Past Me is so cute.
Alrighty. If you were on Twitter Monday night, you got to experience the most incredible thing with me. I announced that my book, the book that I've been working on forEVER and have rewritten a silly number of times all because I'm so addicted to the characters I can't let them go, is actually going to be published.
And here's how it all went down.
Last summer, I pushed through the third complete rewrite of BETWEEN. It was a major one--changing from past to present tense and getting rid of a couple of main characters. I sacrificed a LOT of sleep, and finished it just in time to post pages in the WriteOnCon forums. (That was the first time I'd ever participated in WriteOnCon--if you never have, DO. It's a completely free online writing conference. I cannot possibly say enough good things about it.)
Based on the pages and query I posted in the forums there, I received a few requests from agents and editors to read the full manuscript. I sent it off to them, and waited. In the meantime, I'd also sent the rewritten draft to a few beta readers. As their feedback started rolling in, I started revising again.
The rejections came in slowly. "Too fast-paced." "Not fast-paced enough." "Not for me." "Fairy stories are out." (I take serious issue with calling my book a "fairy story" but WHATEVER.)
And then I got a rejection from Danielle Ellison with Spencer Hill Press, with a (heh, fairly lengthy) list of the reasons they were rejecting it. Now, we all know it's super fun to see a long list of the problems in your manuscript, right? But at the same time, it was sooooooo awesome to see, right in front of me, what they did and did not like.
Luckily, many of the problems in the email were things I was already working on in the latest revision (because my critique partners are BOSS, right?!) So I emailed Danielle and thanked her for the specific feedback because I was working on revisions and the notes would be so helpful.
It was just a rejection. And all I said was thank you. I didn't expect to hear anything else.
But then Danielle emailed me back, telling me to resubmit after I finish my revisions.
So then I forwarded all of that to Leigh Ann and we were all, "HOT DAMN! That's sort of an R&R!"
When revisions were finished around mid-November, I sent the new and improved manuscript to Danielle and sent out queries to agents from a few contests I'd entered. And then I didn't send out anymore. I'd queried a previous version of BETWEEN (3 drafts ago), and while the current BETWEEN is way different from that one (in that I'd feel completely comfortable re-querying agents with it), I just....didn't want to. I decided that for this particular book, I wanted to go with a small press or self-publish. (And I'll do a separate post on why.)
As you already know- I heard back from Danielle in December with an offer on BETWEEN, and I signed my contract right after the first of the year. Then I waited for what seemed like an eternity for it to post in Publishers Marketplace.
|I don't have the patience to make it bigger. You know what it says anyway.|
So then finally, FINALLY, I was able to announce it on Twitter. And then Twitter exploded.
It. Was. Awesome.
So many of you have been with me since I entered my very first contest with BETWEEN (A Cupid contest, February 2012), and you've all been so great--whether you've read my book, helped with my query, or just cheered me on through lots and lots of revising. I love the little community we have, and how we're all there for each other to share in the highs and lows that come with this crazy thing we all decided to do with our lives. Thanks so much for being as awesome as you are. I can't begin to tell you how much you guys mean to me.
And now for the numbers.
Query Stats: (Across all drafts, obviously...)
I used Querytracker for everything. I love that site and can't recommend it enough.
Total queries sent: 52
Partial/Full Requests: 6
Offers of Rep: 0
Offers of Publication: 1 (YAY!)
AND HOLY MOTHER OF ALL THAT IS PRETTY MY BOOK IS ON GOODREADS. Click here to go gaze at that beautiful page.
Love you guys.