I can finally share some incredible news, years of hard work and perseverance in the making… I HAVE A BOOK DEAL!
My science fiction novel, The Sentient, will be published by Flame Tree Press in June 2020. It’s the first full-length novel I wrote, I’m incredibly proud of it, and thrilled beyond words that it’s going to be out in the world.
It’s surreal. So much came before this – the idea, the first draft, editing, rewriting, more editing, conferences, pitches, rejection, finding a literary agent, revising the novel again, spending an agonizing year on submission with more rejections… and here we are. A moment I’ve dreamed about for much of my life, but one I never fully trusted to happen. There are no guarantees in publishing, after all. Writers remind ourselves of that constantly, to brace for the next round of setbacks and rejection.
Only days before I got “the call” from my literary agent, I was talking to a friend about being on submission. It was approaching a year, and we’d had this same conversation many times before.
“Anything new with your book?” she asked.
“Still on sub. Another editor passed, but it’s still out with others.”
“Oh, bummer. Well, I’m sure you’ll hear good news soon.”
Normally, I just nodded at the usual words of encouragement, but this time, I was in a more resigned state of mind. I told her that I had started to accept the fact that The Sentient, my first book, may never be published. That it just may not be the right book to find the right publisher at the right time, and I’d have to put my faith in my next novel.
One day later, I got “the call.” On April Fool’s Day, of all days. I knew it wasn’t a prank – a person’s publishing dreams aren’t prank material. When I heard the news, my heart pounded and a strange sensation followed, of a weight being lifted from my chest. I had an offer for a book deal! It was finally happening. It felt surreal but right at the same time - a moment I had imagined in my head for a long time, and here I was.
Of course, I couldn’t just blast the news out to the world. Many steps follow that life-changing call – contract negotiations, following up with other publishers, signatures and announcements. If there’s one truism about the traditional publishing route, it’s that patience is key.
Patience, and perseverance. At each stage in the publishing process, there’s always a new ladder to climb. Take my last two years... after I finished my novel, all my energy was focused on getting a literary agent. Once I signed with an agent, I was overjoyed… but soon, my mind shifted to a new source of anxiety – whether the book would sell. Now that it’s sold, I have a new tier of anxieties:
For those of you on a similar path, at whatever stage... keep writing, and never give up!
Writer of mostly science/speculative fiction.