John Scalzi explains why most "new novelists" are in their thirties or older. Amen -- my first book came out when I was 30, and I was considered a young turk:
Finding an agent is a slog. One has to query the agent, wait to see if the query is accepted, and then if it is sample chapters and an outline go out in the mail. Then more waiting to see if the agent asks for more. If he or she does, it's time to send the whole manuscript and then wait again to see if he or she thinks the writer is worth their time to represent. At any point the agent can say "no," at which point our budding novelist will have to start over again.
But if the agent says "yes," then comes the part where he or she starts schlepping the novel to publishers. Presuming the agent gets a publishing house interested in looking at the manuscript, it could be weeks or even months before there's response, either positive or negative. If it's the latter, it's on to the next publisher.
The second path is the Path of the Slush Pile. This gets the work out there quicker but fewer publishers still accept unagented manuscripts, and as you might guess from the name "slush pile," the rate at which editors work through the slush pile is pretty slow. Baen Books, which accepts unagented manuscripts, lists their response time as nine to twelve months: Yes, you could make a baby (if you can make a baby) before our poor theoretical writer here would hear back about their literary child. And if at the end of those nine months to a year Baen (or whomever) said no, the poor writer have to start all over again.
Why New Novelists Are Kinda Old, or, Hey, Publishing is Slow
Mr. Know-It-All: The Tarnished Wisdom of a Filth Elder, John Waters’ new book, sounds like a demented must-have: It “serves it up raw: how to fail upward in Hollywood; how to develop musical taste from Nervous Norvus to Maria Callas; how to build a home so ugly and trendy that no one but you would […]
Chamber’s second novel, A Closed and Common Orbit, in her Wayfarer series is so wonderful I cried several times. A Closed and Common Orbit picks up immediately after Chambers’ first story, Long Way to a Small and Angry Planet concludes but is barely an extension of that tale, beyond further expanding on Chambers’ wonderful universe. […]
Despite showing its age, John Wyndham’s Day of the Triffids continues to be a consuming post-apocalyptic tale.
Want to keep the dentist away? A little tooth care at morning and night isn’t bad, but it won’t keep the stains from smoking or fried foods at bay for long. If you enjoy your food and want to avoid the consequences, an upgrade from that old analog toothbrush can make a huge difference. Among […]
If your office works at all, it uses Microsoft Office. Those icons for Word, PowerPoint, and Outlook are as familiar around some workplaces as the coffee machine. So familiar, in fact, that they get taken for granted – and rarely used to their full potential. Whether you need a crash course in the essential tools […]
It’s a great time to be a maker. 3D printers are on store shelves for anyone to buy, and coder kits like Arduino and Raspberry Pi are letting kids as young as 9 or 10 dive into the Internet of Things. Here are a few examples of our favorite tech toys, all priced low enough […]