing and number of books published that your editors and publishers just waited around for your next gem. I guess now I will wait with more patience for the next book from my favorite authors and be glad I do not have to go through the anticipation of being “chosen”.

    Reply
  28. The process you described is amazing. I truly thought that when authors reached your level of writing and number of books published that your editors and publishers just waited around for your next gem. I guess now I will wait with more patience for the next book from my favorite authors and be glad I do not have to go through the anticipation of being “chosen”.

    Reply
  29. The process you described is amazing. I truly thought that when authors reached your level of writing and number of books published that your editors and publishers just waited around for your next gem. I guess now I will wait with more patience for the next book from my favorite authors and be glad I do not have to go through the anticipation of being “chosen”.

    Reply
  30. The process you described is amazing. I truly thought that when authors reached your level of writing and number of books published that your editors and publishers just waited around for your next gem. I guess now I will wait with more patience for the next book from my favorite authors and be glad I do not have to go through the anticipation of being “chosen”.

    Reply
  31. Susan, NAL used to ask me if I had anything they could use, way back when they were just NAL and not Penguin Putnam Berkely Bantam or whatever in heck they are now. Back before the beancounters ruled.
    And amen about trying to hit moving targets! I’m thinking it would be easier if editors simply put out lists of what they want and let us target their lists.
    Yes, Samantha, please do bear with us. A multi-book contract may allow us to produce similar books within a reasonable amount of time, but once that contract is done—the process begins all over again.

    Reply
  32. Susan, NAL used to ask me if I had anything they could use, way back when they were just NAL and not Penguin Putnam Berkely Bantam or whatever in heck they are now. Back before the beancounters ruled.
    And amen about trying to hit moving targets! I’m thinking it would be easier if editors simply put out lists of what they want and let us target their lists.
    Yes, Samantha, please do bear with us. A multi-book contract may allow us to produce similar books within a reasonable amount of time, but once that contract is done—the process begins all over again.

    Reply
  33. Susan, NAL used to ask me if I had anything they could use, way back when they were just NAL and not Penguin Putnam Berkely Bantam or whatever in heck they are now. Back before the beancounters ruled.
    And amen about trying to hit moving targets! I’m thinking it would be easier if editors simply put out lists of what they want and let us target their lists.
    Yes, Samantha, please do bear with us. A multi-book contract may allow us to produce similar books within a reasonable amount of time, but once that contract is done—the process begins all over again.

    Reply
  34. Susan, NAL used to ask me if I had anything they could use, way back when they were just NAL and not Penguin Putnam Berkely Bantam or whatever in heck they are now. Back before the beancounters ruled.
    And amen about trying to hit moving targets! I’m thinking it would be easier if editors simply put out lists of what they want and let us target their lists.
    Yes, Samantha, please do bear with us. A multi-book contract may allow us to produce similar books within a reasonable amount of time, but once that contract is done—the process begins all over again.

    Reply
  35. Susan, NAL used to ask me if I had anything they could use, way back when they were just NAL and not Penguin Putnam Berkely Bantam or whatever in heck they are now. Back before the beancounters ruled.
    And amen about trying to hit moving targets! I’m thinking it would be easier if editors simply put out lists of what they want and let us target their lists.
    Yes, Samantha, please do bear with us. A multi-book contract may allow us to produce similar books within a reasonable amount of time, but once that contract is done—the process begins all over again.

    Reply
  36. The cousins who wrote as “Ellery Queen” wrote a series as “Barnaby Ross” to test whether the stellar reviews the EQ books garnered were accurate or just based on reputation.
    Elizabeth Linington/Dell Shannon used different names for different series.
    It can often be a kind of “branding,” like La Nora writing her futuristic romance/mysteries as J.D. Robb.
    Sometimes serious writers or scholars use a pseudonym for their fiction lest their professional identity be “tarnished”–like Poet Laureate C. Day Lewis (Nicholas Blake) and literary scholar Carolyn Heilbron (Amanda Cross).
    In one of Elisabeth Ogilvie’s romantic suspense novels, the heroine taught folklore and English literature at a select private college and also wrote Gothic romances as “Mariana Grange.” She said it felt like having one illegitimate child a year.

