I think we’d all like to be an overnight success story. It’s a dream of ours as a writer. The process would be simple. We write out our novel. We work ferociously to get it just right. Then we query the agent of our dreams. You receive a phone call almost immediately from said agent where he says, “You’re the writer I’ve been waiting for.” You sign the contact he has for you the next day because he’s flown to your house. Next he calls and tells you that Thomas Nelson, Bethany House, and Zondervan all want to publish your book. He says he will get you the best deal he can. The next day, you decide that Thomas Nelson is the way you should go. You sign the contract. Your book will be out In less than a year. Your book when it comes out is an overnight sensation. Everyone wants to get a copy and read your book.
Well, that all sounds nice, but oh so unrealistic. As a writer we know that, first, there is so much to learn about the craft of writing. We’ll write and edit many, MANY times before we get to a final product that might be ready to start sending query letters to agents and publishing houses. We’ll probably receive a lot of rejection letters. If we’re lucky we might find one or two who think we have promise but still need to do some things with our MS (manuscript).
We work diligently to fix the things that have been pointed out. We send our work to our critique partners again to get more feedback. We edit some more. Finally we send it out again to agents and publishers. If we’re lucky we might get a contract or we may have to go back to the drawing board again.