How Long Does it Take to Find a Publisher?

– by Christopher Ferebee

When discussing the timeframe for securing a publisher, the process can vary greatly from project to project, but below is a basic timeline. My assumption is that you have a complete proposal that your agent is ready to submit. Our agency has occasionally received a new proposal ready to shop right from the beginning, but more often than not, we spend weeks, if not months, with our clients just on the proposal. As we’ve described before, this is your chance to put your best foot forward and we take it seriously. But once you have a proposal complete, what’s the process and how long does it take?

We work with our clients to establish a list of publishers to submit the finished proposal to. For a typical author without a pre-existing publishing relationship, this process takes a day or two. We always want our authors to be fully aware of who we are presenting their proposal to and why, and so we take the time to share this list, but this obviously isn’t a time-consuming process.

Once the proposal has been on submission, we typically request publishers to provide a substantive response to us within 4-6 weeks. This will vary based on time of year and typical vacation periods within the industry, but your potential publisher needs this time to accomplish the following:

  • The editor will review the proposal herself, and may have questions or need additional information from the agent or the author;
  • The editor will prepare their own internal document, which is then shared with colleagues, assuming the editor wants to present the proposal to a larger team for acquisition;
  • The editor will first present the proposal to an editorial committee, typically consisting of other editors and the publisher, which meeting typically occurs 1-4 times per month;
  • If the proposal makes it past the editorial committee, the proposal will then be presented in a meeting to the publishing committee, which will include marketing and sales representatives, and typically takes place once or twice per month;
  • If your proposal makes it past both committees and is approved for acquisition, then your editor needs to obtain sales projections from the sales team, prepare a pro forma of anticipated sales, foreign rights and other licenses (basically all potential income), and obtain approval for a specific offer (the amount of the offer will often dictate additional rounds of approvals);
  • At this point, the editor will submit a formal offer to your agent.

This entire process usually takes 4-6 weeks, and can occasionally take longer for one or two of the publishers your agent has submitted to, depending on when their meetings take place.

Once your agent has obtained all initial offers for your proposal, there may be additional rounds of discussion or negotiation with regard to the initial offers, sometimes with multiple publishers at once, sometimes with one specific publisher. But again, because of the approvals process internally, this can often take another 1-2 weeks.

When you and your agent have decided to formally accept an offer, you then have to negotiate the publishing agreement. The amount of time it takes for the publisher to provide an initial draft of the publishing agreement can vary widely. Some publishers can provide this within 1 week, and others take 4-6 weeks, but this too will often depend on internal schedules and other work at the time. It then can take anywhere from another 2-4 weeks to accomplish the negotiation on your publishing agreement and route the agreement for signatures.

All told, this can feel like an interminable amount of time. But you should expect this process to take roughly 3-5 months from the first date of submission to actual execution of a publishing agreement with your new publisher, taking into account all of the above. There are always exceptions, but unfortunately those exceptions lie on both sides of the time table.

Will It Move?

There is a terrific exchange between the great editor Maxwell Perkins – who edited F. Scott Fitzgerald and Ernest Hemingway, among others – and one of his authors. The author was complaining that one of this books wasn’t getting enough advertising support from the publisher.  Perkins reply – over eighty years old – is still critically relevant to every type of creative. Comparing advertising a product to a man attempting to move a car, Perkins wrote:

 

“If he can get it to move, the more he pushes the faster it will move and the more easily. But if he can’t get it to move, he can push till he drops dead and it will stand still.”

 

– Ryan Holiday – “Perennial Seller”

What Should I Say in the Bio Section of My Proposal?

– by Angela Scheff

 

We were recently asked about what specifically should be included in the author bio section of your proposal. While it does sound a bit foreign as you’re writing it, the standard is to write it in third person. This might also make it a bit easier to talk more about yourself. As we’ve said it before, your proposal is not the time to be modest. 

