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22 March 2011 @ 03:53 am
Path to Publication  

I love reading about other authors’ paths to publication, so I thought I’d post the timeline for me so far.

  • Sept 2009: spark. I wrote two short scenes—one is in the current draft, one isn’t. I put it aside all fall while I queried my first book, Inheriting Garolass, was offered representation, & revised that with Agent Jim
  • January-March 2010: Started writing Born Wicked in earnest while Garolass was on sub. Wrote roughly 2/3 of the ms.
  • April-May 2010: worked on Garolass with editors’ feedback
  • June-July 2010: Turned back to Born Wicked & finished the first draft, which was about 79K
  • August: light revision, mostly focused on worldbuilding, with feedback from crit partners & The Playwright
  • Sept: sent it to Jim. At this point, Garolass had been shelved.
  • Late Oct/Nov: revised for Jim. Rewrote lots of conversations to deepen character relationships, tighten up the beginning, add lots of Cate’s thoughts to help the reader understand her better, rewrote a pivotal scene, etc
  • Jan 2010: one more pass, tweaked a few things (now at 74K)
  • Tues, Feb 15: the pitch went out in the DGLM newsletter
  • Tues, Feb 22: pre-empt from Penguin!
  • Mon, March 14: the deal was announced in PW and I got my edit letter

Any questions? I’m happy to share what the process has been like for me, but I’m not sure what’s interesting!

Originally published at Jessica Shea Spotswood. You can comment here or there.

 
 
 
samarajensen on March 22nd, 2011 07:42 am (UTC)
How did you find the querying process when first looking for an agent? I'm looking myself at the moment, so I'd be interested to know. Did you query widely? Get many requests for fulls and partials? Any tips would be greatly appreciated! ; )
Jessica Spotswoodjessica_shea on March 22nd, 2011 10:28 am (UTC)
My querying process was deceptively simple. Using Agent Query and the acknowledgments section from books, I made a spreadsheet of about 20 agents to query. I started with 5, trying to mix up those with nearly-instant response times & those who said they might take awhile. In the first two weeks, I got 4 form rejections and a request for a partial from Agent Jim. And then a week later he called & offered representation. It's so subjective! If I hadn't had him in the first batch, who knows how long it could have taken?

Good luck with your queries! I think it bodes well that you're getting partial & full requests.
samarajensen on March 22nd, 2011 03:25 pm (UTC)
Wow! You found an agent super-quick! Well done! : D

I have three fulls out right now and one partial. I'm expecting news on two of the fulls any day now and the waiting is awful. I've been checking my emails every five minutes or so (maybe more) while trying to write my next novel. Hope I find an agent soon so I can get on with my work!
tiffanyschmidttiffanyschmidt on March 22nd, 2011 08:16 am (UTC)
I love seeing your timeline - and WHOOT! edit letter!
Jessica Spotswoodjessica_shea on March 22nd, 2011 10:29 am (UTC)
Thanks, Tiffany! The edit letter is so exciting. I've been mulling over it for a week--it's crazy thinking about a whole trilogy arc now--it means expanding a lot of what's already there and changing the ending so things are more open. Lots of work to do in the next few months!
earlgreytea68: bedearlgreytea68 on March 22nd, 2011 08:37 am (UTC)
Actually, I'd be interested in the first-step agent querying part of the process. I spent two years of my life looking desperately for a decent job in a bad economy, and it strikes me agent-querying is a bit like that. Good comparison? Bad comparison?
Jessica Spotswoodjessica_shea on March 22nd, 2011 10:30 am (UTC)
My querying process was deceptively simple. Using Agent Query and the acknowledgments section from books, I made a spreadsheet of about 20 agents to query. I started with 5, trying to mix up those with nearly-instant response times & those who said they might take awhile. In the first two weeks, I got 4 form rejections and a request for a partial from Agent Jim. And then a week later he called & offered representation. It's so subjective! If I hadn't had him in the first batch, who knows how long it could have taken?

Good luck with your queries!

Also, I saw FRANKENSTEIN last night with BC as the creature. It was AMAZING. I might go back to see them in the other roles next month myself. Have you seen it yet?
earlgreytea68earlgreytea68 on March 22nd, 2011 12:03 pm (UTC)
Thanks, that's very interesting!

YES, I went to see him as the Creature last week, and he was AMAZING. I am very much looking forward to seeing the reversal (which is April 4 for me). I'm thinking I'll probably do some kind of write-up then.
Heather AnastasiuHeather Anastasiu on March 22nd, 2011 06:48 pm (UTC)
Love this!
Yay, I love hearing publication stories too! This is so exciting to read, super congrats again. And you totally just inspired me to do a path to pub on my blog too :) :) :)
Jessica Spotswoodjessica_shea on March 22nd, 2011 11:53 pm (UTC)
Re: Love this!
Thanks, Heather! I'll have to pop over and read yours, too!
Jennifer Rushjengt on March 23rd, 2011 12:52 am (UTC)
Whoa, you have an edit letter already? I am scarily anticipating mine in a little over a month.

Before I got an agent/book deal, I hungrily read sub to pub stories. They're so inspiring!
Jessica Spotswoodjessica_shea on March 23rd, 2011 10:53 am (UTC)
Yeah, it was very exciting to get it so quickly! A little overwhelming that it happened on the same day as the announcement, but I'm excited to get back to work on it. I have to have the first edit back by the end of May, so it's going to be a busy two months for me while I'm also finishing up at the day job!