What’s Happening At The Publisher During Submissions?
What’s Happening At The Publisher During Submissions?
Whether you’re looking for representation or your proposal is with the publisher during the submissions phase … congratulations!
You’ve done the hard (and rewarding) work of bringing your expertise and experience to the page.
And while you’re excited at what’s to come, you can’t help but wonder (or worry!) why it’s taking so long to get a response.
So in this post, I’ll share the dynamics and the protocol of what’s happening inside the publisher during submissions.
Get ready to feel some sweet relief.
I’ve got you; let’s get into it!
Are You Getting Representation?
The waiting game is not one many aspiring authors enjoy playing, and for good reason.
You’ve put your heart, soul and expertise into what you believe is a solid, marketable book proposal, but all you hear are crickets for weeks on end.
So what do you do? Like every other aspiring author, you tell more stories, but these ones happen inside your head and spiral to the point of worry and shame.
Friend, please stop the negative self-talk because the delay has nothing to do with you or your work, and here’s why.
Getting an answer from an agent and publisher during submissions is a long and winding road with many stops along the way.
Here’s how it plays out.
Once you’ve submitted your proposal, an agent and sometimes an additional agent read your submission.
They decide whether your book fits into their wheelhouse based on what they have successfully sold to publishers in the past–and also what excites them personally!
And here’s the truth: if they decide not to go ahead with you, it won’t feel great, AND it’s a blessing in disguise. Agents know better than you whether they’re the right people to best represent your material.
Here’s an example.
Last year, I was pitching a sex book. The resounding response from the first couple of agents I spoke to?
“No. Nooo, noooo, nooo.”
It wasn’t that the agents didn’t like the subject matter or that sex no longer sells. It turns out that they personally haven’t had success with the sex books they represented in the past.
But a “No” seems devastating, right? Not true.
Within a few days, two perfect-fit agents who’ve had success with sex books before fought over representing it!
Now, who would you rather have repping your book? The agent that wants to win for themselves and you, or those who feel like your book is an uphill battle?
Here’s the lesson: agents and publishers during submission take their time because, thankfully, they want to be sure that they’re the right fit for you.
Hopefully, I’ve eased your fears about representation. In the next section, you’ll learn what’s happening as your proposal makes its way through the halls of the publisher.
Attn: Publishers During Submission: Is my book any good?
You’re forgiven if you’re gnawing on your nails at this very moment, wondering if anyone will EVER get back to you and your agent.
They will, and here’s why they haven’t yet.
Here’s what happens at the publishers during the submissions phase.
First, a single editor will read your book proposal.
If they like it, they’ll likely bring it to an acquisitions editorial meeting where multiple editors review your proposal and decide how to proceed.
Then, they may take it to a larger meeting with marketing and sales folks. Together they weigh in on whether they can promote and sell this book to the buyers and retail folks they sell to, and whether or not they could foresee media success.
But here’s the catch.
Those meetings don’t happen daily, so your proposal may not see a group meeting for a week or more.
And guess what?
Meetings get rescheduled. Big launches are happening! People get sick! Feedback gets delayed!
Let’s say you’re on a roll, and all divisions give the go-ahead. Then the inevitable money conversation takes place, so that meeting needs to be scheduled and held.
What? The one who holds the purse strings is away on vacation?
I’m being funny here, but not really. Inside the publishing house is like any other business, full of meetings, approvals and more meetings!
So as you frantically refresh your email, the busy execs are going through the protocol to ensure department buy in.
Here’s the takeaway: if things are taking a while, they’re on schedule. AND it doesn’t mean the horror stories you’re telling yourself are true.
My seasoned advice? Don’t let your shame stories and self-talk take over.
Instead, text your book coach so they can remind you that you’re in the middle of a concrete, complex process that takes time.
And remember, it’s to your benefit for everyone (marketing, sales, PR, finance, promotions, etc.) to read it, love it, and keep bringing it to the next meeting.
Need a book coach? Click here!
The BTS of the Agent and Publisher During Submissions
So many factors play into you getting an answer on your representation and/or manuscript.
So if you’re sitting tight, wondering whether all your hard work will result in a book, remember this:
The most successful and lucrative partnerships are aligned. If you get rejected by one agent or publisher, then maybe the next one you meet will be the right one for you.
Know that the confidence you have in your work will be felt through the words of your proposal, and the right partners will present themselves.
Sending you Big Book Energy.
Want my help creating your book proposal? Learn more about the Book Proposal Blueprint, my 10-week program to Create a Book Proposal That’ll Have Agents Begging to Sign You & Publishers Eager to Bring Your Book to Life here.
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