Start with your writing credentials—your previously published books or those you’ve contributed to or even articles online. Next move to relevant information. If you’re writing on a specific topic, is there anything you’ve done that makes you an expert on it or gives you credibility? List any degrees or schooling or workshops you’ve taught or even volunteering opportunities that are relevant. Finally, include personal information, like where you live and your family details.

The key with an author bio is to keep it professional as well as personal. Those reviewing your proposal like to be reminded that you’re a real person who is qualified to write. It’s also helpful to have a long bio for your proposal but to have a short one on-hand too, in case it’s requested. That’s the bio that goes on the back of your book or included in any interviews.

I recommend taking a look at different authors and see how they handle their bios. What’s on the back of their book and at the end of online articles? What do they include on the author section of their blog? Does it make you want to read what they’ve written?

Finally, when you’re done with your bio, check out some additional things you can include in your proposal to help the publisher get to know YOU better—things like an author photo and/or video.

 

How I Became a Best-Selling Author in 72 Hours

 

by Frank Lee

I was in the front row at the “Writing for your life seminar when “The” Barbara Brown Taylor told us, “As an author, fame is not what you think; it’s kind of like telling folks you are the badminton champion of Chesterfield County.”

Right Barbara, it’s easy to disdain fame when you are number one! Secretly, we all wanted to be just like “her,” a New York Times best-selling author, writer of inspirational books, all of which hit number one. She was successful, famous, and at the top of the literary pyramid – the number one spiritual author in America! – well, at least for today, you see Frank Lee has plans!

Following months of agony writing my first book, “WHY JESUS LEFT THE CHURCH,” the moment of truth arrived, I took a deep breath, hesitated, and hit “send.” The manuscript was submitted, and the book published. I was now ready to be famous.

Much to my surprise, the first 72 hours did not go as I had planned. Sales were “modest,” Oprah did not call, there was no nomination for a Pulitzer or Nobel Prize, and Ellen did not invite me to be on her show. Something must be wrong? I would soon learn what it was. Authors – important safety tip, if you do not put in an author profile, Amazon will do it for you.

The host of the Christian radio talk show was also seeking fame and apparently channeling Woodward and Bernstein. He was poised and ready for the “ambush interview.”

“So, Father Frank, don’t you feel hypocritical writing about the church’s shortcomings in light of your other books? We know about them!”

The host then read some of “my” titles: “LUSH EROTICA” – “NAKED JOURNEY” “MIDNIGHT BURNS” and many more…

His ensuing lecture was delivered in an animated eloquence reserved only to those accustomed to carrying clipboards and pointing out the failures of others. The words “disgusting “and “purulent “were offered as descriptors of my sinful behavior. All this followed by invitation to repent right there on the air! At this moment, the switchboard overloaded with calls from listeners wanting to emphasize my depravity further or to save my soul before the next commercial break.

For those who do not know me, I did not write those books. Amazon attached the biography and books of another author named “Frank Lee” to my Bookshelf page. For those who do, you are aware my pet peeve is condemning folks with a “holier than thou attitude.”

The diatribe ended. The moment of truth had arrived. It was time to set the record straight. Then, For some unknown reason, I lowered my voice at least half an octave and proclaimed; “Yes, absolutely, those were all my books, and we needed to discuss the tragic effects of “judgemental finger-pointing” on the church.”

The next five minutes were truly interesting. At this point, someone must have clued in the host of his mistake, and he tried to pivot out of the discussion;

“Well, Pastor Lee, it seems we have been ‘misguided’. My apologies, I should have known a minister would not” …

I interrupted to opine;

“I’m sure my sins are worse than the other Frank Lee. Heck, he wrote about sin. I lived it.” There but for the grace”….

Strangely it ended as it should have begun, a real discussion about “Why Jesus Left the Church.” TOGETHER we decided just maybe people living in glass houses were a contributing factor.

