Friday, March 20, 2009

March Madness is a little like Publishing Madness!

Tip of the day: Does your novel have conflict? Nathan Bransford has a good post about conflict HERE.

So guess what time it is? It’s time for March Madness! Woo hoo, I love, love, LOVE this time of year! I got my bracket filled out and entered and I’m in the pool at work. I’m in it to win it, baby!
The funny thing about a March Madness bracket is you can research the teams to death, go with the “sure things” and each and every time you’ll be surprised because a team will do the unthinkable, have a great game sprinkled with a little luck, and win when they weren’t supposed to.

Wow, that sounds kinda familiar, doesn’t it? I have long been aware that this whole business of publishing is about having a great manuscript sprinkled with a little luck. Sometimes, even, a lot of luck.

When my agent requested my manuscript from a query letter? A whole lot of luck right there. She happened to have had a client mention to her that she was thinking her next book would be a novel-in-verse. Then my query letter came across her desk for a novel-in-verse. She told me – I’m curious! I’d love to read it.

She ended up offering representation, and then when we started sending out the manuscript, editor after editor said no. I was really getting depressed. It didn’t seem like anyone would want to take on this different book that wasn’t quite your ordinary literary fare but wasn’t quite your normal paranormal fare either.

And then, luck struck again! One of the editors we sent the manuscript to didn’t feel it was for him. BUT instead of just rejecting it outright (which he could have easily done, right?), he sent it to another division at the house to see if anyone there might be interested. My editor picked it up out of the pile and read it on the train home. And he loved it. He came back and rallied other people to read it, and fought for it.

I know I’m so lucky to have books on the shelves. Next year, I have three more coming out, one of them a midgrade novel, something I’ve dreamed about since I started writing. Of course, whether any of these books get good reviews, sell well, make any reading lists, etc. etc., well, that’s a whole other story. Will luck be on my side?

I better start searching for 4-leaf clovers now!


DeenaML said...

You are super lucky with your THREE books out next year! Woo hoo!!!!

PurpleClover said...

Congrats to you! Your manuscript prevailed and now look at the benefits of one agent and one editor seeing your potential!! I hope I could possibly have that experience some day!

Kate Fall said...

I love the story of your first book's journey!

Kristina Springer said...

Oh wow Lisa! What a cool story! I didn't know I Heart You, You Haunt Me went through all that! And look how AWESOME it has done!! Whoo hoo for your editor for being so cool and smart to pick your book! (And for you for writing it of course!).

Christina Farley said...

Wow! What a story. Thanks for sharing.