From book sale to bookshelf – contracts and the name game

on March 17, 2010

Okay – my contract arrived!  Yay!  All 19 pages of it – in triplicate.  Also, my agent sent a copy of the changes that had been negotiated – percentages of certain rights, deadlines and so forth.  So I read through it, more than a little thankful for being a lawyer.  However, while I can read a contract, I still didn’t know what terms were good.  Now I do.  Thanks to Caitlin.  Having an agent certainly makes this path smoother.

The other thing going on today is that we’re trying to name the book.  My editor at Kensington, Megan, said she’s working on it, so Caitlin and I threw together a list and emailed them to her yesterday.  I just received an email from Megan with a list of four possibilities.  So, of course, I sent the list to Caitlin, my writing buddies Jennifer Dorough and Brandi Hall before calling my husband, mom, sister and cousin.  Ummm.   So far the answers vary.  BUT, I do think we’ll  have a name by the end of the day.  Or maybe the end of the week…

My sister Debbie keeps saying that she liked ‘Urban Bite.’  And I keep saying, “Me too.”  But, I do understand why the title wouldn’t work for a paranormal romance.  So I’ll check back soon once we get a title.  Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

From book sale to bookshelf – Envelopes

on January 27, 2010

I think the stages of a writer’s career can be measured by envelopes. Or rather, what you write on the outside of the envelope. When you start out querying agents and editors – you first use the good, heavy envelopes. I mean, you want to make a good impression, right? And those envelopes match the high quality paper you’ve printed you query on.

Then…you start using the cheaper envelopes. I mean, they just get tossed in the trash, right? And while the guy at Office Depot clicks his heels together like a leprechaun when he sees you coming, the wench at the post office growls at you, sniping that this is exactly why businesses have their own postage meters. Like what are you thinking, bringing mail to the POST OFFICE? Geez.

Then, you get that first request. Someone wants to read more than your letter. And you’re supposed to write, “Requested Materials” on the envelope! Yay. Requested. (Still does not impress the lady at the Post Office, however.) These simple words prevent your book from ending up in the slush pile – that dreaded unsolicited, toppling stack of papers hopefully some intern will soon read. Your stuff ends up in a different pile, the requested pile. I’m not sure what other writers do, but I wrote those words in big, red block letters. Just so there was no mistake.

Then… you get an agent. And believe it or not, you still might send a hard copy of your book through the mail. And now you get to write, “Client Manuscript.” And you don’t want to be too obvious, this time you use a blue marker. (And not just because your kid stuck the red one in his jean’s pocket and put it through the wash, making the tans a very pretty pink.) So what’s next?

Rumor has it that the envelope containing the huge contract from the publisher is something to see. I’ll let you know – mine should be here within the next couple of weeks. If the lady at the post office doesn’t burn it first.

From book deal to bookshelf – lessons

on January 13, 2010

Well, I’ve added the 20,000 words to Not Urban Bite – some backstory, some fleshing out and some foreshadowing for book two.  Oddly enough I enjoyed the heck out of adding to the story.

I spent some time on the phone with my agent yesterday discussing my other five books.  I learned something, too.  The stories she likes best are the ones I wrote for the heck of it.  Just for fun – just for me.  Not the ones I wrote with the publishing industry in mind.  Hmmm.

Also, I have two young adult books  (YA) that aren’t truly YA.  They’re adult books masquerading as young adult.  (And apparently not hiding very well).  This point was driven home the other day at Costco.  I was walking out the door, waiting for the lady to check my cart and give me the coveted yellow highlighted slash across my receipt, when two teens ahead of me had a conversation.  It went like this:

LOL

OMG

ROFLMAO

And I thought ‘WTF?’  Are they actually using texting acronyms to have a conversation?  It took every ounce of control I had not to bash their heads together to see if a complete word would pop out.  So, maybe I should stick to adult writing for now…

From book deal to bookshelf – revisions

on January 7, 2010

Okay – so I’m still reeling from the book deal.  My neice Kylie thinks I’m cool, and my cousin Neil thinks my picture with the cowboy hat is lame.

I need to add about 10,000 to 15,000 words to the book.  Both my agent and editor made broad suggestions – like, this character needs more depth or this character needs to be fleshed out.  Now I’m on my own to add depth and flesh out.  I’m not sure what the deadline is yet for these changes, though I do know the final draft must be in the editor’s hands by May 1st. 

I’d also really like to know the name of the book.  I called it ‘Urban Bite,’ but the publisher is changing it because ‘Urban Bite’ sounds too much like an urban fantasy novel, and my book is a paranormal romance.  I really don’t mind the name change, but would like to call it something other than ‘Not Urban Bite’ or NUB.  ‘NUB’ isn’t quite the connotation I’m looking for.  So, I’m not sure when that happens.  Hopefully soon.

And I need to start thinking about books two and three.  Maybe come up with an outline for them.  However, I don’t outline – or plot.  I just sit and write.  Though I think I will do full character sketches for book two – maybe then my characters will have fleshed-out depth from the get-go.  🙂  Also, I think Neil should get a cowboy hat for his birthday this year.  Though he’d probably put it through the washing machine by accident.   Tune in to see what happens next…

From book deal to bookshelf – My first blog

on January 4, 2010

Welcome to my blog!  I thought it would be interesting to follow the path from book sale to publication – since I have no idea what to expect next.  First, a bit about my year of writing.  I’ve always wanted to be a writer, so last December (08)  when we were snowed in, I thought maybe it was time to actually write something.  I wrote a book.  Then I wrote another one.  Then…I started the querying process.  Eeek.  Lots of ups, lots of downs.  Those rejections are not fun.

I had a book called Urban Bite about feuding vampires, and I didn’t really query it because rumor had it that vamps were out.  But, as I sat at my desk on Dec. 10th, 2009 – it was either jump on the treadmill or send a couple of email queries out.  Email won.  The next day I received a request for a partial (first 50 pages) from an editor at Kensington Publishing.  I sent it.

The following Tuesday the emails went as follows:

9:00 am – partial request from an agent (now my agent)

9:30 am – full manuscript request from the editor (now my editor)

1:00 pm – Full request from agent

The next day:  Offers from both editor and agent.  I signed with the agent, they negotiated, and now I have a three book deal with Kensington for the first book to be released early in 2011.  They’re calling the series, “The Realm Series.”  So, what happens now???  Check back and we’ll find out together.