I posted this MONDAY, FEBRUARY 27, 2012, on my 'A New Writer's Tale' Blog. Worth re-posting, especially for those aspiring writers. But beware. I've had a lot of people in the know tell me that my timeframe was actually much shorter than the great majority.

Looking Back (First Keystroke to Publication)

With three days to go before Avery McShane is released by Bloomsbury Children's Books in the U.K., I decided to look back and assess how long it took to get to this point. Here are the cold, hard numbers:

- From first keystroke (ever) to release date: 1,114 days (or 3 years, 1 month, 18 days)

- From first keystroke (ever) to Book Deal: 595 days (or 1 year, 7 months, 18 days)

- From first keystroke (ever) to Signing Agent: 491 days (or 1 year, 4 months, 6 days)

You see, Avery McShane was not the first manuscript I started. That honor fell to Paleopeople, which I have completed several times. Or at least I thought I had, until my agent sent me back to the keyboard again. 

I started writing Avery McShane while I waited for my agent to read and review Paleopeople. Here are the numbers starting from the day I typed the first word of Avery McShane:

- From first keystroke (of A/Mc) to release date: 869 days (or 2 years, 4 months, 16 days)

- From first Query Letter (for A/Mc) to release date: 821 days (or 2 years, 3 months)

- From first keystroke (of A/Mc) to Book Deal: 320 days (or 10 months, 16 days)

- From first Query Letter (for A/Mc) to Book Deal: 272 days (or 8 months, 29 days)

Obviously, not in any particular order, but you get the idea. For the record, it seemed much longer. These numbers will probably not mean jack to a non-writer, but they are the kinds of numbers any new, aspiring writer might find of interest. Good thing I never really gave it much thought. If I had, I'm pretty sure I wouldn't have kept going - but I did. And now I have three more days to go. Drop in a bucket.

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