The Timeline of a Book

Blog 74

2015 was kind of a huge year for me.

It was exciting to trace back through emails and word files to figure out how exactly the whole process unfolded, and in what time span. Here– from start to finish– is the timeline for the book that got me a publishing deal:

March 14, 2015- I save a sample of the first chapter to send to a member of my writing group. On that same day, I sent an email saying I was “excited about this new idea.”

March 28 – I had about 50 pages of the book (about 20,000 words) finished at this point.

April 9 – I had about 75 pages of the book (35,000 words) finished at this point.

May 10th – I finish the first draft of the book and ask for beta readers (Just under two months of writing time).

May 10th-June 5th- Edits, query advice, more edits.

June 5th – I start sending out queries. This month is spent researching, sending out letters, and getting rejections, etc.

June 15th – First partial request.

July 1st – First full request.

July 30th – First offer of representation.

August 12th – Kristin Nelson emails, “I’m in.” We set up a call.

August 24th – I accept representation from Kristin Nelson.

September 21st – Kristin gets her fully edited copy of BLACK HOLE back to me. We have a phone call discussion (a difficult phone call discussion) in which we change up some massive plot points.

September 25th – I get all of those edits back to Kristin (My edit game is quick!)

October 1st – We begin pitching to editors.

October 6th – The book goes to second reads at several publishing houses. For those who don’t know, second reads happen when an editor falls for the book. They take it back to marketing teams and other folks at their imprint to figure out if everyone is on board with the book and putting an offer on it, or to convince them they should be on board with the book.

October 16th – After an auction between adult and young adult publishers, Kristin and I decide to move forward with Emily Easton of Crown Children’s.

December 2nd – The first of four foreign rights deals comes in.

January 19th – Signed official contract and sent it off to Random House.

January 21st – We go out with movie rights for the book.

So I guess this is a good look for all the authors out there how your life can change quickly in the publishing world. This time last year, the only note I had written down for my eventual story? It was on my phone in the reminders section: “Welcome to Gateway.”

Gateway never makes it into the story at all, actually. In fact, I quickly dispensed of that concept and ended up writing these lines:

“You all know why you’re here.”

There are ten of us at the table. We all nod like we even have a clue.

So whether you’re like me (had already pitched and failed to land with two books) or your first starting out, go in. Get knee deep in the water of your book. Write it, fight for it. You never know where you might be this time next year.



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