A Dramatic Interpretation of the Publishing Process

The road to publication is super exciting, but there are a lot of highs and lows. And who knows about highs and lows better than the cast of The Hills?

So, without further ado, here is a dramatic interpretation of the publishing process, with a little help from The Hills gang.




At first, it’s super exciting. Think about it: You’ve taken that first step: You’re contacting agents to represent you! You can DO this!



Then the rejections roll in. Kind of fast and very furious.



It’s going to be hard. And you’ll question whether or not you’re crazy to even try.



People will feed into your insecurities.



But then, it happens. You find an agent that loves the work as much as you do!



So many amazing, exciting questions will be thrown your way from every direction. You’ll feel like a celebrity on the red carpet, not knowing where to look or who to answer first.




“How do you feel??”



“How are you going to celebrate??”



But, also like being on a red carpet, you’ll sometimes have some ridiculous comments thrown at you too.




“So are there vampires and werewolves in your book??”




(For the record, I like Twilight!) But no. Mine is a contemporary story with a normal, human girl who falls for a kind-of-normal, human boy.


“Normal humans? So is it more 50 Shades then??”



No. No, it is not.



“Did you have to pay for your agent??”



If you’re paying for an agent, you better run. Because that’s not a legit agent.


“You’re still editing your book??! What does an editor actually DO?? I don’t understand?”



Editors (and I’m including editorial agents in this statement) do just about everything. They help make the work the best it can possibly be. Also, during the all-important acquisitions process, the editor will be the biggest champion of your work to the pub house.




“So, when can I buy your book?!”



It can be months–maybe even a year–from the time you sign with your agent to the time you get a book deal. Even then, pub dates tend to change.




You and your agent have done all the necessary edits and now you’re on sub! And you can’t freaking believe it!!

But you also can’t talk much about it. To anyone. It’s like being in the CIA, only way cooler.

Remember how you couldn’t wait to be agented so that you wouldn’t feel like a giant loser when talking about your writing?? And, B.A. (Before Agent), you’d try to avoid the subject of writing altogether? Well, now you’ll want to go back to NOT talking about it. Because now when someone asks “what’s going on with your book?!” you have to go back to this



And then people think you’re being all cagey. But you’re not doing it on purpose. So you try and explain why sub is stressful in the most general of terms, because of the whole top secret CIA thing.



People might not appreciate the vagueness of your explanation.



But whatever. You’ve got bigger stuff to deal with. You’re on sub! And you know that if you got far enough to be on sub, it’s an amazing thing. Because it means your agent’s pitch about your book enticed editors. You’ve learned a lot from querying and you KNOW not to get TOO excited. Not yet, anyway.



You’ve hidden your phone so you won’t be tempted to obsessively check your email. What you forget to take into consideration is that the submission process does something otherworldly to your previously basic human hearing–it makes you develop extraordinary, Pavlovian-style responses to anything remotely close to an email chime or phone ring.



But you know how it’ll be.






Having an agent isn’t a guarantee to an immediate sale. You could go out on a few rounds of sub before nabbing a sale.



Really though. It’s totally fine. Unfortunately, you will hear more of the same paparazzi-style questions being fired every which way in the months between sub rounds. And, if they haven’t already, this batch of questions will really grate your cheese.

“So?” someone will ask with wide-eyed curiosity, “what’s going on with your book??”

And you have to do more of this



And then, as if you weren’t annoyed enough, people start to get annoyed at YOU. And the questions take a sarcastic, snarky, eye-rolly tone.

“Doesn’t it ever GET to you??”

And you’re like,


“But really, what if it never works out?? Do you have a back-up plan for life??”



This is where you need to be careful. Don’t go into a long, teary-eyed monologue about how writing is what you’re meant to do with your entire life, because you’ll only come off as defensive and crazy. So instead just spout off some nonchalant crap about how dreams don’t happen overnight and Rome wasn’t built in a day. Then plaster a smile on and spew out something kind of corny, like,



And they’ll still probably be like



and you’re like



But you know what?? In the immortal words of Justin Bobby



Yes. Truth and time tells all. Whatever the hell that actually means. In this case, let’s say that in time you’ll get a book deal. Truthfully. And when that happens, celebrate. Just don’t be surprised if people pretend like they never eye-rolled at the long process and try to act like they’ve been excited for you all along.