Book, Writing

The incredibly long road to publishing

 

Do you remember that novel I wrote a while ago? Well, it’s still not published. Surprisingly, getting published is a   S   L   O   W   process.

It’s what everybody tells you, but chances are, you are not going to believe it until it happens to you. Not because you thought you were superior to the millions of writers that are trying to have a break. Just because you hoped you’d be lucky.

Because lucky you were, when you discovered that you could still write, after all that time crunching numbers. Not to speak of the luck that was involved in finding an agent you actually enjoy working with.

Everybody tells you that as an unpublished author, it’s incredibly hard to get published the traditional way. Unless you are

a) THE new literary talent (which I am not)

b) Kim Kardashian or

c) in possession of an advantageous marketing tool, for example an established blog with a loyal follower base.

The latter would apply (thank you, guys!), had the novel anything to do with motherhood. It hasn’t. It’s the story of an independent lady in her late twenties whose least concern is having a baby. So no, no noteworthy marketing advantage here.

Publishers’ feedback on the novel overall was positive – but more than once the question was raised if I couldn’t build in a baby (noooooo!) or maybe come up with a sequel that could see the main character pregnant? I tried. I have written the outline to that sequel. I really got into it again and loved the process of writing it, seeing my characters evolve, move on and grow up. However, I just couldn’t impregnate my heroine. I don’t know where this aversion of writing about babies stems from – maybe because writing is my little escape from the mundane necessities. I really don’t want to write about poo nappies. Or read about them.

However, one thing I do enjoy reading is non-fiction books about motherhood, especially the ones that look at motherhood from a feminist angle. And so in one of the many meetings with agent Adrian and his team, the idea of a non-fiction book on motherhood was born. I have been working on it for quite some time now, and I am really happy with where it’s going. We are currently talking with a publisher about a possible deal – fingers crossed, please! And if it doesn’t work out… I guess I’ll just buckle up and prepare myself for another long journey on that eternal road.

22 Comments

  1. I have everything crossed for you!!! Don’t ever give up, only the ones who give up don’t succeed… something to meditate on on a Monday (something I should meditate on actually).
    Can’t wait to hear about it x

  2. I love the idea about a woman who doesn’t want children. I feel very frustrated for you why does your lead have to have the baby in the story – there are plenty of women who don’t, and saying the story would be better is she did end up having one is just pandering to the stereotype that deep down, all women want babies, which just isn’t true. On the other hand, I have everything crossed for you for your non fiction piece…. I really hope you get this, you so deserve this. X

  3. Hi! It must be really hard! Have you ever read Nathan’s blog? He’s from the States, but I guess many situations can also apply to England. I think it’s a great source of information if you like the publishing world:
    http://blog.nathanbransford.com/
    Best regards from Barna,

    Marta

  4. When I hear authors and film-makers say it took X years to get a book out or a film made, it almost boggles the mind but it’s true. In the case of publishing, it’s interminable. With my first book, it took years for my agent to get a publisher to commit because they only meet once a month to discuss ideas and if something urgent comes up, all the books on the agenda get shunted to the next month. Even after I had signed a publishing contract (ta-da) it was another two full years till my book hit the market. I had almost forgotten what it was about!
    Anyway, congrats on having another one in the pipeline!

  5. I think one of the best things is to be excited about a project so it’s wonderful to read how excited you are about the book on motherhood! I know we’ve talked about several of your ideas–all amazing, so I’m really pleased to see that process still has you motivated. Another benefit of the book on motherhood is that it is a distraction from the novel!

    I have been trying hard to remember which author I read about recently who wrote three whole novels, complete with several edits (!) and finally the third was accepted by a publisher. Once the third was published the publisher wanted more and was thrilled to discover two more or less complete books waiting! the author said that they kept writing because they needed the distraction from waiting. It’s a nice success story about patience.

    Keep up the momentum, we’re all cheering for you!! xox

  6. Go girl, both sounds fab, I want to read them both.

    This post really resonated with me. I’m in a similar boat with the TV project I’m co writing-the production company have paid for the rights twice and I LOVE the development process (I adore my producer who is a TV giant but the most wonderful, open woman who could ever meet)….but who knows if we’ll get commissioned.

    I’m so used to this though (been in the biz since I was 21 after my MA and that’s not counting all the shoots since school) so I always remain optimistic but realistic if that helps.

    Never take the rejection personally (skin gets toughened up quickly, I promise) but take on board other’s (people you trust) views, criticism and then re-write, re-write, re-write trying all the while to keep the vision you originally had (no easy task, no right way). You can do it, we’re all behind you and I always think it’s the journey and lesson you learn regardless of the end product that matters. That shapes your future work and no relationship or draft is ever wasted. Just remember that x

  7. Have you thought of perhaps self-publishing your fiction novel? I think I’d read anything you write, your words are always enticing. Good luck!
    (ps. impregnating your heroine! tell them you don’t have the correct working parts 😉 )

  8. Don’t give up your dream and hard work with the first book, and good luck with this new direction in writing. Sounds exciting. Fingers crossed over here for you.

  9. Marie says

    All good luck with the new book, sounds interesting and something I’d be keen to read, even though I don’t have kids. I can completely understand about not wanting to impregnate the character, some things aren’t meant to happen until they do 😉

  10. I will buy your book, with or without babies in it! I find it refreshing sometimes to read about someone without children as well, probably a bit of escapism..;) Impregnated heroine or not – I will read it! Good Luck! x

  11. Good luck with both books!! It might be a stupid question, but what about an eBook? So many doing that way these days, but don’t listen to me. I’m no expert xx

  12. Hi there, sorry I thought I left a comment ages ago, I’m totally losing it these days! Sounds like actually you are doing incredibly well – sounds like the parenting book is a goer and the first one could be still too. You’re an incredibly glam Mum and honest as well and I would read that parenting book. My tutor got an agent and then cut her book in half and still no takers. They said after French Wife they didn’t need anymore books about wives of writers. Gosh you can’t win…(re your novel – I thought they wanted loads of books about twenty something women, why introduce a bubby into it you would wonder? )

  13. Big M says

    Slowly then suddenly. You know my fingers are crossed and having had sneak previews I am convinced the day will come when things will go from very slowly to very suddenly!

  14. Pingback: If in doubt, bake! - Metropolitan Mum

  15. Hang in there. You’re a super-talented writer, and all the best books took time to get published, Harry Potter, Animal Farm. The list goes on. But they all made it, and you will too. xx

  16. MTFF says

    Don’t give up on it and good luck with the nonfiction project. I haven’t even finished my novel and yet I sometimes feel despairing about it ever seeing the light of day. And yet that is not why we write, is it? Process over product, the exorcism and expression is what it’s all about. Good luck xo

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