    Reply
  37. The cousins who wrote as “Ellery Queen” wrote a series as “Barnaby Ross” to test whether the stellar reviews the EQ books garnered were accurate or just based on reputation.
    Elizabeth Linington/Dell Shannon used different names for different series.
    It can often be a kind of “branding,” like La Nora writing her futuristic romance/mysteries as J.D. Robb.
    Sometimes serious writers or scholars use a pseudonym for their fiction lest their professional identity be “tarnished”–like Poet Laureate C. Day Lewis (Nicholas Blake) and literary scholar Carolyn Heilbron (Amanda Cross).
    In one of Elisabeth Ogilvie’s romantic suspense novels, the heroine taught folklore and English literature at a select private college and also wrote Gothic romances as “Mariana Grange.” She said it felt like having one illegitimate child a year.

    Reply
  38. The cousins who wrote as “Ellery Queen” wrote a series as “Barnaby Ross” to test whether the stellar reviews the EQ books garnered were accurate or just based on reputation.
    Elizabeth Linington/Dell Shannon used different names for different series.
    It can often be a kind of “branding,” like La Nora writing her futuristic romance/mysteries as J.D. Robb.
    Sometimes serious writers or scholars use a pseudonym for their fiction lest their professional identity be “tarnished”–like Poet Laureate C. Day Lewis (Nicholas Blake) and literary scholar Carolyn Heilbron (Amanda Cross).
    In one of Elisabeth Ogilvie’s romantic suspense novels, the heroine taught folklore and English literature at a select private college and also wrote Gothic romances as “Mariana Grange.” She said it felt like having one illegitimate child a year.

    Reply
  39. The cousins who wrote as “Ellery Queen” wrote a series as “Barnaby Ross” to test whether the stellar reviews the EQ books garnered were accurate or just based on reputation.
    Elizabeth Linington/Dell Shannon used different names for different series.
    It can often be a kind of “branding,” like La Nora writing her futuristic romance/mysteries as J.D. Robb.
    Sometimes serious writers or scholars use a pseudonym for their fiction lest their professional identity be “tarnished”–like Poet Laureate C. Day Lewis (Nicholas Blake) and literary scholar Carolyn Heilbron (Amanda Cross).
    In one of Elisabeth Ogilvie’s romantic suspense novels, the heroine taught folklore and English literature at a select private college and also wrote Gothic romances as “Mariana Grange.” She said it felt like having one illegitimate child a year.

    Reply
  40. The cousins who wrote as “Ellery Queen” wrote a series as “Barnaby Ross” to test whether the stellar reviews the EQ books garnered were accurate or just based on reputation.
    Elizabeth Linington/Dell Shannon used different names for different series.
    It can often be a kind of “branding,” like La Nora writing her futuristic romance/mysteries as J.D. Robb.
    Sometimes serious writers or scholars use a pseudonym for their fiction lest their professional identity be “tarnished”–like Poet Laureate C. Day Lewis (Nicholas Blake) and literary scholar Carolyn Heilbron (Amanda Cross).
    In one of Elisabeth Ogilvie’s romantic suspense novels, the heroine taught folklore and English literature at a select private college and also wrote Gothic romances as “Mariana Grange.” She said it felt like having one illegitimate child a year.

    Reply
  41. Pat, here’s a question that came up in my critique group recently. If Publisher A has all their slots filled, what happens if a really good manuscript by an unpub lands on their desk? Do they say, “Sorry, we absolutely loved your story and your writing is divine, but all our slots are filled,” or do they buy the book and make room for it?
    I was told that if all the slots are filled, then a really good manuscript will get turned down, regardless. I find that hard to believe. Would a publisher really turn down a truly wonderful manuscript because all their slots are filled?

