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Author Topic: What's your experience of waiting time for subs?  (Read 661 times)
islechile
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« on: October 19, 2017, 09:56:05 AM »

I hung around this forum for a while a long time ago and found it very helpful. I've recently been browsing posts and it's inspiring to see that so many of you have gone so far!

I've had a long road to novel subs but I'm finally there. The first time I tried to get an agent was with a different novel- I got quite a few full requests back then but never managed to get an agent and eventually put that novel away for revision later. I got my agent in 2014 when I was trying to sell a short story collection. Some of the stories had been published in good literary journals and I had a lot of interest from agents, but most of them said a short story collection would be too hard to sell. The agent who eventually took me on was very interested in a novel that I had just started to write then. I had only about 30 pages of it written at the time. After I signed on with her, she approached a bunch of editors with the collection, but they all declined (though many requested the full ms). A number of them said they wanted to see the novel when it was ready and suggested they might be willing to take the collection along with the novel (if they liked the novel). Since then, all the stories in the collection have been published in strong lit journals. Writing (and revising, revising, revising) the novel took a long time! (I have a rather taxing full-time job that has nothing to do with creative writing.) So anyway, my agent finally submitted on Monday to 10 editors, and by the next day, 9 had requested the ms. I'm hoping that's a good sign, but maybe that's pretty standard at the sub stage? Any thoughts?

The agent said I should expect to wait at least 2 months to hear back, but I see from the browsing I've been doing here that it can take a LOT longer. Yikes! Does it ever take less time than that?  Anyone have any experience of hearing back in weeks rather than months? 

The novel is a literary thriller with supernatural elements, BTW. Because of the way it all turned out, the only agent who's ever seen it is the one I have now, so I'm really going solely on her word that it was ready for sub.
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jldelozier
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« Reply #1 on: October 19, 2017, 11:52:02 AM »

Congratulations on the fantastic request rate from the editors - 90%!!  That's worth celebrating. As far as response time, I've seen ranges from 1 week to 6 months to never. I think 2-3 months is a decent average. The truth is most editors have a stack of manuscripts to read, so yours is unlikely to get immediate attention unless you're a celebrity.
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islechile
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« Reply #2 on: October 19, 2017, 03:02:55 PM »

Thanks for the input,  jldelozier. I'm no celebrity, so I'll cross my fingers and hope for months instead of never.
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Rachael846
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« Reply #3 on: October 19, 2017, 04:43:22 PM »

I'm currently on week 6. There was one rejection the second week, but nothing other than that yet.
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islechile
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« Reply #4 on: October 20, 2017, 06:47:11 AM »

Rachael846, my fingers are crossed for you too!
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Sarah Ahiers (Falen)
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« Reply #5 on: October 20, 2017, 08:21:05 AM »

I was on sub for 2 weeks.

But it was a little different situation because my agent was getting ready to set up an auction, so the editors had to, more or less, read fast.

But, yeah. Sub can take a long, long, loooooong time.

I would start working on your next novel to help pass the time.
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Rachael846
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« Reply #6 on: October 20, 2017, 12:42:18 PM »

Thanks, islechile!
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islechile
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« Reply #7 on: October 30, 2017, 11:17:06 AM »

So my book has been on sub for two weeks and my agent just notified me that an editor wants to set up a phone call with me to chat about a few "high-level editorial questions". What kinds of questions might those be? Does that mean questions about how much I'd be willing to edit? What kinds of questions have editors asked you, if you've had calls like this?
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Sarah Ahiers (Falen)
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« Reply #8 on: November 06, 2017, 10:48:41 AM »

It could be anything.

It could be like "how would you feel changing the main character from a guy to a girl?"

Or "What would you think about making this side character a POV character, too?"

Or anything else. There's no way to know until you speak to her.

I would just say, even if you have a gut defensive response of "NO WAY" at least say something like "Hmm, that's interesting. I'd have to think on that a bit."

Because even the NO WAY stuff you can sometimes come around on if you just give it some time.
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islechile
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« Reply #9 on: November 06, 2017, 11:44:58 AM »

Thanks, Sarah! I spoke to the editor last Friday and basically did what you suggest. It wasn't hard because the editor seemed to really get the novel and I agreed with the editorial comments. The editor said the novel was going to be pitched to the editorial board this week so I'm biting my nails, waiting! For once, I'm happy that my day job takes up so much of my energy.
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Sarah Ahiers (Falen)
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« Reply #10 on: November 06, 2017, 03:08:00 PM »

Awesome!

I'm glad it went well and I'll cross my fingers that it continues to go well and gets through acquisitions!
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islechile
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« Reply #11 on: November 06, 2017, 07:52:32 PM »

Thanks for crossing your fingers for me, Sarah! I got an offer today! Still can't believe it. I don't think I can talk about the details yet, but it's so exciting! Grin taz
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Sarah Ahiers (Falen)
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« Reply #12 on: November 07, 2017, 07:40:50 AM »

AWESOME!!!!  clap clap clap clap clap clap clap
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Rachael846
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« Reply #13 on: November 07, 2017, 03:56:00 PM »

Congrats Islechile!
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