Wednesday, February 25, 2009

T & J - All eyes are on you!

It's your Launch Week! That also means the Novel Girl's have free books to give away. Please make sure to leave comments - that's all you have to do.

With my pub date still months away, I'm living vicariously through each of the other Novel Girls. I'm so excited for you both, Tracy and Jill, and I can't wait to read your books. I'm venturing into Nashville today to buy both of them at our local indie store, Davis-Kidd, and I hope to send you pictures from the bookstore (that is if I can figure out how to upload the photos on my own!!)

When I was starting down my road to publication I would devour success stories from authors who had struggled through rejections from agents and publishers. I posed the question to both of this week's newly published NG's and here's what they said . . .

Lisa: Is there anything about your road to publication that might encourage aspiring authors to keep on keepin' on? Or was your agent/publisher process quick and easy. In other words, were you lucky right out of the gate or did you have to work hard for it?

Tracy: To use your expression, I did "sell" right out of the gate. Meaning, the full manuscript was only submitted to one editor at one publishing house, and he purchased it. However, my road to publication wasn't as easy as that makes it sound! I had many rejections from agents on this novel. Some of them broke my heart. One of them even halted my writing for about two weeks. I never said I wasn't emotional, LOL.

But after the offer came in from the editor, two offers of representation came in from two amazing agents. I just needed to figure out which agent was right for me, and I did. Michelle Grajkowski is enthusiastic, smart, and amazingly supportive. At the end of all those rejection letters, I ended up exactly where I was supposed to.

So, my encouraging note to aspiring authors is simple. Keep submitting, because you never know when the right agent, right editor, for your story, for your voice, will read it, love it, and call you.


Jillian: There was nothing easy about my path to publication, and I certainly didn’t get lucky right out of the gate. My first attempt at getting an agent started in 2002, with a novel I wrote before The September Sisters. Despite the fact that dozens of agents told me it was unsellable, most of them also told me I was good writer and should try them again. So that was something that inspired me to keep going, despite all the rejection.

In late 2003 I wrote the first draft of The September Sisters. As I wrote, for the first time, I thought about what might be sellable, and this influenced some of the decisions I made in writing the book. I knew I wanted to add a mystery into the plot and also write from only one point of view in first person (My first novel had been in third person from five points of view.). I also wanted to write a coming of age story. I’m not sure why I thought this would be more sellable, but for some reason, I felt very sure it was. But then when I got rejected by some more agents again, I felt completely deflated and gave up on my writing career for awhile.

The things that inspired me to get back into it were distance (After nearly two years I missed writing and could also see more clearly how to revise the book.) and having a baby. When my son turned one, I realized that I needed to make my dream of a writing career more than just a dream – to show him what was possible in life. Or at least, I had to try. But my decision to throw myself back into my writing didn’t make the path any easier -- still another two years (and lots of rejection) would go by before the book would sell.
So yes, my path to publication was absolutely long, and a struggle, and also a roller coaster ride full of crazy highs and incredible lows, but in the end, it was all worth it. And besides, I’m sure I wouldn’t be appreciating this awesome launch week half as much as I am now if it had all just been quick and easy!

Thanks, ladies!

As crazy as this week must be for you both. Please take time to relish in what you've created and accomplished. Congratulations and please drink a glass of bubbly for me!

11 comments:

Tracy Madison said...

You know, I've said this before, but even with the all the rejections...I wouldn't change my path to publication one bit. It's my path, and I'm proud of it, and the end is all that sweeter because of it!

The Rat said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Rat said...

The books look great, ladies. As tonight is my weekly date night with my hubby (sans drooling toddler), I am planning our date at the bookstore (romantic, no, but I'm not one for roses when I'd rather smell books). I'll be sure to pick up copies. And thanks for the encouraging words: as I write this, a partial is being mailed to an agent. Am I nervous? Yes. Am I bummed to play the waiting game? Yes. Would I have it any other way? HELL NO. I love this new journey my life is taking.

Jillian Cantor said...

Good luck to you!! The nerves and the waiting are hard, but if you stick with it, the end result is worth it!!!

Like you said, Tracy, the end is sweeter because of all the bumps along the way. I feel things ended up exactly the way they were supposed to for me -- but if it had arrived just a little sooner, I would've been okay with that, too!

Lalaland said...

Your stories are very motivating. There's always going to be someone who refuses what you have, but you just need to keep trying. =D

lisapatton said...

I look forward to when I get to tell my road to publication. It's bumpy for sure but now I can finally say, so worth waiting for! My agent always said we'd end up with the right publisher who would get behind my book. She was so right!

Lesley Livingston said...

I'm always interested in hearing the 'path to pub' stories! No two are ever the same and it seems that there really is no absolutely 'right' way to get there!

I'm so happy for you guys and I'm really enjoying your launch week! :-D

Maureen Lipinski said...

Tracy--I love your story! One editor, one house...totally fate! Or maybe magic...

Jillian--your story kind of sounds like mine. It honestly took getting pregnant for me to finish my story because I wanted something I could show to my son and say, "See? I did this all on my own!"

The Rat said...

Jillian and Maureen- I, too, had the pregnancy kick in the arse, too. I was home on maternity leave, bored, and thinking that I wanted to be able to show my daughter that her mom was [once] cool, that she didn't let anything prevent her or excuse her from doing what she wanted to do. You guys are an inspiration. And now I'll get back to my mommy duties and finish dinner. :)

Maureen Lipinski said...

Rat--

Congrats on the partial!

And while I hope my book is inspiring for my son, it'll probably just totally embarass him and I'll have to use all of my advance money to pay for his therapy. :)

Paradox said...

Thank you for this question! I always have to keep finding ways to motivate myself to keep writing (I haven't yet finished even half of a book, and very few stories.)