Six LDS Writers and A Frog

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Three More Questions

Remember how yesterday Rob said that even if he posted a half-hearted blog, he was still better than Jeff, who didn't post at all this week? I'm thinking that, given how horrendously behind I am on my work-in-progress and the fact that, um, strictly speaking, I haven't actually prepared my villain presentation for the Book Academy conference next week, I'd better be one-fourth-hearted in blogging today. This still allows me to be better than Jeff, so I'm okay with that. (This would make a good math story problem: If Stephanie is greater than Jeff but less than Rob, and Rob has an awesome manuscript he's planning to take to the World Fantasy Convention at the end of October, how much nicer should Rob's Christmas present to Stephanie be compared to his Christmas present to Jeff when Rob sells his manuscript to Tor for a record-breaking advance?).

So since I'm just a shameless copycat when it comes to a blog format today, today's blog, like Rob's, involves three questions for you. Topic: the road to publication.

It's easy, I think, to look at published authors--especially authors who have published dozens of books--and sort of imagine that they were born published. Yes, there are the lightning-strike stories, but most authors spend a lot of time clawing their way up the mountain before they get that first contract. So today's questions for any writers reading this blog are:

1-How many years did you work on writing a novel or novels before you started submitting to publishers? (You can calculate this however you want. For me, I'm going to start counting from when I first started playing with a story with the idea that I wanted to write a novel, even though at first I was just writing whatever scenes pleased me, rather than making a focused effort to produce a whole manuscript. And there were big gaps during my college years where I didn't work on writing fiction at all, but oh well, close enough).

2-How long did it take from when you submitted your first manuscript to a publisher to when you had a manuscript accepted for publication?
(Not when the book was actually on the shelves, but when you got that e-mail/phone call/letter telling you the book had been accepted).

3-How many rejections did you receive before your first book was accepted?

If you're shy, it's okay to post anonymously. And if you're a pre-pubbed author, just answer the questions according to where you're at right now.

I guess it's only fair if I answer my own questions, so:

1-About 15 years
2-About 2 years
3-two rejections


At 9/16/2009 2:11 PM, Blogger RobisonWells said...

I know that my numbers are strangely low, but that's just how I roll.

1: 2 years
2: 3 months
3: 0

At 9/16/2009 2:17 PM, Blogger Annette Lyon said...

1: 4 years
2: 7 years
3: I'd have to check my files, but probably around a dozen or more rejections between several different manuscripts.

At 9/16/2009 2:43 PM, Blogger Don said...

1: 7 years (2 once I actually got serious, though)
2: NA
3: 1 and counting

At 9/16/2009 2:48 PM, Blogger Anna Buttimore said...

1. About 5 or 6.
2. Six months - once I cottoned on to the LDS market.
3. Just one before my first novel was accepted, but several since.

At 9/16/2009 2:56 PM, Blogger Traci Hunter Abramson said...

1. About 12 years, but half of those I wasn't writing.
2. This is a trick question for me. Undercurrents was in for about four months when I spoke to the managing editor at Covenant and we decided I needed to do a rewrite. When I resubmitted it a year later (to a new managing editor) I heard back one month to the day from when I mailed my manuscript out.
3. 0

At 9/16/2009 3:10 PM, Blogger Daron D. Fraley said...

1. About 6 years, but one time I went a good year without writing a word, and another time almost a half a year. So, about 4.5 years as the crow flies.
2. 3 months
3. 0.5 rejections before, 1 after. Strange, I know. The first rejection was a very positive response and a request for a re-write. The second statistic (from another publisher) came a month after I was accepted at Valor. It is too long of a story to relate how that actually happened, and I am sure nobody would really care anyway.

At 9/16/2009 3:16 PM, Blogger Sariah S. Wilson said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 9/16/2009 3:18 PM, Blogger Sariah S. Wilson said...

Miscalculated my answer to number two, so I've deleted that one and am resubmitting (don't know why I thought there was five months between July and October. I blame the sleep deprivation).

1. One year (research and writing)
2. Three months
3. None

At 9/16/2009 5:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

1. Nine years from the time I purchased a computer with the express purpose of writing a novel until it was published. I wrote constantly. Nearly everyday during that decade. Fell asleep in the wee hours next to the computer. Paced about with plots going through my head. Obsessed. Rewrote. Deleted. Rewrote some more. Nearly went crazy. Threw away a thousand pages. Started over. Went crazy. Finally finished.

2. 3 days.

3. None.

At 9/16/2009 11:27 PM, Blogger G.G. Vandagriff said...

I started writing when I was twenty-seven, but was a closet writer until I was in my late forties.
The first book I submitted was accepted.
It took about four months to get the news.

At 9/17/2009 1:12 PM, Blogger Christine Thackeray said...

Wow, a lot of people have gotten accepted right after starting to submit.

1-2 years. I wrote my first book submitted it and gave up after it was rejected by EVERYONE, then was approached by my sister and worked on her book with her.
2-A few weeks. Again, because of the relationship with my sister's publisher I did a rewrite of my first book and it was accepted soon after.
3-About 12 on my first novel before the rewrite. I sent it to every LDS-related publisher I could find and they all knocked it down without any input. Later I found it was too long.

At 9/17/2009 2:38 PM, Blogger Heather B. Moore said...

1. 4 months--I wrote my first book in about 3 months, then bought a Writers Market and started researching publishers
2. 2+ years--I started submitting the end of 2001, and got my first acceptance January 2004
3. 30-40 collectively on my manuscripts that still aren't published. My first published book was accepted by the 2nd publisher I submitted to.

At 9/18/2009 12:50 AM, Blogger Heather Justesen said...

1-four years

2-I had revisions requested, rewrote, got second rejection, didn't submit again for quite a while. Got another book ready and submitted it, so total 4 1/2 years. (Two months after submitting to the publisher who bought it.)

3-2 on the novel that may never get more revisions. We'll see. It's not beyond the possibility of resurrection, but don't hold your breath.

At 9/18/2009 11:29 AM, Blogger Kerry Blair said...

1 year, 6 weeks, 0 -- but that was a long time ago in a very, very small market. I "peaked" early. :)

At 9/20/2009 10:31 AM, Blogger Danyelle Ferguson said...

1 - I wrote my first "book" and had my first article published when I was 12 - so 20 years. I've been seriously writing LDS Fiction & Non-Fiction for 4 1/2 years.

2 - Still working on this one.

3 - So far . . . 4 rejections, not including contests. Just publishers.


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