The Long Road to Publication
Jun 21, 2022
When I connect with a friend I haven't seen in a while or a new acquaintance who knows I've written a memoir, inevitably I will be asked a variation on one of these questions:
What's happening with your book?
When can I buy your book?
When's your book coming out?
Most people can't imagine why it's TAKING ME SO DAMN LONG TO WRITE AND PUBLISH MY BOOK!
Truth be told, when I started this memoir journey 4+ years ago, I had no idea it would take this long either!
A few months ago, I blogged about my memoir journey:
- 2018 - 2019: 1st draft
- 2019: Revision and beta readers
- Early 2020: Thought I was ready to query. A book coach told me I wasn’t. “You don’t know what your book is about yet.” Ouch. I took a break. Thought about writing another book. Ate a lot of sourdough bread and drank a lot of wine.
- Summer 2020: The memoir wouldn’t leave me alone. I tackled another revision.
- Winter 2021: Drafted a proposal and query letter. Surely my manuscript was ready now!
- Spring 2021: Queried agents. Received a few polite nos and mostly silence. Had another book coach review my query and proposal. She found some fatal flaws. Discussed tweaking the manuscript or doing a major revision. Did not want to do a major revision. Finally acknowledged that’s what it would take.
- Summer 2021 - Early Winter 2022: Executed a major revision. Had another book coach do a fresh read. She loved it! Polished the manuscript and updated the proposal and query. My book coach and I put together a small list of agents and small presses to query.
- February 2022: Querying again. Silence and a few nos.
- March 3, 2022: Before lunch, sent a query to a university press. An email was waiting for me when I returned from lunch! They wanted to see my memoir proposal! I couldn’t believe it! AND I was so happy I had a memoir proposal. I sent the proposal a few days later.
- March 24, 2022: Email from the editor saying they would “love” to read my manuscript. Chills!
- April 1, 2022: I sent the manuscript and asked all my writing peeps for good vibes. And then the waiting began.
An update and an answer
In late May, the assistant editor at the university press emailed to say that my manuscript had passed their "internal review" (HOORAY!) and that they were ready to initiate the "peer review" process.
Peer review is an additional layer of review required by university presses.
Peer review could take months.
Did I mention that this journey requires patience?
So now when someone asks me "what's happening with your book?" I say "it's under serious consideration by a university press." And that I am "cautiously optimistic," but that "I won't be fully celebrating until I have a book contract in hand."
At the beginning of 2022, I set a goal to have a publishing contract by the end of the year, a goal I am on track to achieve!
When can I buy your book?
When is your book coming out?
Still to be determined, but I'm crossing my fingers that we're looking at 2023, albeit likely late 2023.
Did I mention that the publication journey requires patience?
Stay tuned for more and send good vibes, thoughts, and all the things my way!