Hello my Freaky Darlings,
I recently read a review of another author’s latest book. The reviewer commented that the author had only written two books since 2008. This comment made me wonder if the reviewer had ever written a decent book and then tried to get it published by a reputable publishing company. I also realised that most people don’t have a clue how long it actually takes to write a book, let alone get it published, especially if you don’t have an agent.
Now, I’m not the most prolific author, but I put a lot of thought, energy, and time into everything I write. The writing and publishing process takes a LONG time. From the time you get that little inkling of an idea scratching at your brainstem to the time the book finds itself on a bookshelf takes years.
Before I start writing a story, whether it’s a short or a full length novel, I do my research – which takes time. Then writing the first draft of a novel can take as long as a year or two, especially if you’re also working a normal day job on top of trying to write. Then the rewrites and editing starts which, depending on the author, can take another year.
Then the submission process starts. A publisher can take between 3 to 6 months to get back to you as to whether or not they’re even interested in reading the full manuscript. It then takes another 3 to 6 months for them to let you know if they want to publish it. If they say no, you have to start all over again.
One would think that after you’ve signed on the dotted line things would move along quickly, but you’d be wrong. You have to go through another round or two of edits with your new editor and the publisher has things that they have to do, so from the time you sign on the dotted line, it’ll probably take another year or so before the book is released. But there are times it takes even longer. Another friend of mine got a rather nice publishing deal. He even got a nice advance, but 5yrs down the line his book still isn’t out. The publisher hit a few financial snags and they also had quite a few other books that they were trying to get out.
So just because an author doesn’t have a book published every year, doesn’t mean they’re not writing.