Waiting on pins and . . . you know
Last Monday the acquisitions team at Realms Fiction met to make a final decision on my suspense novel, The Hunted. I waited patiently (okay, not so patiently) all day for that call from my agent. You know, the one that begins, “Mike, are you sitting down?” But the call never came. Tuesday came and went and still no call. Finally, on Wednesday, my agent contacted the editor at Realms to ask about the status of the proposal. She said the meeting went well and things continue to look positive but they have to “rework the numbers” and it would be another 1-2 weeks before I heard anything more from them. Huh? Rework the numbers?
Publishing is business . . . big business, and the bottome line with any proposal or decision is numbers. How many copies to print, author advance, royalties, wholesaler discounts, cover price, page count. Numbers, numbers. The numbers all go into an equation that spits out overall profit margin and such. I’m not an accountant so I don’t understand all the details but there’s a lot that goes into it. Apparently, what editing projects as far as page count and cover price and marketing projects as far as sales numbers and costs of advertising have to jive with what accounting says is in ye olde money bag. If numbers don’t agree, it’s back to the drawing board to “rework the numbers.”
. . . while I wait.
It’s hard waiting but the whole process is teaching me so much about the publishing industry. Getting a book published is a big deal (for everyone involved). It’s not just write book, find agent, get an acquisitions editor interested and . . . bingo! . . . book published. It’s a long complicated process full of speed bumps, pot holes, hairpin turns, and plenty of time sitting in traffic.
But it’s worth it.
Even if the final answer is no, it’s still worth it. Through this three-month process of dealing with Realms I’ve gained knowledge I never would have gained before, acquired confidence I didn’t have, and learned some valuable lessons about life and myself as both a person and writer. I’ve also learned to lean on God. When things are totally out of our control, He’s all we have and boy am I glad I have Him to turn to.
So, while I’m waiting, what am I doing? Why, working on another manuscript of course!