    Reply
  42. Pat, here’s a question that came up in my critique group recently. If Publisher A has all their slots filled, what happens if a really good manuscript by an unpub lands on their desk? Do they say, “Sorry, we absolutely loved your story and your writing is divine, but all our slots are filled,” or do they buy the book and make room for it?
    I was told that if all the slots are filled, then a really good manuscript will get turned down, regardless. I find that hard to believe. Would a publisher really turn down a truly wonderful manuscript because all their slots are filled?

    Reply
  43. Pat, here’s a question that came up in my critique group recently. If Publisher A has all their slots filled, what happens if a really good manuscript by an unpub lands on their desk? Do they say, “Sorry, we absolutely loved your story and your writing is divine, but all our slots are filled,” or do they buy the book and make room for it?
    I was told that if all the slots are filled, then a really good manuscript will get turned down, regardless. I find that hard to believe. Would a publisher really turn down a truly wonderful manuscript because all their slots are filled?

    Reply
  44. Pat, here’s a question that came up in my critique group recently. If Publisher A has all their slots filled, what happens if a really good manuscript by an unpub lands on their desk? Do they say, “Sorry, we absolutely loved your story and your writing is divine, but all our slots are filled,” or do they buy the book and make room for it?
    I was told that if all the slots are filled, then a really good manuscript will get turned down, regardless. I find that hard to believe. Would a publisher really turn down a truly wonderful manuscript because all their slots are filled?

    Reply
  45. Pat, here’s a question that came up in my critique group recently. If Publisher A has all their slots filled, what happens if a really good manuscript by an unpub lands on their desk? Do they say, “Sorry, we absolutely loved your story and your writing is divine, but all our slots are filled,” or do they buy the book and make room for it?
    I was told that if all the slots are filled, then a really good manuscript will get turned down, regardless. I find that hard to believe. Would a publisher really turn down a truly wonderful manuscript because all their slots are filled?

    Reply
  46. LOL. Well, at least we know the process post-publication can be as harrowing as it is for the pre-published.
    Thanks….I think.
    Is the industry changing or moving so rapidly that it would be impossible for editors to put out a list, as Patricia suggests, of what they were targeting for a given publishing cycle or year?

    Reply
  47. LOL. Well, at least we know the process post-publication can be as harrowing as it is for the pre-published.
    Thanks….I think.
    Is the industry changing or moving so rapidly that it would be impossible for editors to put out a list, as Patricia suggests, of what they were targeting for a given publishing cycle or year?

    Reply
  48. LOL. Well, at least we know the process post-publication can be as harrowing as it is for the pre-published.
    Thanks….I think.
    Is the industry changing or moving so rapidly that it would be impossible for editors to put out a list, as Patricia suggests, of what they were targeting for a given publishing cycle or year?

    Reply
  49. LOL. Well, at least we know the process post-publication can be as harrowing as it is for the pre-published.
    Thanks….I think.
    Is the industry changing or moving so rapidly that it would be impossible for editors to put out a list, as Patricia suggests, of what they were targeting for a given publishing cycle or year?

    Reply
  50. LOL. Well, at least we know the process post-publication can be as harrowing as it is for the pre-published.
    Thanks….I think.
    Is the industry changing or moving so rapidly that it would be impossible for editors to put out a list, as Patricia suggests, of what they were targeting for a given publishing cycle or year?

    Reply
  51. Sherrie, I find it hard to imagine any publisher completely filling their slots unless they’re planning on going bankrupt in 2010. Yes, they’ll have slots earmarked for their regular authors and newly purchased ones through the next year. (and occasionally, even those slots open if someone has a life crisis and doesn’t turn in their book)
    If a new author presents a book an editor wants, they’ll schedule it two years down the road instead of in the current year. The revision/copyedit/galley process can take as long as nine months, anyway, so it’s unlikely a new author would be printed in the current slotted year.
    Now what might happen is as I mentioned in the blog–they have authors already scheduled to write vampire/werewolf/time travel/ whatever and those slots are full. So, yes, a publisher just might reject a wonderful book because they already have someone writing in that genre. Happens painfully often.
    Sorry, Santa, wish publishing really was a Christmas gift. “G” I don’t think it’s just a matter of the industry changing rapidly, although that’s certainly part of it. The biggest part is that editors really lack the imagination to know what to publish next. They don’t know what they want until they see it. I should have posted a graphic of a writer with a gun held to her head. Or pounding said head against wall, at the very least.

