Hey, did you see it? The banner right up there with the title of my first book? It’s right above this very belated post. Yes world, I am going to be a published author.
What’s strange is that nothing went the way it was supposed to. You see, I’ve written several books, but the one that landed me my three book deal with Penguin’s digital-first line, Intermix, wasn’t written. Not a single word.
I sold on proposal.
I’m still recovering from it. Other authors have asked me how I managed to get a book accepted on proposal, and I’ll tell you, I’ve asked myself the same question. It’s not at all the way things are supposed to happen for newbies, but it happened to me, and I chalk it up to several factors, but the bottom line is that over the years I made the right connections with the right people. This past summer, I landed a wonderful new agent. Becky is with FinePrint Literary Management and she is young, smart, savvy and wants us both to be successful. Signing with her is the best thing I’ve done for my career. She’s the perfect agent for me.
So, here’s the story. At the end of the summer, I was finishing up revisions on my single title when Becky called and said she’d heard from an editor at NAL/Intermix. The editor had read some of my work and stayed in touch with me. In fact, she was the one who sent Becky my way when she knew I needed an agent.
The editor had an idea for a story and she asked Becky if I’d be interested in submitting a proposal. They wanted a contemporary marriage of convenience story, and while I wasn’t so sure initially, I took a crack at it and wrote a six page synopsis. Well, according to Becky, I hit a home run and I was offered a contract for three books, with the first one being due around Halloween! (The offer was made in September–no lie)
Crazy, right? That I sold on proposal as an unpublished author is very unusual. But what the experience showed me was that all the “work” I’ve done–the connections I’ve made, the conferences I’ve gone to, the submissions, the rejections and how I’ve handled those things–has helped me build a reputation and that’s what helped me land the contract. Is there a moral to the story? Yes. Be a professional even before you sell. Don’t be arrogant, but be confident. Get to know people. Go to events even if you aren’t going to pitch. Be a presence and remember that this is a small community and people have long memories, so if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything. Be polite. Be nice. That’s right, be nice. I truly believe that last one helped put me in this position more than anything else.
So, dear readers, as more content becomes available, the site will be updated. But until then, the pretty banner will remind you about the wonderful event coming in May, when The Temporary Wife will be released.
You’re going to love it. I know you will. 🙂