Derek Johns (Managing Director - AP Watt Literary Agency) gives expert video advice on: How long does it take to go from finding an agent to getting published?; What happens when a book is accepted for publication?; What should I do if a publisher asks me to make revisions before they accept my submission? and more...
What happens when a book is accepted for publication?
The process begins with the drawing up and signing of a contract. Then the editor will edit the manuscript and put it into production, where it will be drawn up in proof form. The author will then read the proofs and correct them. Then the book is physically printed. This process could take only a few weeks but because of the way the book trade works and the need to announce books in advance, normally from manuscript to publication is about a year.
Will an agent get involved in the editing process?
An agent is often the first editor of a writer because it is important to tailor work and to fashion it before it gets to an editor's desk. Agents are often in for as much involved in editorial work as editors themselves.
Will an agent help me if I don't get on with my publisher or editor?
It's an important part of an agent's task to help authors get on with their publishers and when problems arise, to smooth them over. Quite often an agent is the mediator between the author and publisher.
How easy is it to get out of a book contract?
Once an author has signed a book contract, then like any contract, it's binding. But if things simply break down or the author can't write the book, then by simply repaying the advance an author can get out of a contract.
Will I get paid development money for writing my book?
There's no such thing as development money for fiction, but in non-fiction since most books are bought by publishes on the basis of the proposal the advance is the money that is there for the author to fund research and writing.
I've been asked to make revisions, can I ask for development money?
Unlike script writers, writers of books are not paid for rewrites. The advance is the payment and until royalties start to flow the advance is the sum total of the authors remuneration.
Do publishers ever take on unfinished books?
Agents will sometimes send partial manuscripts to publishers if they feel particularly excited about the work, and publishers will take on books on partial manuscripts. Our client Zadie Smith's "White Teeth" is a very good example of that, which was bought by the publisher on the basis of about a quarter of the manuscript.
If I'm submitting a partial manuscript, do I need to know the ending?
When you're submitting a partial manucscript you have to have a synopsis. That doesn't mean to say, of course, the book need necessarily go in the way intend. Novels are organic things. They have a habit of going off in unexpected directions, but everybody understands that.