    Reply
  52. Sherrie, I find it hard to imagine any publisher completely filling their slots unless they’re planning on going bankrupt in 2010. Yes, they’ll have slots earmarked for their regular authors and newly purchased ones through the next year. (and occasionally, even those slots open if someone has a life crisis and doesn’t turn in their book)
    If a new author presents a book an editor wants, they’ll schedule it two years down the road instead of in the current year. The revision/copyedit/galley process can take as long as nine months, anyway, so it’s unlikely a new author would be printed in the current slotted year.
    Now what might happen is as I mentioned in the blog–they have authors already scheduled to write vampire/werewolf/time travel/ whatever and those slots are full. So, yes, a publisher just might reject a wonderful book because they already have someone writing in that genre. Happens painfully often.
    Sorry, Santa, wish publishing really was a Christmas gift. “G” I don’t think it’s just a matter of the industry changing rapidly, although that’s certainly part of it. The biggest part is that editors really lack the imagination to know what to publish next. They don’t know what they want until they see it. I should have posted a graphic of a writer with a gun held to her head. Or pounding said head against wall, at the very least.

    Reply
  53. Sherrie, I find it hard to imagine any publisher completely filling their slots unless they’re planning on going bankrupt in 2010. Yes, they’ll have slots earmarked for their regular authors and newly purchased ones through the next year. (and occasionally, even those slots open if someone has a life crisis and doesn’t turn in their book)
    If a new author presents a book an editor wants, they’ll schedule it two years down the road instead of in the current year. The revision/copyedit/galley process can take as long as nine months, anyway, so it’s unlikely a new author would be printed in the current slotted year.
    Now what might happen is as I mentioned in the blog–they have authors already scheduled to write vampire/werewolf/time travel/ whatever and those slots are full. So, yes, a publisher just might reject a wonderful book because they already have someone writing in that genre. Happens painfully often.
    Sorry, Santa, wish publishing really was a Christmas gift. “G” I don’t think it’s just a matter of the industry changing rapidly, although that’s certainly part of it. The biggest part is that editors really lack the imagination to know what to publish next. They don’t know what they want until they see it. I should have posted a graphic of a writer with a gun held to her head. Or pounding said head against wall, at the very least.

    Reply
  54. Sherrie, I find it hard to imagine any publisher completely filling their slots unless they’re planning on going bankrupt in 2010. Yes, they’ll have slots earmarked for their regular authors and newly purchased ones through the next year. (and occasionally, even those slots open if someone has a life crisis and doesn’t turn in their book)
    If a new author presents a book an editor wants, they’ll schedule it two years down the road instead of in the current year. The revision/copyedit/galley process can take as long as nine months, anyway, so it’s unlikely a new author would be printed in the current slotted year.
    Now what might happen is as I mentioned in the blog–they have authors already scheduled to write vampire/werewolf/time travel/ whatever and those slots are full. So, yes, a publisher just might reject a wonderful book because they already have someone writing in that genre. Happens painfully often.
    Sorry, Santa, wish publishing really was a Christmas gift. “G” I don’t think it’s just a matter of the industry changing rapidly, although that’s certainly part of it. The biggest part is that editors really lack the imagination to know what to publish next. They don’t know what they want until they see it. I should have posted a graphic of a writer with a gun held to her head. Or pounding said head against wall, at the very least.

