Active Waiting

This morning I received an e-mail from my agent, Kimberly Shumate,  in which she stated the obvious…it’s slow-going in the world of publishing. She explained that most publishing houses, like other enterprises, have had to downsize. Fewer staff members translates into fewer people to review manuscripts submitted by agents and authors. When we first began to work together, Kimberly cautioned me to expect a period of waiting up to six months. Now, she says, it’s more like twelve.

Disappointing news, to be sure, but I know my agent is enthusiastic about my novel and working hard to sell it. There’s nothing left to do but wait…wait and write.

I’ve stalled completing the proposal for my second novel. After a while, it’s tempting to become discouraged and give in to entropy. That’s such a mistake and yesterday I made myself begin the tedious task of outlining the manuscript. It has to be a priority. It seems to me that having another book ready to be optioned should be a plus for an editor considering taking a risk on a new author.

If I may be so bold as to throw this out to the world of publishers and editors–many of us hungry, first-time authors are not looking for or expecting large advances. We would be happy just to get a foot in the door and are willing to accept royalties based on sales. Does this make a difference when you’re considering to take a chance on us?

So, to my fellow writers who are in that mode of waiting: keep on writing; don’t get discouraged. Enjoy the process but pray they hurry up!