Tuesday, March 16, 2010
I wonder why people do this... querying before they finished writing the novel, even with all of the information and conversation (especially within their critting and writing groups) advising people to keep low until they have a completed and polished novel to hand around.
I know there are people who want to get experience with querying and know they aren't going to have any nibbles on the line. I'm not so much talking about them, because they definitely aren't building their castles before they bought the land.
I'm talking about the other people... like those who have done all the homework and know how the publishing industry works. They seem to have their heads on straight. But then they send a query out for a partially completed novel and start talking about all the money they will make with that novel when it's accepted.
I really sincerely hope that they will prove me wrong and make it... but dude. Where does this come from?
Yeah, it might be three months before you get a response, but what happens if you hit a wall and can't finish and have the novel critiqued in time? Life is unpredictable. You might find yourself in a position where you can't find time to write. So there you might be with an incomplete novel when the nibble happens.
Then there is the miraculous possibility in that an agent or editor might find your sub on their desk within a week and request more. They have made it clear that they do not want incomplete or rough submissions, so what will their reaction be if you have to tell them that you still need to finish the book?
In movies or books, the agent or editor is this frazzled person chasing the author around and begging them to finish the novel so they could PUBLISH it. In real life, they only make that effort for the big names who are guaranteed sales no matter what they write.
I could be overthinking this, especially since the person I'm thinking about did submit to a publisher vs agent. Publishers, especially the bigger ones, are notoriously slow to respond. That will give this person plenty of time to finish her novel. <- That doesn't make me less squeamy about sending too early and suffering the panic attack when the response comes 6 months or even a year early. But then that leads into the other point. Publishers do not rush and publish things so that authors can reap the winnings. And this author is banking on getting paid soon.