Monday, November 16, 2015

Another Story Behind Another Sale

So you may have seen my new YA sci-fi announcement. I sort of wrote up a little story behind the sale for that book, because it's had a Journey.

This story is different. I thought it would be fun to showcase both stories, simply because they are different, and every journey toward publication is unique, even for a single person.

So here's the deal:

Yes, it's a romance deal. Yes, it's adult. My debut, in fact, into the full-length adult romance genre (I have a novella in an anthology right now, and 3 more coming next year).

The book is called UNTIL SUMMER ENDS, and it begins the Redwood Bay series, which will have at least 3 books.

These past two book deals -- this one and my YA sci-fi one -- are big firsts for me, because they're multiple book deals, something I've never gotten before. It's both exciting and terrifying. I've never had to write a book under contract, and that pressure is intense.

Anyway, I wrote Until Summer Ends only a year ago. That's right. I started it in November 2014, and I finished it at the beginning of December. It was the second romance novel I'd attempted (the first was horrific!).

Over the next couple of months, I wrote a few more romance novels, but Until Summer Ends was the one I was preparing to shop. I sent the first few chapters to critique group, and then I had a professional editor work on the whole thing.

With their feedback -- which was mostly positive -- I felt encouraged to start querying. So I did, to both literary agents and publishers that accepted unagented submissions. On April 1, no less. No April Fool's Day here!

I got quite a few requests, mostly because I did my homework. I researched the agents and publishers, looked at the things they'd sold or published, and tailored my queries to them. I went wide, don't get me wrong, but I still did my homework. And in romance, there are quite a few publishers you can submit directly to.

I went to a local conference and pitched my book to an editor at St. Martin's Press. She requested it. Things were looking up!

Especially when I got an offer on the book the second week of May, from one of the publisher's I'd submitted to. That spurred me to let other pubs and all the agents considering the full know about the offer.

A couple of weeks later, I got another offer, from another publisher. The day after that, I got an offer from a literary agent. She was one of the top ten dealmakers in romance on Publisher's Marketplace. Even if she couldn't sell the book (hey, I'm realistic -- I've had several books on submission through an agent in New York that didn't sell), I figured I had the two publisher offers to choose from.

So we submitted, and we actually ended up getting several offers. I was sort of shocked. Ha! We ended up going with Cleis Press, because the editor there, Karen Thomas, was incredibly enthusiastic about the project, and after speaking with her on the phone, I knew it was the right place to be.

So that's how I went from the drafting of a novel in November 2014, to querying only 5 months later, to an offer just a month after that. It was fast. MUCH faster than any of my other book deals, that's for sure!

But it just shows that the journey is different for each book, and each person! And UNTIL SUMMER ENDS will be out in July 2016! Which is also fast! Meanwhile, I have two more novels to write, so... I better get doing that!

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