A writer has a manuscript, revised and edited, critiqued and edited again. The writer then compiles list of agents accepting queries for genre of manuscript. He submits queries. (Note: Some agents expect you to query them exclusively, then wait two months for answer. Note to note: What world do these agents live in?). Writer then secures agent five years later.
Agent wants changes, writer complies. Two or three times. Agent submits manuscript to publisher nine months later. Editor at publishing house likes it, discusses project with editorial board and sub committees. Profit and loss statement is prepared to determine if it is profitable to proceed.
If it passes though all boards, offer given to agent, who shares with writer. Negotiations go back and forth for a couple of months as clauses are added, others deleted, some amended. Agent trying to protect writer, publisher’s legal counsel trying to protect publisher. At this juncture writer has now written three books while waiting for first book to be published.
Editor sends contract to agent who sends it to author. Once signed, editorial notes are written and revised. and final manuscript submitted. Then manuscript goes to production department. Proof sent to author for double checking-as if the writer wants to read the book he wrote years ago.
The back cover is prepared along with other tools to publicize the book as generated by publicity department. Galley copies go to media for review, provided you are lucky enough that publisher thinks book is worthy of reviews.
Book goes into stores and sales begin. One month later book is on bargain table. Elapsed time from submission of queries to book on bargain table is same time as it takes to travel to Mars. Chance of new writer getting lucky enough to have book published is same chance of seeing the Loch Ness Monster at a Broadway revival of a 1920’s George M. Cohan play.
Writer decides to go indie and publish e-book. He goes to Kindle, uploads manuscript, fills out all relative information, clicks publish. Elapsed time same as drinking two cups of tea. On e-month later book is on Cyber bargain table.
But it was a lot more fun.