The world-changing news came on what could have been a very average day. I’m sitting at my computer, getting ready to leave it for a while and revise the printed pages of my current work-in-progress, when a new message on my screen reads:
Dear Elise, we would like to move forward with your delightful story…
And I realize that someone is telling me that they want to publish Moonlight and Oranges, my 4+ year project. The news was so incredible, I had difficulty believing I was experiencing reality. (The true definition of “incredible”=unbelievable).
I can’t stop saying “Oh my God” over and over and over. I’m sitting at the kitchen table repeating this phrase and my mom thinks there’s something wrong. But there isn’t. Someone just wants to publish my book. There’s something very right and very wonderful about that.
I’m frightened. I don’t know if I can believe what I’m seeing, I’m dizzy, I’m not hungry, I’m wondering who to call first with the news, I’m realizing that I’m doing this all without an agent, I’m worrying that I’m going to make a stupid decision (I’m still saying Oh My God about as fast as I can) and I’m experiencing these emotions all at once. Of course.
A few days later I spoke with the publisher for two and a half hours about the publishing process, the timeline, what I could expect when working with them, the large amount of creative control I would be given due to the small business size. I left the meeting with spirits soaring. I’m now awaiting the contract, which I will review with a publishing attorney/professional to make sure that I know exactly what I’m signing.
And yes, this is all happening so fast. My prior post mentioned my exhilaration at having two agents vying for me, and now I’m talking about a publisher! How are these connected? They’re not. The agents replied to my query letter, which has clearly improved since its first draft. The publisher, on the other hand, replied after an introduction that an author friend made for me. I sent the manuscript to the publisher and more-or-less forgot about it for two months while I kept myself busy.
Then, just a few days ago, the publisher emailed me to tell me that the team loves my book and would like to move forward with it.
This is big news for Elise Stephens. Assuming all goes well, the contract is signed, and we strike off down the road, I will soon be thinking in very different terms: business terms, marketing terms, promotional terms. Needless to say, my distraction rate from normal life is currently tripled.
Life is good. Pour the wine and bring on the cheese platter!
Do you have any success stories, big or small, to share? One of my favorite things about writing communities is supporting and celebrating each other. It’s time for toasts and parties!