    Reply
  55. Sherrie, I find it hard to imagine any publisher completely filling their slots unless they’re planning on going bankrupt in 2010. Yes, they’ll have slots earmarked for their regular authors and newly purchased ones through the next year. (and occasionally, even those slots open if someone has a life crisis and doesn’t turn in their book)
    If a new author presents a book an editor wants, they’ll schedule it two years down the road instead of in the current year. The revision/copyedit/galley process can take as long as nine months, anyway, so it’s unlikely a new author would be printed in the current slotted year.
    Now what might happen is as I mentioned in the blog–they have authors already scheduled to write vampire/werewolf/time travel/ whatever and those slots are full. So, yes, a publisher just might reject a wonderful book because they already have someone writing in that genre. Happens painfully often.
    Sorry, Santa, wish publishing really was a Christmas gift. “G” I don’t think it’s just a matter of the industry changing rapidly, although that’s certainly part of it. The biggest part is that editors really lack the imagination to know what to publish next. They don’t know what they want until they see it. I should have posted a graphic of a writer with a gun held to her head. Or pounding said head against wall, at the very least.

    Reply
  56. Pat, remember that Harlequin once turned down a new author not because her MS wasn’t good but because “we already have an American author.”
    The author they turned down: Nora Roberts
    The author they had: Janet Dailey
    (Source: THE NATURAL HISTORY OF THE ROMANCE NOVEL by Pamela Regis)

    Reply
  57. Pat, remember that Harlequin once turned down a new author not because her MS wasn’t good but because “we already have an American author.”
    The author they turned down: Nora Roberts
    The author they had: Janet Dailey
    (Source: THE NATURAL HISTORY OF THE ROMANCE NOVEL by Pamela Regis)

    Reply
  58. Pat, remember that Harlequin once turned down a new author not because her MS wasn’t good but because “we already have an American author.”
    The author they turned down: Nora Roberts
    The author they had: Janet Dailey
    (Source: THE NATURAL HISTORY OF THE ROMANCE NOVEL by Pamela Regis)

    Reply
  59. Pat, remember that Harlequin once turned down a new author not because her MS wasn’t good but because “we already have an American author.”
    The author they turned down: Nora Roberts
    The author they had: Janet Dailey
    (Source: THE NATURAL HISTORY OF THE ROMANCE NOVEL by Pamela Regis)

    Reply
  60. Pat, remember that Harlequin once turned down a new author not because her MS wasn’t good but because “we already have an American author.”
    The author they turned down: Nora Roberts
    The author they had: Janet Dailey
    (Source: THE NATURAL HISTORY OF THE ROMANCE NOVEL by Pamela Regis)

    Reply
  61. Well, there go all my preconceived ideas! Or at least some of them. I can’t imagine having to do a 50 page proposal, and then write a novel on top of that.
    Does the proposal outline the characters, and situations or is it like writing a 50 page chunk of the manuscript. (I’m remembering writing a 50 page paper for a university course – should have been a thesis, but was an undergrad course – and it was painful!) or is the 50 page proposal more of a general idea of what you would like to explore in your next 3 novels?
    So do new aspiring writers send in 50 page proposals or do they send in unsolicited manuscripts?

    Reply
  62. Well, there go all my preconceived ideas! Or at least some of them. I can’t imagine having to do a 50 page proposal, and then write a novel on top of that.
    Does the proposal outline the characters, and situations or is it like writing a 50 page chunk of the manuscript. (I’m remembering writing a 50 page paper for a university course – should have been a thesis, but was an undergrad course – and it was painful!) or is the 50 page proposal more of a general idea of what you would like to explore in your next 3 novels?
    So do new aspiring writers send in 50 page proposals or do they send in unsolicited manuscripts?

    Reply
  63. Well, there go all my preconceived ideas! Or at least some of them. I can’t imagine having to do a 50 page proposal, and then write a novel on top of that.
    Does the proposal outline the characters, and situations or is it like writing a 50 page chunk of the manuscript. (I’m remembering writing a 50 page paper for a university course – should have been a thesis, but was an undergrad course – and it was painful!) or is the 50 page proposal more of a general idea of what you would like to explore in your next 3 novels?
    So do new aspiring writers send in 50 page proposals or do they send in unsolicited manuscripts?

