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This is a repost from a journal entry I wrote back in 2008. Wow. Almost three years ago. I thought it timely to post it once more since I'm waiting at the gates of publishdom again, HOPE HOPE HOPING to get in this time.  It's a reminder of why I need to be patient instead of expecting to hear back the next day.

I was once naive enough to think that if one editor liked my MS, I was as good as on a shelf. But here's the truth: there are
six flaming hoops most manuscripts have to jump through (not to mention clear without any residual char marks) to end up a shiny new book:



  1. Your agent deems the MS a masterpiece and makes up a list of editors that she’s convinced will be enamored of your story and writing. She calls or emails a pitch. Just like when we send queries, it’s all subjective from there. Best case scenario, your agent is an ace at pitching and the majority will tell her to send it their way.


  1. Tick-tock, tick-tock. Now the waiting (Umm, shouldn’t we be used to this by now? Yet somehow, it’s still excruciating)—anywhere from days to months depending on: how excited your agent sounded when she pitched the book (salivating and heavy breathing usually garner a faster read) and how much other interest is generated from other editors along with how quickly feedback comes in.


  1. YAY! The MS passes its first read with glowing acclaim, but don’t pop that champagne cork quite yet (in fact, it's likely you won't know about the editor love at this point--they may not tell your agent anything yet). From there, the initial editor sends it anywhere from two to four other editors at her imprint for "second reads".  If the book is to move one iota further in the process, these editors will have to share the first one’s enthusiasm. So this is where every author starts asking herself ... does my story have the staying power to hook anywhere from three to five editors so that they MUST acquire me before someone else steals me away? Eeps. Talk about pressure.


  1. Happy day! The votes are in, and all of the second reads LOVE your MS. Okay. So, time for an offer. Right? Nope. Now the MS is run by marketing to decide not only if your book can sell, but how well will it sell? It all comes down to bling. How much money can your precious baby rake in?


  1. Yippee! Marketing thinks you’re a shoo-in. But it’s still not time for the bubbly. The marketing team has to present their opinions at an acquisition meeting. If you’re keeping count, you’ve already had to impress at least six or more people at this point. Well, rally up that second wind, because now you’re sitting center ring in front of the big wigs. Publishers have a set amount of books they buy per year. So everyone on board for your story now has to prove why this book is the best thing for their imprint at this given time. From what I hear, this is a thumbs up--thumbs down kind of meeting. Whoever thought this book's entire future would be teetering on a thumb?


  1. Hallelujah! Your editor and new fan club managed to push your book through the acquisition meeting. Your agent gets the call or an email for a formal offer. What’s that sound I hear? Ahh. The sweet song of Veuve Clicquot purling into a long stemmed flute. Salud and drink up, my friend. You’ve earned it!

    So, what should an author take from this? Dread, dire, and deep despair? One look on Amazon in the book section should banish such pessimism. Books galore. Many other authors have done it. We can, too.


    Judging from all these hoops, one offer in itself is a windfall of grace. Should you manage to get more than one and go to auction—well, you have just been witness to a supernatural phenomenon.  

    Honestly, with all I've been through waiting to published, I’ll be happy with one offer.

    But let me say for the record, in case Somebody up there happens to be listening … I’ve always been partial to miracles. :-)


    Thanks to these two blogs for their info on this subject:



( 18 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 5th, 2011 01:54 am (UTC)
It's all very alarming! I oughta know this, working in publishing (albeit magazines), but who knew about all these layers on the road to publication? Like an evil onion! Oh...I am hoping for the best for you and I believe it will come your way.
Mar. 5th, 2011 02:53 am (UTC)
Thanks so much for your faith in me and those awesome vibes, Jenny! Still haven't heard anything, but I'm growling because my emails been down all day today and most of yesterday. Of course, if anything really big were going down, agent goddess would've called. So I guess no news is good news?

And yeah, judging from the list above, it makes sense that I shouldn't expect any news until MAYBE hopefully next week. EEPS. Waiting is sooooooo hard. Heh.

(Deleted comment)
Mar. 5th, 2011 11:20 pm (UTC)
I agree! The girl has a way with words, let me tell ya! Heehee.

