Thursday, 13 June 2013

Raise Your Hand If You Hate Waiting #WritersLife #Publishing

Hi folks, how have you all been? It's been hectic over here with writing, revising, and submitting various manuscripts while trying to cope with being a new mum (again) and also dealing the older kids who can't wait for the summer holidays to start.

Over the last month, I've submitted 4 manuscripts to publishers and been offered contracts for 2 of them, both in the last week. Yay!

However, the speed at which one publisher responded to my manuscript was pretty surprising. They came back and offered a contract within 24 hours of my submission. Wow!

For me, that was a huge record. No other publisher has ever gotten back to me in that amount of time and I had to pick my jaw off the floor when I saw the offer email.

© ampyang - Fotolia.com
You see, for me the worst thing about the whole publishing business (apart from writing synopses, but that's another post J) is the waiting period after I've submitted a manuscript for consideration.

I hate waiting. Period.

Oh, I've found ways to cope with it. Like writing, reading and getting on with my life while jumping each time my email notification goes off on my phone. LOL.

Give me a 'no'. I can deal with rejections. I accepted a long time ago that my manuscripts are not suitable for all publishers. So if I get one, I don't mind so much as long as I don't have to wait too long for it.

It's the waiting that kills me.


For one manuscript I submitted to a publisher, it took them a year to send me a rejection letter, and I was supposed to be on a fast track. Imagine that. 1 whole year!

By the time the letter arrived, I knew it would be a no, but I just couldn’t handle that it took them so long to get back to me. Suffice to say, I haven't submitted to that publisher again since.

Others publishers have taken between 1 and 6 months to get back to me on other manuscripts. Not too bad.

So the fact that a publisher, for whom I'm a new author, can respond to my query in less than 24 hours, just had me flummoxed.

Why are some other publishers so slow?

In this digital era, when we as consumers demand faster response times from our service providers, is it too far-fetched for publishers to have streamlined processes?

In my other life as a consultant, some of my projects included business remodelling, organisational restructuring and process re-engineering. All management jargon, I hear you say but what it means is that I can identify when businesses are not performing efficiently and effectively.

But you don't need to be a management guru to figure out that if it takes a year for a business to respond to a query, they are missing out on opportunities.

I accept that traditional publishers have a larger slush pile to work through but then again they are also larger organisations than some of the e-publishers, so they should have more hands-on-deck.

Seriously, waiting a year is equivalent to waiting in vain, in my opinion.


So I'd like to read from all you lovely writers. Do you get as frustrated as I do when you have to wait long? What is the longest time you've had to wait for feedback on your submissions? What is the shortest time you've waited? Please share.