Tuesday, April 5, 2011

From Sub to Pub 3


That first week on submission was easy. Because I wasn’t really expecting to hear much. Editors have to read the book, and from my understanding, they almost always send it off to a second reader if they liked it. And that takes time.

The second week, however, I started haunting the Internet and Verla Kay’s message board looking for inspirational and encouraging posts. Hearing what other writers went through during submissions helped a lot. Some waited just a few days for the first offer. Others waited months. Some didn’t even get offers. And I had to remind myself that what happened was totally out of my control. It would either sell, or it wouldn't, and I would deal.

Some part of me believed wholeheartedly that Altered would sell. But the larger part of me just couldn’t accept the fact that any of this was really happening. As any writer knows, rejections are expected. You play this game long enough and you almost brainwash yourself into thinking that it’ll never happen. You work so hard---you ignore your family, you pay your water bill late because you can‘t concentrate on anything other than plot twists, you gain five pounds and drink far too many bottles of wine---only to be told no.

So when it finally does happen, for lack of a better phrase, you freak the hell out.



We got our first offer February 11th. And I was the sickest I’ve been in a long time. I knew Altered was going to acquisitions that day. But I couldn’t seem to stay awake long enough to marry my cell phone or burn a hole through my browser refresh button.

Jo called sometime after four to tell me the good news. I’m not entirely sure what I said in that conversation. I know I didn’t scream because I couldn’t get my voice that high. I know there was mention of abs and hot guys and then Jo told me to get some rest and we hung up. And then I passed out for another four hours.


It took me almost six days to get better. Of all the times to catch the flu! It should have been the best time of my life! Instead, I alternated between ecstatic and comatose.

But, thankfully, by the following Friday, when we got our second offer, I was well enough to squee. And squee I did.

Altered went to auction the following Wednesday. When all was said and done, I felt like Little, Brown was the right publisher for me. And when I talked to Julie on the phone the following day, it only solidified my decision. I never gave much thought to how passionate my future editor would be (would have to be) in order to take my book on, and Julie had passion in spades. I walked away from that phone call glowing.

Altered was going to be published. It was going to be released in the wild. It really was happening.


So for anyone out there still writing, querying, or on submission, even if it feels like you'll never hop the fence to the other side --- the side we've convinced ourselves is far greener --- know that it can, and it will happen. :)

And that concludes my Sub to Pub posts. J

9 comments:

  1. *claps*!! All three segments were awesome to read. And booo on being so freaking sick around the time you get such awesome news!

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  2. I just love these posts, Jenn! :)
    Sucks about being sick, of course, but great story! (Could it be that I'm haunting posts like these because I'm looking for inspirational and encouraging posts? Hehe).

    BIG CONGRATULATIONS!!!

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  3. Great posts! Thanks for sharing your journey -- I love hearing the inside story :) Totally sucks that you were sick but it does make for a more dramatic road to publication story ;)

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  4. Congratulations! I love reading about authorly journeys.

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  5. Amber --- YAY! I *love* reading other writers' stories, but it took me a long time to work up the nerve to post my own. :) So glad you liked the posts!

    Kathy --- Thanks!! If there was a Writer's Survival guide, one of the tips would be to read others' journeys! I've read so many great stories---they kept me going!!

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  6. Tessa --- Thanks!! I'm really not surprised I was sick the day I got my first offer. It just my luck! But honestly, in some twisted way, it helped. I didn't spend the entire day obsessing. :D

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  7. Medeia --- Thanks! :) And congrats on your upcoming release. Your book sounds so rich with culture. I'm adding it to my wish list!

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  8. Shhh. Hypothetically speaking...I'm not here. ; ) Thank you SO MUCH for sharing your journey.

    And congrats!

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  9. Thanks Samantha! It's so weird sharing your own story---it's like, do people really care? :D But I loved reading this kind of thing before I got my agent.

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