I’m going to be published!!! In the Spring of 2014!!
I’ve officially signed a contract with Entranced Publishing for my YA fantasy, HARVESTER! I’m beyond thrilled and even did a little snoopy dance when I first got the email telling me they’d like to publish my book.
Thank you oh-so-much to all those people who’ve put up with my incessant insecurities, behind-the-curtain rants, and helped to critique and beta read my manuscript. You know who you are and I would’ve never made it this far without the lot of you.
The Journey (or, rather, The Very, Very Long Boring Story of a Girl Trying to Get Published)
I officially started querying HARVESTER last year of this exact month. In fact, after doing a quick search in my email, my very first query was sent off on the 23rd of June 2012. HARVESTER is my second novel I’ve written. I spent a lot of painstaking effort on the query letter and synopsis and that effort earned me quite a few requests (both partials and fulls).
Out of all those requests, two turned into R&Rs, while the rest came back as rejections stating they didn’t connect with the characters or didn’t fall in love with the story enough to offer representation. I threw myself wholeheartedly into revisions. I continually told myself that just because I had a R&R didn’t mean the agents would make an offer. I knew they could easily come back as rejections.
When I finished my revisions and turned them in, I sent out more queries. In came more requests. Guys, I had so many “almost there’s” it hurt. So many agents said they loved the premise, but it was just missing that extra thing to make them want to take me on. Then my R&Rs came back as R&Rs. I had amazing feedback from these two specific agents and I’ll never forget all the hard work they put into giving me back insightful advice.
Since I’m not making an announcement of an offer of representation, I’m sure you can guess that my R&Rs ultimately didn’t pan out. One of those especially hurt. I was so, so, so convinced we were a perfect fit. I thought the agent loved the premise and plot of my book. Surely after being given a second R&R I’d finally nail that final stretch that was holding the agent back from offering. But they didn’t.
Worse yet, their rejection made me feel as though I’d regressed and actually worsened the story. I’m ashamed to admit it, but I was angry and depressed for several days. I never showed it online (much less threw an embarrassing drama-fit on Twitter), but I was. I wallowed in self-pity and loathing for days (okay, maybe weeks, but whose counting?). I even considered calling it quits. People had always laughed when I told them I wanted to be an author and I started to wonder maybe they were right to laugh and taunt me. Maybe I was a talentless hack spewing nonsense all over the pages of my book.
In the end, I picked up the pieces of my shattered pride and rewrote HARVESTER one final time. When I finished, I entered it into Cupid’s Blind Speed Dating Contest. I never expected to make it in. I did. I never expected to get many requests. But I did! In fact, I got a ton! I was up on Cloud Nine from all the interest showered on my little entry. So, again, the waiting game renewed. And, slowly, the rejections started coming in once more. They all praised my writing, but again, none of them fell in love with the story.
At this point, an entire year had nearly passed, and I decided that perhaps it was time to shelve HARVESTER forevermore. After talking with a friend, though, I decided to try my luck with a few small presses. One in particular was holding a Twitter pitch event, so I shot over a 140-character pitch. It earned me a partial request. A month later, my partial turned into a full. Another month passed and in shot a new email from the managing editor. I opened it, fully expecting a rejection, only to read that she’d loved it and wanted to make an offer of publication! Huzzah!
After repeatedly getting my hopes up, only to have them shattered into tiny, glittering bits of unicorn poop, someone has finally loved HARVESTER enough to give it a shot! Though I was never offered representation by any of the agents I queried, I am incredibly thankful for each and every scrap of feedback they gave me. Without that, I would’ve never been driven to revise my book over and over again, and then to ultimately submit to a publishing house and get accepted.
Each and every writer’s journey is different. Mine has been a rollercoaster of emotions, filled with repeated ups and downs and near-misses. I look forward to seeing how much more awesome Entranced Publishing can help me make HARVESTER.
To everyone reading this who is still querying, please don’t give up. I know it’s hard. I really do. Publishing is a business, though, and no one ever said it’d be easy. Hang in there. And when you finally get an agent or a publishing deal, I’ll be here to fist bump you. Remember, all it takes is that one yes.
And, in case you’re wondering what it looks like when I spazz-dance in happiness, it’s this: