Sign Here…The Road to My First Book Contract

My journey started in 2005-2006, when the idea for a story (middle grade reader) crept into the empty slots of my mind. I took little notes here and there, on index cards, sticky pads, and torn sheets of notebook paper. The idea soon developed into a story, complex in its own way, and in my thoughts.

Over the first year I worked my writer’s butt off on plot, characters, settings, and dialog. After revision number eight, I sent the draft to an editor, whom I paid sixty-five dollars to make suggestions and line edits. Upon receipt of the newly edited manuscript I went back to work for another period of time working on the edits and coming up with better ideas.

time-line

In May of 2006, I submitted, what I realize now was a sub-par manuscript to an agent, and surprisingly I received a request for the first three chapters, soon hearing a no thanks a month later.

I moved forward, editing it more over the years, submitting it to more agents and publishers. In August of 2006 I got word that my manuscript was one of the top five still be considered with a publisher out of the thousand submissions received.

In the end it was a no thank you.

I moved forward yet again, editing, putting aside, editing some more, taking it to my now no-longer existing writer’s critique group, where the first part of the book was discussed and critiqued. (I owe Dawn, Ken, and Cherie all a big high-five and thank you!) The Husband even took the time to do some editing and word arrangement help! (Thank you!)

In the end I discovered, as I keep a very detailed record of my submissions, that regardless of the handful of personal no thank you(s) from publishers and agents…I racked up 57 rejections!!! 57!!!!!

the setting (floor-plan)

My last submission was a query letter to a publisher (February 2011). I waited only two months before status querying her (and all the writers gasp at the fact that I didn’t wait the standard three months) to double check that she received my query. I quickly received an email back stating that she never received it, and asked that I resent it…so I did…then on May 17, 2011 I received word that the publisher wanted to offer me a book contract.

The contract was in the mail, the publisher told me…and so my ears turned into those of an owl and I heard the mailman’s truck from a mile away…after he left I dashed out in my bathing suit (for those that know me…you know how odd that is of me do such a thing!!) and behold the priority mail envelope literally sung as I opened the mailbox door.

character’s family tree

I bolted back inside, carefully ripped it open and began reading, thrusting a copy for The Husband to read as well.

And as it goes…I signed here! 😀

More details to come in the future as I move forward.

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