    Reply
  64. Well, there go all my preconceived ideas! Or at least some of them. I can’t imagine having to do a 50 page proposal, and then write a novel on top of that.
    Does the proposal outline the characters, and situations or is it like writing a 50 page chunk of the manuscript. (I’m remembering writing a 50 page paper for a university course – should have been a thesis, but was an undergrad course – and it was painful!) or is the 50 page proposal more of a general idea of what you would like to explore in your next 3 novels?
    So do new aspiring writers send in 50 page proposals or do they send in unsolicited manuscripts?

    Reply
  65. Well, there go all my preconceived ideas! Or at least some of them. I can’t imagine having to do a 50 page proposal, and then write a novel on top of that.
    Does the proposal outline the characters, and situations or is it like writing a 50 page chunk of the manuscript. (I’m remembering writing a 50 page paper for a university course – should have been a thesis, but was an undergrad course – and it was painful!) or is the 50 page proposal more of a general idea of what you would like to explore in your next 3 novels?
    So do new aspiring writers send in 50 page proposals or do they send in unsolicited manuscripts?

    Reply
  66. Piper,
    I can’t speak for the wenches, but in my case, being as I’m new, once the query has been read and the agent asks for more, I’ve sent everything from just the synopsis and the first 5 pages to a synopsis, the first 50 pages and last 10, with several variations in between so I think, as a new author, it’s probably much different than an established author. Not that an established author still doesn’t have certain criteria to meet in most cases, but I’m guessing it’s different for them because they have a proven track record of sales, whereas, the first time authors have no guarantee their novel will sell beyond the initial run, if that.
    But I could be dead wrong so…

    Reply
  67. Piper,
    I can’t speak for the wenches, but in my case, being as I’m new, once the query has been read and the agent asks for more, I’ve sent everything from just the synopsis and the first 5 pages to a synopsis, the first 50 pages and last 10, with several variations in between so I think, as a new author, it’s probably much different than an established author. Not that an established author still doesn’t have certain criteria to meet in most cases, but I’m guessing it’s different for them because they have a proven track record of sales, whereas, the first time authors have no guarantee their novel will sell beyond the initial run, if that.
    But I could be dead wrong so…

    Reply
  68. Piper,
    I can’t speak for the wenches, but in my case, being as I’m new, once the query has been read and the agent asks for more, I’ve sent everything from just the synopsis and the first 5 pages to a synopsis, the first 50 pages and last 10, with several variations in between so I think, as a new author, it’s probably much different than an established author. Not that an established author still doesn’t have certain criteria to meet in most cases, but I’m guessing it’s different for them because they have a proven track record of sales, whereas, the first time authors have no guarantee their novel will sell beyond the initial run, if that.
    But I could be dead wrong so…

    Reply
  69. Piper,
    I can’t speak for the wenches, but in my case, being as I’m new, once the query has been read and the agent asks for more, I’ve sent everything from just the synopsis and the first 5 pages to a synopsis, the first 50 pages and last 10, with several variations in between so I think, as a new author, it’s probably much different than an established author. Not that an established author still doesn’t have certain criteria to meet in most cases, but I’m guessing it’s different for them because they have a proven track record of sales, whereas, the first time authors have no guarantee their novel will sell beyond the initial run, if that.
    But I could be dead wrong so…

    Reply
  70. Piper,
    I can’t speak for the wenches, but in my case, being as I’m new, once the query has been read and the agent asks for more, I’ve sent everything from just the synopsis and the first 5 pages to a synopsis, the first 50 pages and last 10, with several variations in between so I think, as a new author, it’s probably much different than an established author. Not that an established author still doesn’t have certain criteria to meet in most cases, but I’m guessing it’s different for them because they have a proven track record of sales, whereas, the first time authors have no guarantee their novel will sell beyond the initial run, if that.
    But I could be dead wrong so…

