Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Timelines

Got a bit more reading done today -- skimmed a book that was pretty general, but that did yield one interesting footnote, which I intend to follow up on.

I had an interesting conversation this morning with a friend who teaches U.S. History at another nearby university, and who is doing final revisions based on the readers' reports from the press who gave her a contract. The topic of the conversation was timelines. She sent her MS to the press for review in October, received readers' reports in January, sent a response in March, and had a contract by April, with a September deadline for final revisions.

Now, I know that all presses and processes are different. And I know that not everybody gets a positive response on their first round of proposals. But using her timetable as a rough guide, and adding six weeks to the beginning for the proposal stage... and assuming I get lucky and get a positive response from someone in my first round, that's 7 months from proposal to contract. I file for tenure a year from October, so (pauses to count backwards): Submit proposals in February, at the latest. December, to be safe.

December. That's six months from now.

Yikes.

3 comments:

Not Nurse Ratched said...

A FOOTNOTE!!!!! AGGGHHHHHHH! You know how I feel about footnotes. It's a good damn thing I'm not there, or I'd chase you with it. And no doubt you'd run away...

Notorious Ph.D. said...

I fear no footnotes.

squadratomagico said...

You should only trust your friend's timeline if you yourself are publishing with the same press. They all differ in terms of efficiency. I had an interesting experience along these lines: As I was approaching my tenure year, I sent out a detailed prospectus, cover letter, and sample chapter to three different presses, indicating that I expected to be ready to share the entire ms. in about 2 months. One said no thanks; another said, please send us the entire ms. when it is finished, we have an interesting series for it; the third said they were intrigued, but wanted to get some readers' feedback on the sample chapter. I wrote off #1, and never heard back from #3 in the ensuing two months until I finished, while #2 was very attentive -- so I sent it off to them in September.

I got readers' reports in early December and a final contract in mid-January. About a week after that I suddenly hear from the editor at press #3: "Hey, I just found your sample chapter and paperwork buried under a pile of stuff on my desk! Looks good -- can we see the whole thing now?" I wrote back noting that in the time it had taken him to decide to look at my stuff, the entire ms. had been finished, reviewed, and placed under contract by another press.

Make sure, when you correspond with editors, that you mention you are up for tenure. Most decent people will try to make sure their processes do not interfere with your time needs.