Blogger: Rachel Kent
Location: Books & Such main office, Santa Rosa, Calif.
This month I’m celebrating three years as an agent at Books & Such! I started here at the agency as an intern in 2005, but was officially welcomed in as an agent in October 2007. I love my job, but there have been surprises along the way. I’ve learned so much in the past three years.
I think the biggest surprise for me was learning just how long everything takes in publishing. As a reader, I had no idea that a book on the bookstore’s shelf was probably in production for 1-2 years before it was printed. I also had no idea the manuscript likely sat on an agent’s desk for a few months, then an editor’s desk for a few months, and then had to get through at least two committee meetings at the publishing house before the contract offer was made. The manuscript then went through editing, revising, and production before becoming an actual book.
I’ve been agenting since 2007, but I had to wait until this year to see the books I helped to sell finally start to release. The first was Cheryl Wyatt’s A Soldier’s Devotion, published in January 2010.
I’m not an extremely patient person; so the waiting has been a learning experience for me.
Because I’ve learned how hard it is to wait a long time for answers and results in the publishing world, I try my best to respond in a timely manner to proposals and manuscripts sent my way. I fail miserably at this all the time (see Wendy’s posts from last week about #agentfail), but I do try. Not keeping up on everything myself actually has helped me to be more patient with the other long processes that go into getting a book published. Each step of the way somebody just like me is working as hard as he or she can to finish everything. It’s a good idea for us to keep this in mind as we wait. 🙂
When did you realize just how long producing a book takes? Were you surprised as I was?