Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Hurry Up & Wait!

Ask any writer what the worst thing about this industry is and you'll most likely hear...waiting. It seems like an endless loop of hurry-up-and-wait. We hurry to turn things in and then we wait and wait and waaaait some more. Just ask Teri Brown, author of Read My Lips.

My first sale took forever, but I’ll make the first sale story much, much shorter. My first book didn’t sell, much to my agent’s disappointment, (and mine!) but we had high hopes for the second one. In September of 06, we sent it out to a ton of editors. The first rejections were fairly quick, like in the first couple of weeks. Then the waiting began. Over the next eight months, we waited, following up from time to time. A rejection would trickle in here and there until our large list of editors had dwindled. I was working on my next book, but losing heart. Then we got news. A new editor at Simon Pulse, who had recently taken over for the editor we had submitted to back in September, happened to come across my manuscript. She was conversing with my agent on a different book and asked if mine were still available because she was really “enjoying the read.”

Do you want to know how many times I read that sentence? I lost track after like, 100. My agent sent her a quick note telling her it was still available. A few days later the editor wrote back saying she loved it and hoped to have an offer by the next week. It was positive enough that I began doing the happy dance, though part of me couldn’t believe it until the actual offer came in. And there it was. Read My Lips had sold. All it took was eight months, an editor leaving, and a new editor discovering the manuscript. So one thing I’ve learned in this business… never give up!

No doubt about it, sticktoitveness is key! Tomorrow Terri Clark will share her story of dogged determination.


PJ Hoover said...

Glad I'm not the only one who reads "happy" emails over and over :)

Barrie said...

The skeleton pic is too cute!

Thanks for sharing, Teri.