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  • Paul Davidson

The Lethargic World of Publishing

This is the second in my series of “The [Insert Adjective Here] World of Publishing” posts. Thank you to all who wrote, sent postcards and dropped me supportive e-mails for the series. It ensures that the third post, entitled “The Sucky-Annoying World of Publishing” will find its way to your computer screens in the near future.

As a published writer with one book under his belt, I’m always asked that extremely loaded question. That quesion is, what is your next book going to be? Fortunately for me, I was able to get that locked up by developing a few concepts and getting it to my agents a few months ago. It’s out of my hands. Gone. And now, I must play the waiting game.

And boy, have I been waiting.

For those who don’t know, it’s a long process from creating a book to getting the thing in stores. For Consumer Joe… I wrote the book in six months. It took six months to get it sold to Random House. Can you believe that publishers see about 250 book manuscripts a week? A WEEK. Insane. So it took months for them to get to mine. When they finally did and we agreed to the deal, that was a year from the point I first started writing.

Then, it took three months to get the contract from Random House. Then from that point, it took another year to get the book in stores. That next year involved editing the book, designing the book, getting it on the release calendar, etc etc etc… So, when you know it’s going to take at least two years to get a book out to the public, you hope the beginning stages move quicker than they do.

Like I said, I’m waiting. Waiting to hear back which ones strike a chord with my agency and which ones they want to send out to publishers in an attempt to sell them. The only other waiting-game that enters into the equation is that even after the agency decides what they want to try and sell — Random House/Broadway Books gets to see the manuscripts first and gets a month to decide if they want it (part of the contract with my first book).

The bottom line in dealing with it all, though? Doing other things. Keeping busy. I’ve learned one thing in this town and it’s that if you’re obsessing over one project or waiting for people to get back to you on the only thing you’ve written — you’re going to knock a hole in the drywall with your head sooner or later.

Gotta keep juggling. Figuratively.

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