Monday, August 29, 2016

Waiting for a Book Release

by Susan J Berger

I am so lucky. I have two picture books coming out. That's a wonderful feeling. But the wait for their actual publication can seem forever. The timing varies so much.
Mom, is There a Santa Claus had a long journey. I think I wrote the original in 2004. After many trips to the critique group, I sent it to Jennifer James at The Los Angeles Times in 2009 
I was unsure anyone would publish a story asking  if  Santa Claus was real. Those of us who cherish Santa Claus do everything in their power to keep Santa alive. But  one day most children ask the question.
Jennifer expressed an interest and asked me to cut it to 600 words. I did so and it was scheduled for publication. Then Jennifer James left and so did the column.
In 2014, I sent it to Lynda Burch at Guardian Angel Publishing. Lynda asked for changes. I made them and I signed a contract with GAP in June 2014. I knew there would be a wait because the awesome illustrator, K.C. Snider always has a huge list of books to illustrate. I got the cover picture from K.C. in July of this year.
I love the picture. And I'm more excited than ever to see the finished book which has  a planned debut day for the end of September.  Twenty seven months is really not a long wait. It just seems like it.
My other picture book  Log on Log is still in the pipeline at Beach Lane Books. I signed that contract in September 2011.  I spoke to Andrea Welsh at Conference this year. She said she would get back with me after talking to the illustrator. I have an illustrator? Happy dance!

  Greg Pincus waited eight years with Arthur Levine his delightful mid-grade book The 14 Fibs of Gregory K.  His sequel to 14 Fibs is coming out much quicker. The Homework Strike will be out January 3, 2017
 Andrea J.Loney had a different journey. Her delightful book, Bunny Bear will be out on December 2016. I know that both Greg and I were in the group at the Westside Schmooze which critiqued Bunny Bear in April 2014.  She had 17 rejections.  Her agent, Jill Corcoran sold the book Sept 4, 2015 and it will be out December 2016.
Her first book, Take a Picture of Me, James Van Der Zee, which won the 2014 Lee and Low New Voices award in 2014 won't be out till 2017.
In end, the length of the journey doesn't matter. The joy of the journey does.
I got a lovely rejection from Melissa Manlove at Chronicle Books for Nat the Rat and Fat Cat. I need to send that one out again. Tasha the Magnificent has been on an agent's desk for two months. The miracle is that the agent asked for the full. Tasha has had thirty-five rejections so far.
Two questions: If you are published, how long did you wait between contract and publication?
If you are on the submission circuit, how many times have you submitted your ms?
Write on!
Almost forgot! If you are a local author, Burbank Public Library is doing a Local Author event on Saturday, October 14th at the Buena Vista Branch Library. Here's a link to the Event Page and Application form.


  1. Waiting is the one of the hardest parts of this process. It took 18 months for my first GAP book to be released and a little less than that for 4RV Publishing to release my second book. The second was a first chapter reader, so not too many illustrations.
    I'm eager awaiting GAP's release of my next two books. Hopefully I hear something soon.

  2. The waiting is the second hardest part. The creating remains harder. But the waiting is way less fun for me than the creating, that's for sure. I look forward to seeing BOTH your books, no matter the wait!

  3. Waiting is the difficult part then the marketing! Congrats!


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