If you’ve been following parts I, II, III, and IV, you’ve probably guessed that this book took a long time to become a book, and boy, you’d be right.
I had given up on my book not once, but twice, and I’d started querying another book. It’s complicated because when you start querying one book you have to make a choice ―agents or publishers. You don’t do both. So I started sending my new novel out into the world of agents, and things were different. I got partials and fulls and my book did well in contests. It was all very exciting.
That is, things were very exciting up until the point when they were painfully “not right for our needs at this time.”
Yeah, rejection sucks, but it’s part of the process. For this new novel, I started getting personalized feedback, concrete bits I could actually work with. Unsure how to apply them to my current novel, I practiced that feedback on my old novel, the one in the trunk. Then, I saw a contest―if there’s one thing you should know, it’s that I have a weak spot for contests. But this contest wasn’t the usual query contest for agents, it was aimed at publishers only. My current query bait was already out in the world with agents, and I didn’t want to query both agents and editors with my book. That would be rude. But I did have that other novel and thanks to the feedback, I had a good idea what might be wrong with my novel. I edited Acne, Asthma, And Other Signs You Might Be Half Dragon and put it in the contest.
And something happened that hadn’t happened before: someone from the publishing world, an editor, loved my book. It was such a moment of validation to have someone other than close friends and family say they loved my work. They were enthusiastic and hopeful.
And then I got a second offer.
I don’t know if you’ve ever had to make up your mind, but it ain’t easy. I talked to all the people I knew who had published with small publishers and with the publishers I was considering. To be truthful, I had already researched one of the publishers, Curiosity Quills, and they were the reason I had entered the contest in the first place. I had been hoping they would notice me, and they did. I was over the moon.
And that, as they say is that.
I know it’s pretty normal to talk about these things, but if you saw something about my path to publishing that you’re curious about, feel free to ask. From my rather longwinded story here, it should be obvious I love talking about myself and my process.