Being in the publishing business requires a strange combination of traits. We have to always look ahead—publishing plans for things way in advance, there are already book scheduled for 2018, 2019 and beyond. Authors have to think about what books they have contracted, what books they want to have contracted, and what that means in terms of keeping on top of deadlines and deciding what to write next.
But at the same time, writers also have to stay in the present. We have to remind ourselves to enjoy every step of the way, to keep on top of our daily tasks, to make sure we meet our deadlines. A lot of the publishing world is thinking ahead, yes, but it’s also keeping focused on the now and putting everything we can into this draft and this revision.
All the while, we have to be patient. There’s so much waiting in publishing—so much, and it truly never ends. Whether you’re waiting to hear back from your critique partners who have your manuscript, waiting to hear from an agent you queried, waiting to hear back from your agent who is looking at your newest revision, waiting to hear back from editors who have your book on submission, waiting to see your book’s cover, waiting for your book to be available for pre-order, waiting for your editor’s notes, waiting for your ARCs, waiting for your final author copies, etc. etc. there’s always something to wait for in the publishing world.
Emotionally and mentally, sometimes the publishing world can be a lot to handle, especially for writer-types who often (though not always) deal with insecurities and various mental illnesses, including anxiety disorders. It can be hard in a field where there are no guarantees, where the pay is unpredictable and there often isn’t much career stability, especially at first. It can be scary knowing just how much is truly out of your hands, and how outside factors can so drastically change a writer’s career.
But it can also be incredibly gratifying. To be able to work in a field that you love, to be able to write stories and share characters and worlds with readers, to be able to gush about books and write one story after another—I truly feel so blessed to be part of this industry.
It’s not always easy, and sometimes it’s downright challenging, but it truly is incredible to be able to do work that I love, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world.
Ava Jae is a YA writer, an Assistant Editor at Entangled Publishing and freelance editor, and is represented by Louise Fury of The Bent Agency. Her YA Sci-Fi debut, BEYOND THE RED, was released March 2016 from Sky Pony Press, and the sequels INTO THE BLACK and THE RISING GOLD will be published Fall 2017 and 2018, respectively. When she’s not writing about kissing, superpowers, explosions, and aliens, you can find her with her nose buried in a book, nerding out over the latest X-Men news, or hanging out on her blog, Twitter, Facebook, tumblr, Goodreads, Instagram, or YouTube channel.