Several events have brought TIMING to my attention recently. I’ve been writing for decades, of course, but my first publishing contract with Curiosity Quills Press showed up just under three years ago. It’s been such a wild ride! I’ve loved every minute of it. Still, it sometimes amazes me how slowly the cogs of the publishing industry turn.
The catalyst for these thoughts came from Robert J. Defendi. He’s been writing a multi-part blog chronicling the story of his first published novel– Death by Cliche— coming soon. I heard him mention the audiobook of it at LTUE in 2013. I listened to it that summer and loved it. At SLCC that September, I talked to him about it and was floored to find out it wasn’t a published book, ONLY an audiobook! Since I do acquisitions for CQ, I told him he should let us publish it. It’s happening now, but well over a year later.
Did I ever tell you I once had a publisher contact me two years after I queried them with an acceptance?
Currently, I’m writing the final Actuator book. That series has taken a LOT longer than I expected. The anthologies between each book take TONS of time, but I think they are so awesome that it’s worth the wait for the readers. Still, I never would have guessed.
The real reason I wanted to write this is SUNDOWN, my superhero comic. It took me years to find an artist willing to dedicate the time it takes to launch this comic. Then we had several colorists and letterers drop out. We finally finished issue #1 almost a year ago, and I’ve been querying comics publishers ever since. (No, Marvel and DC are NOT accepting submissions from outside artists.) I exhausted the list of comic publishers. Luckily, I found somebody interested in the project. Artisync!
It took so long to get them, that the artist moved on to a different project. Fortunately, Artisync has artists. So we are basically starting over a couple years later… but the project is happening.
Since it took me YEARS of rejection after rejection to my queries to sell my first short story and then contract my first novel, I think I can safely say you have to be patient in this business.
Am I patient? Pfft! No! :) But I keep working on new projects all the time. So while one thing is stewing (like the comic or an anthology) I work on something else. It keeps me from going crazy waiting for the slow machine to finally crank out the work.
I guess the advice here is to just keep writing. Whatever you do, don’t stop and wait. Finish a book, set it aside, and write something else. Between each of the Actuator series books, while I waited and worked on the anthologies, I wrote entire other novels. Salvation was one. Thug #1 is the one I just finished. So, whatever happens…