The other day, somebody DMed (Direct Messaged, for you non-Twitter folks) me asking, “I was just curious, once you felt like you had your finished manuscript (or as finished as possible), how long did getting an agent take for you? And then from agent to publishing deal? Everyone always just says “it depends” but I’m curious about someone’s actual experience.”
I answered her and thanked her for a great blog post idea, so here we go!
(Just a warning: My timeline is pretty fast. Most people’s debut timelines do not go this quickly!)
November 2012: First draft of Song of Summer (then called Yellow Bike) is completed during Nanowrimo.
May 2013: Second draft is pitched and sent to Uwe Stender at the Pennwriters conference.
June 2013: I meet with Uwe and he offers me a Revise and Resubmit.
August 2013: Third draft is sent to Uwe.
September 2013: Uwe offers me representation, we sign the contract, and he starts pitching the book. (Get the full “How I Got My Agent” story here)
June 2014: I get an offer from Bloomsbury Spark. Uwe negotiates the contract.
July 2014: I sign the contract with Bloomsbury Spark.
July 2015: Song of Summer is released by Bloomsbury Spark!
Total amount of time from first draft to publication: 2 years, 8 months.
Here are a couple of reasons my timeline moved so quickly!
1) I didn’t query Song of Summer. At all. I pitched Uwe before I started querying and he asked for the full. It’s not great form to query other agents while someone has the full, so I didn’t. Then we worked so well together during the R and R I didn’t feel it was necessary.
2) It miraculously only took three drafts.
3) I went with digital-first publishing, which moves much faster (about a year faster) than traditional print publishing.