Inigo Montoya “But I promise I won’t kill you until you reach the top”
Man in Black “That’s very comforting, but I’m afraid you’ll just have to wait.”
Inigo Montoya “I hate waiting.”
I concur with my good friend Inigo Montoya. Actually we aren’t good friends at all but he is my favorite character from arguably one of the top ten movies of all time, and it is a perfect segue into the fact that I too hate waiting. Unfortunately for me I am finding you do a lot of waiting when writing a children’s book.
When you first write a children’s picture book, and any type of book for that matter, you must, I repeat, must get it critiqued before sending it out. You go through revisions, another critique, another set of revisions, and if you’re smart, another critique. Your story is now perfect, you find the right publisher to send it to; you mail it out and then…wait. Easily 3-6 months, perhaps a year, of nothing but waiting to hear a yea or a nay. If you get lucky and hear back from the publishing house that they love your book, then obviously you are going to see a contract in the mail within the week and your book on the shelf by the end of the month! Wrong. Just because the person on the other end of that email loves your book they still need to get the ok from the editor, the publisher, the sales team, and the marketing team. This means, for you, more waiting.
If I have one piece of advice for any aspiring writer out there who is waiting to hear from a publisher, turn the notification chime off on your phone. It will drive you insane because you will be thinking every time you hear it, “This could be the email!”
So let’s say you get your contract, all is good, you sign, and now your book is ready to be bought and sold! Nope, that’s right more waiting. With revisions, illustrations and things that go on behind the scene that I have no clue about, you are looking at a good year from the time you sign the contract to the time your book is on the shelf; and that’s an aggressive time table.
So here I am revisions done, waiting for September’s release, two years after the book was first written. There isn’t much to do at this point but wait. It’s painful and I hate it but it’s necessary. Good things come to those who wait, and it takes time to produce a quality book. It takes time to find the perfect word, it takes time to get the perfect illustration, and it takes time to create that one book a child, night after night, can’t wait to read.
Oops… got to go my email just chimed. I thought I turned that off.