Acquired reading

Harold Underdown at The Purple Crayon has recently posted an especially good article about the manuscript-acquisition process — not from the writer’s perspective (that would be, “Writer waits. And waits. And waits. And…”), but rather the “What exactly goes on inside the publishing house?” take on things.

As nerve-wracking as the ordeal can be for the writer with a manuscript under consideration, and as inclined as we writers may be to think that no one else involved is alternating between whooping it up and unknotting their guts, Harold points out that the process can be an emotional one for the editor as well:

[T]he acquisition process always begins with the moment when an editor decides that she wants to publish a particular manuscript. This is an exciting moment for the editor!

The acquisition meeting itself , also known as publishing meeting, can be a stressful experience for an editor…

If you savor the black-box mystery of not knowing what on earth is going on with your manuscript and potential editor while you wait for an offer, then you should, of course, skip this article.

***

Update: I realized shortly after posting that some (many? most?) children’s writers with a manuscript in the acquisitions process may not even know that they’re in that process until it’s over and they receive The Call. In my case, I’ve never gotten The Call (or The E-Mail) out of the blue — for each offer I’ve received, I’ve been told beforehand that it was in the works, assuming that the process went as the editor hoped.

Whether you’ve received one book offer or 300 — in case Jane Yolen is reading — I’d be interested in knowing whether you (typically) knew that your manuscript was going through the acquisitions rigmarole before the offer came in.

By |2007-05-31T11:24:00-05:00May 31st, 2007|Uncategorized|6 Comments

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6 Comments

  1. Don May. 31, '07 at 3:31 pm

    Of course you probably know, I knew when my manuscript went to acquisitions. After learning that it passed the editorial board meeting, I wasn’t too worried because my editor reassured me that she was going to acquire and publish this manuscript. The hard part was the year-and-a-half leading up to the editorial board meeting. Revising and revising and not knowing if there was any real interest.

  2. Don May. 31, '07 at 3:31 pm

    Of course you probably know, I knew when my manuscript went to acquisitions. After learning that it passed the editorial board meeting, I wasn’t too worried because my editor reassured me that she was going to acquire and publish this manuscript. The hard part was the year-and-a-half leading up to the editorial board meeting. Revising and revising and not knowing if there was any real interest.

  3. Don May. 31, '07 at 3:31 pm

    Of course you probably know, I knew when my manuscript went to acquisitions. After learning that it passed the editorial board meeting, I wasn’t too worried because my editor reassured me that she was going to acquire and publish this manuscript. The hard part was the year-and-a-half leading up to the editorial board meeting. Revising and revising and not knowing if there was any real interest.

  4. Alvina Jun. 12, '07 at 10:25 pm

    When I want to acquire a project, unless an agent or the author has been bugging me about the status, I usually won’t tell the author I’m taking a project to the preliminary editorial meeting so as not to get their hopes up to much, but if it passes through that process and goes on to our acquisitions committee, then I will contact the author and let them know, both to make sure the project is still available (you never know!), and also because I’ll ask the author at that point for a bio and any ammunition they may have that would help me get the projects passed.

    And yes, this process is EXTREMELY emotional and stressful for the editors as well. I’ve cried several times (not at the meeting, thank goodness!) at a negative result. And as I said in my talk at the Eastern-NY SCBWI conference this past Saturday, I don’t really get nervous speaking in public, but I ALWAYS get nervous speaking at the acquisitions meeting, because so much is at stake.

  5. Alvina Jun. 12, '07 at 10:25 pm

    When I want to acquire a project, unless an agent or the author has been bugging me about the status, I usually won’t tell the author I’m taking a project to the preliminary editorial meeting so as not to get their hopes up to much, but if it passes through that process and goes on to our acquisitions committee, then I will contact the author and let them know, both to make sure the project is still available (you never know!), and also because I’ll ask the author at that point for a bio and any ammunition they may have that would help me get the projects passed.

    And yes, this process is EXTREMELY emotional and stressful for the editors as well. I’ve cried several times (not at the meeting, thank goodness!) at a negative result. And as I said in my talk at the Eastern-NY SCBWI conference this past Saturday, I don’t really get nervous speaking in public, but I ALWAYS get nervous speaking at the acquisitions meeting, because so much is at stake.

  6. Alvina Jun. 12, '07 at 10:25 pm

    When I want to acquire a project, unless an agent or the author has been bugging me about the status, I usually won’t tell the author I’m taking a project to the preliminary editorial meeting so as not to get their hopes up to much, but if it passes through that process and goes on to our acquisitions committee, then I will contact the author and let them know, both to make sure the project is still available (you never know!), and also because I’ll ask the author at that point for a bio and any ammunition they may have that would help me get the projects passed.

    And yes, this process is EXTREMELY emotional and stressful for the editors as well. I’ve cried several times (not at the meeting, thank goodness!) at a negative result. And as I said in my talk at the Eastern-NY SCBWI conference this past Saturday, I don’t really get nervous speaking in public, but I ALWAYS get nervous speaking at the acquisitions meeting, because so much is at stake.

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Acquired reading

Harold Underdown at The Purple Crayon has recently posted an especially good article about the manuscript-acquisition process — not from the writer’s perspective (that would be, “Writer waits. And waits. And waits. And…”), but rather the “What exactly goes on inside the publishing house?” take on things.

As nerve-wracking as the ordeal can be for the writer with a manuscript under consideration, and as inclined as we writers may be to think that no one else involved is alternating between whooping it up and unknotting their guts, Harold points out that the process can be an emotional one for the editor as well:

[T]he acquisition process always begins with the moment when an editor decides that she wants to publish a particular manuscript. This is an exciting moment for the editor!

The acquisition meeting itself , also known as publishing meeting, can be a stressful experience for an editor…

If you savor the black-box mystery of not knowing what on earth is going on with your manuscript and potential editor while you wait for an offer, then you should, of course, skip this article.

***

Update: I realized shortly after posting that some (many? most?) children’s writers with a manuscript in the acquisitions process may not even know that they’re in that process until it’s over and they receive The Call. In my case, I’ve never gotten The Call (or The E-Mail) out of the blue — for each offer I’ve received, I’ve been told beforehand that it was in the works, assuming that the process went as the editor hoped.

Whether you’ve received one book offer or 300 — in case Jane Yolen is reading — I’d be interested in knowing whether you (typically) knew that your manuscript was going through the acquisitions rigmarole before the offer came in.

By |2007-05-31T11:24:00-05:00May 31st, 2007|Uncategorized|0 Comments

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