Edited at 2011-03-05 11:22 pm (UTC)
(Deleted comment)
Mar. 5th, 2011 10:42 pm (UTC)
I know, right? When I discovered all of this (back when my prior agent was subbing my "romance"), I couldn't BELIEVE how much a MS goes through. So many hurdles! But yet, so many books make it onto the shelves, so the process isn't insurmountable. Just a little overwhelming. Heh.
Mar. 5th, 2011 10:33 pm (UTC)
I have all the confidence that you will do well with the editors. If Karma counts for anything, the love and commitment you've given the writing community at large should have your book lighting up like a Christmas tree in the eyes of the editors :-) But thanks for this post--good information!
Mar. 5th, 2011 10:45 pm (UTC)
Aww. Thanks so much, Rachel! Same Karma goes for you, too. :-)

Glad the info helps!
Mar. 6th, 2011 01:42 am (UTC)
Thanks for sharing this. As many agent/writing blogs as I've read, I've never seen these steps actually broken down. I knew editors can take a while to respond, and that they have to run your book by colleagues, but I didn't know the process was this intense. Yikes. But if anyone is equipped to make it through this, it's you. You know the biz and have clearly got a fantastic book since agents were ready to duel for you. :)

Sending prayers and well wishes your way, hoping you match w/ the perfect publisher. I'll throw a party with ten kinds of virtual pie. (And will of course tell all my friends and family to go buy your book posthaste!) Looking forward to great news soon
Mar. 6th, 2011 02:18 am (UTC)
Thank you so much, Stephanie! I covet those prayers and well wishes (and by the way, am sending some of my own up for you!). LOL on the pie!

And yeah, when I first realized this many steps were involved, it kind of freaked me out a little. But this time around, I'm a little more hopeful because I realize how many other authors and books before me have accomplished it. It gives me hope for all the rest of us still trying!
Mar. 7th, 2011 10:39 pm (UTC)
Very informative!
Wow, I never really thought much about this part of the process! Thanks, this was incredibly interesting and helpful to read! A little intimidating, but then, what part of this isn't?

Btw I found you via query tracker, where I'd noticed you posting in the comments a lot and read about your success story! Very inspiring! Your MS sounds fascinating and I can't wait to read it once it finds a publisher!

- Kalen O'Donnell
Mar. 7th, 2011 11:12 pm (UTC)
Re: Very informative!
Hey Kalen! Thanks for following me over here! ;-) Yep, it's pretty nerve-wracking waiting. Especially knowing all of these steps. But, others have done it, and so will we!

I'm going to hop over to your blog now. BTW, what's your username so I'll recognize you on QT?
Mar. 7th, 2011 11:56 pm (UTC)
Re: Very informative!
I'm KalenO on QT and the QT forums. I haven't posted much in the comments on QT yet as I haven't gotten any responses to record yet, but I'm around in the forums.

- Kalen O'Donnell
Mar. 8th, 2011 01:58 am (UTC)
Re: Very informative!
Thanks! I'll watch for you, Kalen. I'm not on the forums much. I'm already addicted enough to the comment section. If I get into any other part of it, I won't have any time left to write. LOL
Mar. 8th, 2011 07:05 pm (UTC)
You'll get there!
I'm so excited you posted the link to your blog on QueryTracker! You'll definitely catch the eye of an editor soon enough. Your manuscript sounds truly amazing! Sending up those good vibes :)

-Kerri aka Mystree1
Mar. 9th, 2011 03:08 am (UTC)
Re: You'll get there!
Thanks so much, Kerri (mystree)! BTW, I've always loved your username. ;-)

I'm so glad you stopped by. And I really appreciate the encouragement! I'll keep you all posted here and on QT.

And I wish you much luck on your publishing venture, too! You've been getting lots of requests, so that's a VERY good sign. :-)
Mar. 8th, 2011 07:12 pm (UTC)
From QT BethanyMC
Ugh...I don't know if I'm more inspired by your journey or discouraged--does the brutality of WAITING ever end?! I'm the least impatient person roaming the planet, but I'm certain that's the lesson God is teaching me through this process--nice to know I have more to look forward to.

Love your site--and I'm confident you will get the nod this time. I'll have the Veuve chilling for you...
Mar. 9th, 2011 03:10 am (UTC)
Re: From QT BethanyMC
LOL, Bethany! Thanks for the Veuve. I'm looking forward to it. ;-)

And yeah, I'm an impatient gal, too. I think I actually once prayed for patience, so God made me a writer. Haahaa

I'll keep you all posted! And crossing my fingers for you as you go out and query those agents! :-) Thanks so much for stopping by.
Mar. 9th, 2011 01:26 am (UTC)
good luck to you! at least this time you know what to expect...sit back and relax...but don't drink too heavily! :)
Mar. 9th, 2011 03:11 am (UTC)
Haahaa. Thanks for the luck, and the wise advice on drinking. LOL!
( 18 comments — Leave a comment )

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