Tuesday, October 7, 2008

It has been a long time

Wednesday, October 7, 2008

How long does it take to get a book published?

I suppose it depends on how you do it. For me it has been two and one-half years. I wrote the book upon retirement. I entered it into one of the St. Martins/Minotaur writing contests I had entered off and on for years. It takes almost a year for the books in the contest to be judged. I didn't expect the book to win or be noticed, but sometimes the nice readers (always women in my case) would write a short, helpful note. The rules say they don't have time to write notes, but sometimes the readers slipped me a short email critique anyway.

I didn't win the contest, but the St. Martins/Minotaur editor/associate publisher Ruth Cavin wrote and said she liked the book. They wanted to publish it. And we went from there.

The book was mailed in to the contest in early June of 2006 (relying on my memory).

So publication has been a long time in the doing. Over the intervening time I've written several other books including two I've submitted to Ruth for her to look at. One is the second Roy Rogers book, The Body on the Hospital Landing. Ruth has indicated an interest in that book. My first contract specified I'd provide the second Roy Rogers book to them first.

The other book is a mystery called Murder and the Book of Revelation. It features Rev. John Cosby and his girlfriend Marianne Gonzalez. Cosby is a minister who actually uses his skill as a minister, especially as an interpreter of scripture, to solve the murder.

I'm probably a little different than most writers. I have no desire to be a bestseller or even well-known. I would like to write well enough for my few books to be published and be reasonably profitable for the publishers. Anything more would probably just be stressful for me.

So how long does it take to get a book published? In this case, two and one-half years. I'm glad the wait is almost over.

PS. I just noticed a typo in the headline of yesterday's blog entry (which I've since fixed). Anyway, it made me think of the time I worked on the small town newspaper. We ran a huge high school football section with a center spread with the word "football" in twenty-one thousand point type across the middle of the page. After the paper was out, I was sitting at home leisurely reading my work, when I noticed we had printed FOOBALL! Oh, well.

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