Last month I was offered a contract on my first novel Six Days! Beyond my wildest dreams – didn’t think my first attempt at writing would ever get this far. For someone who switches ‘careers’ like Jay Z changes clothes, I’m pretty proud of myself for not only finishing the book, but shopping it around.
I finished Six Days in July of 2013 and had neighbor Jennifer Bateman, a contract editor for Penguin, look it over. She was the first person I let see my words on paper, the first person to tell me I should pursue this. Without her encouragement I never would have finished! Everyone needs cheerleaders in their corner and she was waving her pom poms for publishing like crazy!
In August of 2013, Savvy Authors hosted a symposium and signed up immediately. They offered workshops, pitching practice, synopsis helps and the reason I joined: the Pitch Room! Editors and agents from different publishing houses accepted pitches from authors, trying to get their manuscripts in front of them. I submitted to seven publishing houses and one agent. I got two instant rejections and four requests for first three chapters. I was ecstatic at the response and encouraged to keep going. In September I submitted to four more houses and two more agents. Some of the editors gave me great feedback and recommendations. I edited based on some of the advice and resubmitted to them. By October I had two editors seriously interested. After some back and fourths I was offered a contract in March of 2014!
It seems like it took forever from August until today to get where I am (contract expected to arrive early May, 2014) but from what I am learning the publishing world moves slower than I thought. But it’s all good and I’m already working on more novels, excited to keep my momentum going in the direction of selling and sailing. Husband and I have 7 years until we plan to sail away. Publishing more novels will help us sail longer so that is a strong motivation for me.
I’ll announce details when the contract is signed and the champagne is flowing! 🙂