February is a big month for me.
First, my birthday is this month! Or as I like to call it, the Sarahbration. I have been known to dance around the house singing “Sarahbrate good times, come on! Woooo hooo!” I turn 33 this year–which has some significance, so stay tuned.
But birthday time isn’t the only reason it’s a Sarahbration….
I got a book deal!!!
A REAL BOOK DEAL!!!
For those of you who follow this blog (first of all, sorry for not posting in a while!), you’ll know that this has been a long time coming. I’ve been working toward this goal for years. 7 of them. Well, longer than that if we get technical–this has been my dream since I was four. But 7 years ago is when I wrote my first complete manuscript. A terrible, horrible, shall not be read again manuscript. However, that bad manuscript led to another, which led to another.
Which led me to my agent. I signed with my agent on the third manuscript I completed. We then went on submission to editors–an exciting and entirely nerve-wracking experience. Even more so because it’s shrouded in secrecy. But here’s the deal (in case you aren’t aware because of all the cloak and dagger of submission). Each publishing house is broken down into imprints that publish different sorts of books (YA/MG, Mystery, etc). Each imprint is basically run by editors. These are the people who agents send your manuscript to when you “go on sub.” They, and sometimes their interns, read all the submissions, then the editors either fall in love with your book, or they don’t and send you a lovely rejection as to why. “Lovely” meaning everything from “sorry, this isn’t for me” to lengthy explanations of why it isn’t for them. And there’s a myriad of reasons why. Everything from they didn’t connect, to they loved the voice and writing, but couldn’t get past a plot point, to they loved it, but the publisher already has a similar title and yours might compete.
If the editor loves it, they let other editors read it to get their thoughts. Then comes another round of rejections, or, if everyone loves it, it goes to acquisitions. The editor provides comp titles, and profit and loss statements, and how they’ll market the book, and generally tries to convince the acquisitions board to buy the book. If they’re not successful, you guessed it, more lovely rejections. If they are successful, well, then you receive a glorious thing called an offer! Just like with an offer of rep from an agent, your agent will give any other editors with your book a chance to make their own offer. For some people, this results in multiple offers and bidding wars (“auction”), and for others it results in editors bowing out. Then your agent and the editor negotiate the terms of your contract and boom, you have a book deal!
SO, my agent went on sub with one manuscript. Didn’t sell. I wrote another. I got closer with this one. It made it to the additional read stage. Even made it to acquisitions. Then more rejections. I wrote another. My fifth book, and the third to go on submission.
Here’s where the significance of my birthday comes into play. I’m not superstitious or anything, I just think it’s cool how some things work out. I turn 33 this month. I signed with my agent on the 3rd manuscript that I wrote/queried. And I finally sold to a publisher with the 3rd book on submission. Some additional cool numberage: my favorite number is 5 (it was my grandfather’s baseball number, and my dad’s, and mine), and this is the 5th book I’ve written. AND I was married on the 17th, and the book is scheduled for publication in spring 2017. Take that how you will. I’m possibly more attuned to number coincidences because my OCD causes me to count everything. (Speaking of which, if you read my OCD post, you may be wondering how I feel about all these odd numbers. Well, I can rationalize with the best of them, so 3+3+5+17= 28, which is even, so it’s all good).
There’s something I want you to notice, other than the numbers syncing up in a cool way: it took a while to finally get a book deal. Those numbers represent 7 years of learning and growth and improving my writing skills. 7 years of rejection. Over 120 rejections, counting from my first query to my book deal. That’s a lot of rejection! There were a lot of tears, a lot of days when I insisted I wasn’t good enough, when I wanted to give up. But I kept going. Stuck in there, determined to do everything I could possibly do to accomplish my dream.
The takeaway here is this. If I could do it, so can you. To all of you out there dealing with rejections and self-doubts, don’t give up. Don’t stop striving until you reach your goal, whatever it might be.
Okay, without further ado, here are a couple links:
The Publisher’s Weekly Rights Report Announcement: http://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/childrens/childrens-book-news/article/69310-rights-report-week-of-february-1-2016.html
Here’s where you can add it on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28936307-devils-within?ref=ru_lihp_up_rv_0_mclk-up2890048380
And some news: I’ll be setting up a new author website (ahhhh that feels so good to write!!!). I’m not sure if I’ll be able to merge this blog in with it, or just link to it, or what, but I’ll be sure to post an update here.
So that’s it! I’m an author!!! WOOOOO HOOOOOO!!!!!!