Monday, April 19, 2010

Timing is everything

by Jane

So much of life has to do with timing: where we go to school; who we end up with as a partner or a spouse; what job we end up with. And, there is no business where this is more true than in publishing.

An author has an idea, finds just the right agent who “gets” that idea and who then finds the right publisher to publish that book at just the right time. There are so many good examples of this--and, of course, there are negative examples as well.

This week, for me at least all of this really rang true:

I sold a novel that one of our best and oldest clients had been working on for five long years to just the right editor and publisher.

I sold another book just a week after I sent it out on submission--it was an idea that just happened to strike a chord right now, from an author who wrote a brilliant proposal and it went to a publisher who really got it.

Trying to beat the rush out of town for the London Book Fair, I also quickly closed two other deals. As it turns out, I didn’t have to hurry. As a result of the unpronounceable volcano, many of my colleagues had to cancel their travel plans.

Still, timing is everything.


  1. You've got that right! I decided long ago that if I were to have one super power it would be to control timing and have the ability to tinker with the timing of things. It seems in the end alot of life comes down to timing. ;) Congrats on the sales btw.

  2. That is so true! It does apply to all aspects of life. In terms of publishing, it can make the process either more rewarding - if you can predict the perfect timing and plan accordingly - or more frustrating - as some of it (OK, a great deal of it) - is out of your control.

  3. Oh yes, timing is everything which is probably why writers (and no doubt, agents) get so frustrated when the timing goes askew, even though it isn't anyone's fault.

    I guess the only thing writers can control is honing our craft and writing the best book we can.

  4. I've heard this is true, and I wish it encouraged me more, but it seems to add such a random element into the mix. Then again, maybe the fact that my timing has always been off means I'm in for a big win.