    Reply
  71. You’re not dead wrong, Theo, although for established authors, it becomes more a number game–“we know she can write, but can she sell X number of books?” And “is this a concept that will sell X number of books?”
    By proposal, I generally mean the first 40-50 pages and a summary of the book (characters, setting, storyline, and a taste of the author’s voice). This is really difficult for “pantsters” since our first chapters morph as we write, so by the end of the book, there could be three more chapters in front of the ones we sent in. Or the ones we sent in could disappear entirely. So in a way, editors ARE buying on faith. “G”

    Reply
  72. You’re not dead wrong, Theo, although for established authors, it becomes more a number game–“we know she can write, but can she sell X number of books?” And “is this a concept that will sell X number of books?”
    By proposal, I generally mean the first 40-50 pages and a summary of the book (characters, setting, storyline, and a taste of the author’s voice). This is really difficult for “pantsters” since our first chapters morph as we write, so by the end of the book, there could be three more chapters in front of the ones we sent in. Or the ones we sent in could disappear entirely. So in a way, editors ARE buying on faith. “G”

    Reply
  73. You’re not dead wrong, Theo, although for established authors, it becomes more a number game–“we know she can write, but can she sell X number of books?” And “is this a concept that will sell X number of books?”
    By proposal, I generally mean the first 40-50 pages and a summary of the book (characters, setting, storyline, and a taste of the author’s voice). This is really difficult for “pantsters” since our first chapters morph as we write, so by the end of the book, there could be three more chapters in front of the ones we sent in. Or the ones we sent in could disappear entirely. So in a way, editors ARE buying on faith. “G”

    Reply
  74. You’re not dead wrong, Theo, although for established authors, it becomes more a number game–“we know she can write, but can she sell X number of books?” And “is this a concept that will sell X number of books?”
    By proposal, I generally mean the first 40-50 pages and a summary of the book (characters, setting, storyline, and a taste of the author’s voice). This is really difficult for “pantsters” since our first chapters morph as we write, so by the end of the book, there could be three more chapters in front of the ones we sent in. Or the ones we sent in could disappear entirely. So in a way, editors ARE buying on faith. “G”

    Reply
  75. You’re not dead wrong, Theo, although for established authors, it becomes more a number game–“we know she can write, but can she sell X number of books?” And “is this a concept that will sell X number of books?”
    By proposal, I generally mean the first 40-50 pages and a summary of the book (characters, setting, storyline, and a taste of the author’s voice). This is really difficult for “pantsters” since our first chapters morph as we write, so by the end of the book, there could be three more chapters in front of the ones we sent in. Or the ones we sent in could disappear entirely. So in a way, editors ARE buying on faith. “G”

    Reply
  76. Yeah, I’m a reformed pantser. “G” I try very hard to nail certain things before I set out on my voyage, but my concentration isn’t that good, and the characters develop such entertaining flaws as I write!

    Reply
  77. Yeah, I’m a reformed pantser. “G” I try very hard to nail certain things before I set out on my voyage, but my concentration isn’t that good, and the characters develop such entertaining flaws as I write!

    Reply
  78. Yeah, I’m a reformed pantser. “G” I try very hard to nail certain things before I set out on my voyage, but my concentration isn’t that good, and the characters develop such entertaining flaws as I write!

    Reply
  79. Yeah, I’m a reformed pantser. “G” I try very hard to nail certain things before I set out on my voyage, but my concentration isn’t that good, and the characters develop such entertaining flaws as I write!

    Reply
  80. Yeah, I’m a reformed pantser. “G” I try very hard to nail certain things before I set out on my voyage, but my concentration isn’t that good, and the characters develop such entertaining flaws as I write!

    Reply
  81. Theo, a “pantser” is someone who writes by the seat of her pants (a term from the early days of air flight) rather than by creating an elaborate outline, character profiles, etc. first.
    Pat: is a “reformed pantser” the same as a “late bloomer”?

    Reply
  82. Theo, a “pantser” is someone who writes by the seat of her pants (a term from the early days of air flight) rather than by creating an elaborate outline, character profiles, etc. first.
    Pat: is a “reformed pantser” the same as a “late bloomer”?

