As of today, my second novel The Treasures of Venice will be released in 104 days. While that isn't a very long time, only a little over 3 months, considering I started writing this story in the spring of 2004, it has been a very looong time coming!
One thing I've learned since I made a serious commitment to becoming a published author, NOTHING in the publishing business moves fast.
For example, I think the timeline for my debut The Wild Sight is pretty typical.
It took me almost a year to research and write the story. But I did a BIG NO-NO in the publishing business -- I sent a query before the manuscript was complete! "GASP!" But this wasn't my first manuscript and I was pretty confident about how long it would take me to finish. Plus, I already knew how very slowly the wheels of publishing turn.
So on Feb. 14th, I sent a query asking if the editor would like to see a partial. Three months to the day, May 14th, I got a positive reply!
I sent the three chapters and synopsis and continued working on the manuscript, secure in the knowledge that "the first editor to read the story never buys it."
A couple of months later, at the end of July, the editor called me and asked for the entire manuscript! Yes, I was a bit thunderstruck (actually the DH was since he took the call) because an editor never called me before, but I was still SURE that old rule about the first editor never buying was true. I hurriedly did some final revisions to the manuscript and sent it off the first week of August.
I got THE CALL six weeks later on September 14th! So much for all those old rules!
But remember I had actually started researching and writing 14 months earlier. Then I got my revision letter, and finished those in the middle of December. Copyedits, galley proofs, and ARCs followed.
FINALLY on Oct. 1, 2008 The Wild Sight was released! Thirteen months after The Call and a full 27 months after I'd first started it. And two weeks ago, at long, long last, I received my first royalty statement, which only covered Oct. through Dec. 31st of last year. Still, it was almost THREE YEARS after I first started writing. This is why "Advances" were created, and why very few authors actually earn a living from their writing.
Why in the world would I put myself through all this toil and tears and very little remuneration?
Because nothing in the world is as exciting as seeing the book I wrote sitting on the store shelf, or hearing from someone who read it that they enjoyed my characters and their story! It's the realization of my long held dream to write books and have other people read them.
Yes, I freely admit, I AM CRAZY! But I'm loving it!