1. Indui
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    Indui New Member

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    Should I wait to publish?

    Discussion in 'Publishing' started by Indui, Aug 2, 2013.

    Hello!
    I've spent about two years writing/rewriting a YA fantasy novel (2.5th draft at the moment..), and several years more getting the characters, setting and plot points straightened out. I'm really, really dedicated to this story...but I'm afraid to put it into the publishing world. I'm currently a sophomore in college set to major in engineering, which keeps me very busy. I know the publishing process requires a lot of attention too, though...at least that's what it seems like from what I've read.

    And I know this is a long shot, but it's another one of my concerns--if my first book is good enough to accept a sequel (the story's intended to be a trilogy, but the first can stand alone if necessary), I'm afraid that I won't have enough time to give it the attention it deserves--my next years of college are going to be DEATH according to my upperclassmen buds. How would I manage school while also managing all this? Should I wait until I graduate (2016)? Is publishing a "Drop everything you're doing and do this" deal? I'm pretty new to this as you can tell.

    So I guess my main question is--help? Any experienced published authors know how involved you have to be in publishing? Did you do it in between schoolwork/a job?--any tips for a young and naive college student? :p

    Thanks. Any feedback is appreciated.
     
  2. Edward M. Grant
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    Edward M. Grant Contributing Member

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    What do you mean by publish?

    If you're thinking of trade publishing, you may be sending it out for years to get a publishing deal anyway so might as well get started. If you're thinking of self-publishing, it's more of a full-time job as you want to keep releasing new books regularly to sustain some momentum with readers.
     
  3. B93
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    B93 Active Member

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    Several thoughts:
    Is the book really ready? Have you gotten critiques from representative readers of the audience you are writing for? Has someone good at editing looked at it?

    Your chances of success (even if the book is good) are not high enough that I'd not worry about that interfering with your college work.

    Traditional publishing is a slow process. If the book was accepted, it might be months after querying agents. You would need to find some time for edits, but it probably wouldn't hit the shelves for a year or two at minimum, so you would not be involved in promoting it for a while.

    If it is a success, you would not be committed to producing a sequel right away.

    If you electronically self-publish it, no one will be cracking the whip over you to do anything. (And the book will probably languish for lack of promotion.)

    So overall, I'd recommend you spend some time over the next year making sure it is the best you can produce, and then query agents.
     
  4. B93
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    B93 Active Member

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    double.
     
  5. Indui
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    Indui New Member

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    Edward m. Grant: Definitely trade publishing. Thanks for your input.

    B93: I'm just about ready, but I was mainly concerned with what's yet to come, and if it would interfere with my school schedule. It looks like I won't have to worry about that, though! Thank you so much for answering. That clears a lot up.
     
  6. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    even if by some miracle you can get an agent on your first query and that agent can get you a publisher on her first submission, from the time you sign the publishing contract to the day your book appears in bookstores, 1 and a half to 2 years will have gone by...

    add to that the year or more it may take you to get an agent and the year or more it may take your agent to snag a publisher, and you should be out of college by then...
     
  7. TWErvin2
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    TWErvin2 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Indui,

    Is your life ever going to be lacking such that you'll have loads of spare time? School is important and a priority, but upon graduation, you'll hopefully find a job. A first job can be challenging and time consuming. But as your career develops, you'll take on more responsibility (and hopefully better pay). Then there's family and other obligations that come along.

    You'll have to decide to make writing a priority...not the top priority. Less TV and time hanging out with friends while in college, for example would be a logical sacrifice.

    As indicated, the process to find a publisher (or agent representation to publisher) can take quite some time--if a novel ever gets picked up/published.

    Also, the structure for a 'trilogy' is different than a 'series' with 'sequels.' That your first novel stands alone is a positive in many respects.

    Just my two cents.

    Good luck as you move forward.
     
  8. Misty'sMess
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    Misty'sMess Member

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    I think you should submit your novel anyway. Publishing takes a long time, if you are accepted it could still be another year or two until book one is released.
     
  9. jazzabel
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    jazzabel Contributing Member Contributor

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    In my experience, you can't give your best to two such massive intellectual endeavours, such as finishing a difficult Uni course and writing a good novel. That's not to say it is impossible, but I think your concerns are valid. Bottom line is, you won't lose anything trying to get this one published. Nobody can 'force' you to keep writing if you need to put it on hold. Or maybe, it'll reveal a different future career for you? Who knows, one thing is for sure people usually don't regret things they did, they mostly regret things they didn't do.
     
  10. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Getting published is like the prize everyone wants, which means it's unlikely you'll be accepted by an agent, and then a publisher, that fast that it'd affect your next year of college.

    And even if it's accepted and you sign a contract with a publisher, becoming so successful that it'd interfere with your school work and that the publisher would actually want a second book from you is even less likely.

    All in all, I wouldn't worry. The real question is: is your book ready? Have you had beta readers read it?

    But if you're truly worried, then finish the book and put it on the shelf until graduation. Your book will still be there, it won't have disappeared, you can submit it for publication at any time in your life, it doesn't have to be now. And who knows, if you had a few years away from the book and in that time, your writing will inevitably mature too, you might then be able to catch mistakes you'd missed before, or better improve the book before you finally submit.

    Although of course, no book's ever gonna be absolutely perfect, so don't wait for perfection either. Just make sure when you submit, you're happy that you've done your best and then go for it.
     

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