Publishing Advice from YALC - The Book Deal

So, to pick up from yesterday, once you've got an agent, it's time to get your book off to publishers! I LIVE IN ETERNAL HOPE THAT I WILL SOMEDAY KNOW THIS FEELING.

...although I suppose you could argue I know exactly what this feeling is because it's basically querying all over again, except the agent's now doing it on your behalf. GO AGENT! Find me a publisher so I can finally change the name of my blog :D

Once you've signed with an agent, you'll run through a few edits until your agent feels it's time to put your book out on submission with editors at publishing houses. Much like us, the agents have spreadsheets of who to contact and when. Your agent will know what editors are looking for specific types of books. However, all of the agents said they would take your wishes into account, such as whether or not you liked the particular publisher or not. They said don't be afraid to question them, but at the same time you must respect their expertise and experience. That's the reason you accepted their offer of representation after all.

When the agents talked about checking out editors online, I realised I hadn't ever really stopped to think about that. You want an editor who not only loves your book, but can see how to make it stronger. Your novel's editor is going to take it to the rest of the publishing team at an editorial meeting and do their best to convince the others your book is well worth taking on. In other words, the editor becomes your champion along with your agent. You want an editor you get along with.

Apparently editorial meetings involve lots of cake. I'm not sure if I'm more excited about the prospect of selling my book to a publisher or all the free cake that may be in my future...

Patience was advised for the submission process. Lots of patience. Chances are it will take a while. Hey, good thing querying's already taught us all patience, right? RIGHT?!?!? hahahahahaaaaa...

The advice on coping with the submission process wait? Get a new hobby. I plan to reach Grade VIII on the violin when my time comes ;)

There was talk of auctions - meaning lots of publishers want your book and will make offers on it. Not that your agent will be up on the podium with a hammer, shouting "Going once! Going twice! SOLD to Penguin!" It involves a lot more phone calls and meetings than that. Sounded thrilling, exhausting, terrifying and nerve-wracking all in one go. Cake came up a lot again, too. Sounds like editors like to tempt you in with cake.

I am ABSOLUTELY FINE with cake

The agents also talked about acquisition meetings where various people from the publishing houses considering your book will meet to discuss whether or not they want it. The author (you and me) doesn't attend this meeting. It's less about how great your book is and more about what kind of sales targets it will - or won't - hit. Again, the agents stressed the importance of remembering that publishing is business. It's not just about loving the story, it's about selling it.
Once your book has sold (ooooh one day!!!), you'll get an offer letter with the details of the publishing house's offer. It'll include the advance and the royalties, as well as when they want to publish your book, which imprint it'll fall under, whether it's a one or multi-book contract, and when they want your manuscript delivered.

Louise said to keep your expectations very, very low about how much money you're going to get. Her actual words were "be pessimistic." Gemma backed her up by saying don't quit your day job.

Danielle also mentioned that a bigger advance may translate into less money for publicity, which was another thing I'd never stopped to think about either. Like I said yesterday, I never really stopped to think about what would happen between "YAY I HAVE AN AGENT!" and "YAY I HAVE A BOOK DEAL!" It was a fantastic learning opportunity.

Once you've accepted the publisher's offer, it's time to roll up your sleeves and get on with the edits. Oooh yes, more edits. Line edits, structural edits, copy edits - and Gemma said to be sure you ask your agent about those. You'll eventually get page proofs and see your book as it will be laid out.

And be sure to include acknowledgements and dedications before this stage. Tell your editor early on you need to dedicate the book to your pet hamster whose nocturnal activities inspired your masterpiece, and the fact that you need to thank 50+ members of your inner circle for their dedication to your craft.

And that, lovely readers, is as neat a summary as I can manage. The agents were all delightful, and I'd like to take this opportunity to once again thank Louise Lamont, Danielle Zigner and Gemma Cooper for taking the time to talk us.

It really helped demystify the entire process, and I feel EVEN MORE EXCITED(!!!!!) about someday going through it all myself. 


  1. Thanks for the recap - so much I didn't know! And I like the sound of all this cake :)

    1. You're welcome :)

      I am thrilled about all the cake :D

  2. Great to get a written recap! And cupcake GIFs make everything better...

    1. Heya! :D

      You're welcome ^_^

      The cupcake gif is magical.


Post a Comment

Popular Posts