Originally published on A Life in the Day by Saritza Hernandez
In publishing, the hurry-up-and-wait method of getting to publication can be frustrating and defeatist to a new author or to a new agent advocating for her clients who have little to no patience. As an author, you’re racing to the finish line of this manuscript decathlon you’ve poured your heart and soul into then rush your beta readers and critique partners to provide you with the feedback needed to make this book even better. You rush to make a list of editors and agents to query then… you wait. You sit on your hands itching to check in with those publishing individuals whose emails you reached out to just the day before wishing and hoping they’ll respond with that coveted offer of publication or representation you’ve been dying to receive since you began your authorial career six months prior.
It doesn’t work that way.
It can’t work that way.
It shouldn’t work that way.
My grandmother used to say that a job rushed is a half-assed job and she was not one to do anything by half measures. I found myself rescrubbing the kitchen sink as a child because I’d “half-assed” the work.
It takes months (sometimes years) to have quality work published and even longer to establish yourself in the industry (either as an author, agent, editor, marketer, publisher). If you rush to get that book out, you may be sending out half-assed work and the impression you make will be of someone who’s quick at cranking out half of her potential.
I’d rather work with those who put in their full potential and allow me to do the same in our publishing partnership.
When a publisher tells me they can produce the book in six months but would rather have twelve to eighteen months so they can produce the print, audio, digital versions and get it out to reviewers with enough time to build a buzz, I’m ecstatic.
When a publisher says they can do all of that in nine months because they have a proven system (and prove that system to me) I’m thrilled beyond measure.
When a publisher says they can crank a book out in three months from contract date because they’re “just a digital-only press,” I cringe and add them to my “Do Not Submit To” list. Oh yes, I have one of those lists.
I don’t half-ass things for my clients, so why would I allow others (or them) to do the same?
The Cla(y): An extremely lazy abbreviation of