It would take Amazon 11 hours to correct the Biography mistake. Along the way, I learned that the other Frank Lee sells lots and lots of books. Then I noticed something – all the books were lined up by category AND in order of popularity. There, officially certified by Amazon, was my book IN THE NUMBER ONE POSITION.

I’m sure fame is not in my future,
But on that glorious day, March 26, 2020.
For eleven exciting hours, I was at the top of the pyramid.
Certified as America’s number one author in Religious Writing!

Move over Barbara Brown Taylor; there’s a new badminton champion in Chesterfield County after all!

Frank Lee
A Senior Encourager

NOTE: Please reference my official Amazon Documentation below.

 

The Fluidity of Decentralization

Our society is moving away from the rigid order of hierarchy toward the fluidity of decentralization. It is moving from nouns to verbs, from tangible products to intangible becomings. From fixed media to messy remixed media. From stores to flows. And the value engine is moving from the certainties of answers to the uncertainties of questions. Facts, order, and answers will always be needed and useful. They are not going away, and in fact, like microbial life and concrete material, facts will continue to underpin the bulk of our civilization. But the most precious aspects, the most dynamic, most valuable, and most productive facets of our lives and new technology will lie in the frontiers, in the edges where uncertainty, chaos, fluidity, and questions dwell.

 

– from “The Inevitable” by Kevin Kelly

What Can I Accomplish in Six Months?

  by Angela Enos

Whew, six months have passed since I attended my first Writing for Your Life conference. Many of the knowledgeable speakers left me feeling suitably equipped and inspired to write.  I must admit though, my jaw did hit the ground several times during the conference as we discussed building a platform. Brian’s teachings were accurate, to the point, and tremendously informative; yet the task of building a platform seemed so overwhelming to me.

Do not dismay my friend.  If you apply the wealth of information you have gained at your recent conference, and add some blood, sweat, and tears–okay, perhaps not blood–you can build a platform.

I attended my first WFYL conference in June, 2019.  For reinforcement and encouragement, I attended The Business of Being a Writer, in October, 2019. Heeding the saying “two heads are better than one,” I invited my husband to attend the October Business seminar with me, and we were educated together.  A great idea.

Six months have now passed since I began my endeavor to build a platform. Please allow me to highlight what I have accomplished.

  • Brainstormed and birthed a brand, business plan, funding, and strategy for Prayers for Life, my free, innovative, online prayer school.
  • Attended professional photo shoot.
  • Had a professional website designed and launched.
  • Learned how to produce videos, edit said videos, and add sounds, music, and subtitles.
  • Began Facebook business page and YouTube channel.
  • Learned how to produce and manage Facebook ads.
  • August 2019 – Launched Prayers for Life, my online prayer school, on Facebook and YouTube.
  • Produced weekly teaching videos and posted videos to website, Facebook, and YouTube.
  • Produced a weekly Newsletter to obtain email subscribers.
  • Designed two Prayers for Life t-shirts. Preparing to sell in 2020.
  • Submitted articles for possible print to various magazines.
  • My husband and I attended The Business of Being a Spiritual Writer workshop by Brian Allain in Nashville, TN.
  • Began working towards gaining speaking engagements. (Taught at five successful speaking engagements in 2019).
  • Began Instagram channel, Morning Prayers. A video prayer is posted each Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.
  • Inaugurated and advertised my 2020 plan for Prayers for Life, “Claiming the Prize.”

Well, what is left to do in 2020?

  • Procure many more speaking engagements through a mailing campaign, which was launched January 2020.
  • Add Spanish subtitles to my videos in order to open the door to a whole new audience.
  • Produce e-teachings as giveaways in order to obtain more email addresses and subscribers.
  • Submit more articles to magazines and enter writing contests.
  • Attend additional writer’s conferences.

I have worked tirelessly in 2019, and I am just getting started.  Why?  Because I believe in my books and in God’s healing power as it comes alive through my writings.  That is the key. Believe in yourself and what you are producing, whether in writing or video.  Speak those things that are not as if they are (Romans 4:17), run the race and receive your crown (I Cor. 9:24).  Be encouraged, it is possible.

