I’ve got some BIG news to share!
The offer came from my wonderfully enthusiastic editor, Rose Hilliard, after my contemporary YA manuscript came across her desk. So you can imagine my shock when she contacted me regarding an adult contemporary romance series. Rose felt a connection with my writing and wanted to collaborate on a project together. The end result? Dun-dah-dah-dah (this is dramatic trumpety music, in case you didn’t know):
Three books in a funny romantic mystery series centered around three friends who work together at a dog rescue. Each book follows one of the friends as she finds love and stops mayhem with the help of her canine sidekick.
So fun! I am so excited to be delving into this new opportunity, and between Rose and my agent Pooja Menon, I feel like I’m ready for anything. This is a whole new world for me. Thank you to all who have supported and encouraged me along the way, and I hope you’ll continue to join me on my journey and learn along with me.
So what have I learned from this incredible opportunity that I want to pass on to you?
1. Be open-minded
This book deal all started from a completely different project. A YA novel. But it was the voice and writing style that caught my editor’s attention.
It’s important not to pigeon-hole yourself when it comes to your genre. There are so many reasons to try out new genres, but as far as being publishable goes, if you are more adaptable and versatile as a writer, you stand a better chance of finding your ‘fit.’
I’m not telling you to go out there and start writing things that you’re not passionate about, because, well, let’s face it, if you don’t like what you’re writing, neither will your audience. But how do you know until you try? And if you’re looking to get your foot in the publishing industry’s door, exploring different genres just creates more potential doors to make that possible.
2. Round out your resume
One comment my editor made when we connected was how she noticed I was “serious” about my writing. I have been working at it for years. And there was proof. Have you ever googled your name? What comes up? Hopefully lots!
How serious are you as a writer? Serious, I’m sure, or you wouldn’t be here reading about how to get published, right? Great! But is it obvious to any prospective agents or editors? If they googled you, would they just find a bunch of inappropriate photos on Facebook? Or would they find your writing history? Contests, guest posts, articles, a website, social media links?
When editors and agents consider working with you, they have to think of the time, effort, and money they will be investing in you. Don’t leave them feeling like they’re taking a risk. Show them that you’re up for the task. Gone are the days where writing is the only job an author has. If you have no evidence out there that you’re actually a writer, many will wonder if you’re serious at all.
3. Persistence pays off
I’ve always known that I would be traditionally published one day. How? Because I’m clairvoyant? Because I’m so uber amazing? Well, my parents like to think so. But alas, no. It’s because if I didn’t get published it was because I gave up. And I wasn’t about to do that. But sometimes reaching your goals takes time. If it didn’t, it wouldn’t be very satisfying when you finally succeeded.
Most writers who are a success today had to work long and hard to get there. Many factors come into play when our writing gets rejected. It might be poor timing, or the state of the market, or bad luck that holds us back. But frequently, our writing and stories might need that extra time to ripen before they’re picked. Only time and effort can help you there. And also a little something called NEVER GIVE UP!
“If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.” – W.E. Hickson