    Reply
  83. Theo, a “pantser” is someone who writes by the seat of her pants (a term from the early days of air flight) rather than by creating an elaborate outline, character profiles, etc. first.
    Pat: is a “reformed pantser” the same as a “late bloomer”?

    Reply
  84. Theo, a “pantser” is someone who writes by the seat of her pants (a term from the early days of air flight) rather than by creating an elaborate outline, character profiles, etc. first.
    Pat: is a “reformed pantser” the same as a “late bloomer”?

    Reply
  85. Theo, a “pantser” is someone who writes by the seat of her pants (a term from the early days of air flight) rather than by creating an elaborate outline, character profiles, etc. first.
    Pat: is a “reformed pantser” the same as a “late bloomer”?

    Reply
  86. LOL, not sure if getting organized qualifies for bloomdom, but I hold out hopes of creating tighter conflicts with a little more planning. Hopes. Not necessarily certainty.
    Theo, “outline” can be mean different things to different people. I know some authors who carefully outline the action/conflict/etc of every chapter before they start writing. Needless to say, I’m not one of them. And some people call a “synopsis” their outline.

    Reply
  87. LOL, not sure if getting organized qualifies for bloomdom, but I hold out hopes of creating tighter conflicts with a little more planning. Hopes. Not necessarily certainty.
    Theo, “outline” can be mean different things to different people. I know some authors who carefully outline the action/conflict/etc of every chapter before they start writing. Needless to say, I’m not one of them. And some people call a “synopsis” their outline.

    Reply
  88. LOL, not sure if getting organized qualifies for bloomdom, but I hold out hopes of creating tighter conflicts with a little more planning. Hopes. Not necessarily certainty.
    Theo, “outline” can be mean different things to different people. I know some authors who carefully outline the action/conflict/etc of every chapter before they start writing. Needless to say, I’m not one of them. And some people call a “synopsis” their outline.

    Reply
  89. LOL, not sure if getting organized qualifies for bloomdom, but I hold out hopes of creating tighter conflicts with a little more planning. Hopes. Not necessarily certainty.
    Theo, “outline” can be mean different things to different people. I know some authors who carefully outline the action/conflict/etc of every chapter before they start writing. Needless to say, I’m not one of them. And some people call a “synopsis” their outline.

    Reply
  90. LOL, not sure if getting organized qualifies for bloomdom, but I hold out hopes of creating tighter conflicts with a little more planning. Hopes. Not necessarily certainty.
    Theo, “outline” can be mean different things to different people. I know some authors who carefully outline the action/conflict/etc of every chapter before they start writing. Needless to say, I’m not one of them. And some people call a “synopsis” their outline.

    Reply
  91. Does it count if I know the first few sentences and the last four that make the HEA? I must be very bad. I belong to a group that does a prompt every two weeks and we do whatever with it but usually, I just take that and run with it and I never have an idea of where I’m going with it until I get to the end.

    Reply
  92. Does it count if I know the first few sentences and the last four that make the HEA? I must be very bad. I belong to a group that does a prompt every two weeks and we do whatever with it but usually, I just take that and run with it and I never have an idea of where I’m going with it until I get to the end.

    Reply
  93. Does it count if I know the first few sentences and the last four that make the HEA? I must be very bad. I belong to a group that does a prompt every two weeks and we do whatever with it but usually, I just take that and run with it and I never have an idea of where I’m going with it until I get to the end.

    Reply
  94. Does it count if I know the first few sentences and the last four that make the HEA? I must be very bad. I belong to a group that does a prompt every two weeks and we do whatever with it but usually, I just take that and run with it and I never have an idea of where I’m going with it until I get to the end.

    Reply
  95. Does it count if I know the first few sentences and the last four that make the HEA? I must be very bad. I belong to a group that does a prompt every two weeks and we do whatever with it but usually, I just take that and run with it and I never have an idea of where I’m going with it until I get to the end.

    Reply

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