______________________

 

Angela Enos is a retired youth pastor and children’s pastor; now author, speaker, and the founder of Prayers for Life, an innovative online prayer school designed to bring power and victory to God’s people.  Angela produces a weekly 10-minute teaching video, a bi-weekly electronic Newsletter, and supplemental videos and inspirational postings.  Check out Angela’s website, YouTube channel, and Facebook page for further details and to view her life-changing videos.

 

Website: www.angelaenoslive.com

Writing a Business Plan for Your Platform

by Angela Enos

 

Attending a WFYL Writer’s conference certainly provides a writer with a wealth of information.  And, if you have made the decision to dig your heels in, climb the mountain, and build a platform, attending the Business of Being a Writer conference is invaluable.  Afterall, we are all writers, but we are not all business savvy.  Yet, a writer is an entrepreneur, and being a successful author requires more than just creating a winning manuscript.  Though formerly unchartered ground for me, the business of becoming a writer has now become a well-traveled path.

I needed to formulate a plan and organize my thoughts into concise steps.  First thought, financing.  How much is this going to cost?  I had a family friend that I thought might help me get started by investing in my vision to build a platform.  Therefore, I began to write out the steps I needed to take, and the money required.  I spent days working out the details and rehearsed my speech.  In the end, as I stood and presented the sales pitch to my friend, I realized that I was selling myself as well. I truly believed in the plan I was about to initiate.

Below are the steps to my business plan, along with the dollar values I paid, which will obviously vary.  I pray that these steps help you get started as you begin writing, pitching, and believing in your platform.

Things I need to do: 

  • Establish your brand and platform. See previous blog “After the Conference – How to Determine Your Brand and Platform,” posted 1/13/2020.
  • Obtain professional photos (to be used on website, Facebook, Instagram, etc.) – $300
  • Obtain website professional to create a website, produce a banner for Facebook business page, set up YouTube channel, create business email, and create email marketing service provider $1,500
  • Pay for website subscription for one year – $250
  • Create business cards with new photo – $30
  • Clean up personal Facebook
  • Update Linkedin
  • Write out a realistic timeline: photo shoot to launch date
  • Order banner for marketing and video production – $20
  • Learn how to create a meme
  • Giveaways?!
  • Create a launch team
  • Send Launch team members some business cards and a free gift for signing up
  • Purchase free gift for launch team members – $25
  • Learn how to create Facebook ads – (I spent $10-$15 a week on ads. You can spend $5 a week or $500 a week.)
  • Learn Instagram and begin to post on Instagram
  • Consider Etsy and Twitter benefits and use if appropriate
  • Create three-fold brochure for marketing
  • Obtain speaking engagements

Videography

  • Learn how to make videos for Facebook and Youtube and learn how to post videos.
  • Download video editing software and learn how to use it.
  • What equipment do I need? Microphone?  Camera? Teleprompter?
  • Find free music to add to videos during editing.

 

You may note that many of these steps did not involve money.  It is possible to do all of this on a low budget.  You don’t need an MBA or a fat wallet.  You need a vision and a few organizational skills. WFYL offers professional assistance in many of these areas.  See: https://writingforyourlife.com/writer-support-services/

Now, combine your creative juices with a dash of organizational skills and begin to type.  You can create a business plan that fits your platform.  Begin to believe in yourself and your mission; and stay passionate.

 

Angela Enos is a retired youth pastor and children’s pastor; now author, speaker, and the founder of Prayers for Life, an innovative online prayer school designed to bring power and victory to God’s people.  Angela produces a weekly 10-minute teaching video, a bi-weekly electronic Newsletter, and supplemental videos and inspirational postings.  Check out Angela’s website, YouTube channel, and Facebook page for further details and to view her life-changing videos.

Website: www.angelaenoslive.com

Get in touch!