Thursday, January 12, 2006

History - Part 3: An Unexpected Ending

…so I went from the excitement of selling my first novel in January of 2005, to the very real possibility the book wasn’t going to get published at all in August, to suddenly having at least the faint light of hope when another publisher expressed interest in the book.

After the book was sent off, it was everything I could do not to send out an email everyday to see if there had been a response. I think about three weeks went by with no word. Then one day around the end of October, I got a call on my cell at work. It was from Jim at Ugly Town. He said the editor had finished reading my manuscript and wanted to talk to me. I was excited and a little nervous. I remember asking him, “Do you think that’s a good thing?” It may have been the stupidest question I asked all year. Hell, it may have been the stupidest question I ever asked.

I got the call that following Monday morning. Halloween, actually. The editor and I talked for an hour. It was a great conversation. She said some wonderful things about my book. Plus she went over some ideas she had which she thought would make it better. All her ideas were great. I was energized. I felt really good after we were done. But I still hadn’t heard anything definite on whether they were taking me on or not. Being your typical writer, I was still nervous. So as I waited for final word, I began working on integrating her notes.

A few days later, I got another call from Ugly Town. The other publisher wanted to buy my contract from them. Suddenly I was looking at going from high-quality but small press Ugly Town to Bantam Dell, one of the largest houses in the business. What a great, early Christmas present.

The deal was kind of complicated. Ugly Town and Bantam Dell needed to work out a deal between themselves. Then Bantam Dell was going to give me a new contract. It took a while for that to get all worked out. While this was all happening, I finished a new draft of the book and sent it to my “new” editor at Bantam Dell. I know it still needs some work. I should be getting to it next week.

And to bring things completely up-to-date, I’m happy to say I received my contract last night. After I take a few days to go over it, I’ll be sending it back next week.

Not the most traditional path to publication. But I’m finally on the road, and I couldn’t be happier.

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