Five years ago, I got a story idea that stubbornly clung to my psyche until I unleashed it onto the page. It became a true labor of love, as it was inspired by my then-6 y/o. When my husband read the first draft he said, “This book will change your life.” It’s my favorite thing I’ve ever written. Today, I’m signing a publishing contract with Immortal Works that will help get this very story — BOY ON HOLD — out into the world.
Pop the bubbly! Cue the fireworks! Woo-hoo!
Yes, this is a new publisher. Lots of people ask me about the publishing process. How I found this publisher is, in itself, an interesting story.
Back in March, I took part in a Twitter pitch contest called #PitMad. Basically, you pitch your story using hashtags to indicate genre and theme. If an agent “likes” your Tweet, it’s a request to see more. It’s a fun way to query a bunch of agents at once — and practice the art of a the modern-day elevator pitch. (Note to writers: the next #PitMad is September 6, 2018! Get your pitches ready!)
Here was my pitch.
Some pitches got lots of likes. The most I saw on one pitch was 17 likes.
Me? My pitch for Boy on Hold got one like. ONE.
Blugh. My first thought: “Well, that was a waste of time. I’m never doing that pitch contest again.”
That one like was from Immortal Works. Not an agent but a publisher. They requested the first page.
Blugh. My next thought: “Only one page? This was seriously a waste of time.”
So I sent the first page and didn’t give it much thought.
Almost 3 months later — (yes, 3 whole months) — Immortal Works got back to me, complimenting the quality of my writing . . . and asked to read the entire manuscript.
That made me sit up a little straighter. My next thought: “Oh! Okay, let’s see where this goes.”
As I sent them the MS, I also sent it to my Kindle since it had been a year (or two) since I read it through myself. While on vacation with my family, I read it on my iPhone, highlighting all the parts that I thought needed work. I couldn’t help but get excited about the story all over again. When I got home, I got to revising right away with renewed energy.
Then, a surprise. An email from an assistant editor at Immortal Works saying she “loved it.” That she “totally cried” at the ending. She said it reminded her of To Kill a Mockingbird but with schizophrenia instead of racism (Whoa — !!). And she wanted to recommend it for publication.
My thought at this time? Let’s just say, I was jumping-out-of-my-chair psyched. I had to hold back not to tell everyone — even strangers in the grocery line. Instead, I settled for a celebratory happy dance with my husband and kids.
About a month later, they officially requested to publish my book. The contract was in my inbox the very next day. Today, I signed!
Now, I’m beyond stoked. I’m FLOORED. I can’t tell you how gratifying this is. To have a publisher as excited as I am about my story. That’s when you know you’ve found the right match. They LOVE the book. And “totally cried” at the ending. Her last email to me said that she got “chills” thinking about it as she ran errands. Squeeeeeeeeee!
Writer friends who are slogging through the noise to get your work noticed, keep up the good fight! Keep querying! Keep pitching! Remember this: it only takes one like.