Monday, January 24, 2011

Fabulous Other Writers and De-Suckification

So I am finding this incredible community of writers. And I am cyberstalking them (just a little bit and in a very complimentary way). This is because I love the stories of their journey. I have met and corresponded with these fabulous sisters named Lisa and Laura Roecker who have a YA book coming out in March called the Liar Society that everyone should buy. And through them, I have found Elana Johnson who I think is formidable and I wish that she were my next door neighbor so that I could bake her cookies while she read my book and told me how to make it not suck. She also has a book coming out in June of 2011 called Possession. Everyone should buy this book.

MID-BLOG NON-SEQUITIR: I would like to take a moment to thank my lucky stars for the existence of my Amazon credit card which has now provided me $175 in gift certificates with which to buy more books. (Please don't ask how much money I had to spend on books to get these certificates because the answer is too embarrassing to mention).

Now back to the business at hand. I found this article that Elana wrote that was incredible in its truth (if not a little daunting) and it made me turn back to my book AGAIN this morning to work on further de-suckification. Here is the article with a picture of her upcoming book so that you remember to buy it:

Publishing: A Journey of Many Steps
by Elana Johnson

Okay, so I was asked to share a little bit of my journey toward publication. Dude, I could go on and on about this, but I won’t. And hopefully, you’ll read something to help you take the next step, whatever it may be.

Step 1: Write a book. Or if you’re me, you write 12. That’s right. I’ve written 12 novels. Only 2 of them don’t suck. And even that’s debatable.

Step 2: Query a book. Realize it’s a lot of waiting and frantically checking email. Who knew?

Step 2A: Repeat step 2 for 6 months. Too many queries to name. Want to die.

Step 2B: Shelve book. Ouch. Yes, it hurts. No, it won’t kill you.

Step 3: Pick another novel to de-suckify.

Step 4: Revise/Edit/Rewrite the thing.

Step 5: Enter the ABNA contest.

Step 6: Move into the quarterfinals.

Step 7: Gain much needed confidence.

Step 8: Query the book. Get ready to wait it out.

Step 8A: Repeat step 8 for 8 months. 189 queries.

Step 8B: Beg, plead, pray, hope that this book is “the one.”

Step 8C: Make up mantra: “Work hard. Don’t give up.”

Step 8D: Revise twice BEFORE an offer is extended.

Step 8E: Field 5 agent phone calls BEFORE an offer is extended.

Step 8F: Get “the call.”

Step 8G: Cry, laugh, scream, cry some more, grovel in gratitude.

Step 9: Sign with dream agent. After 188 rejections, this feels goooood. Up next: take over the world.

Step 10: Or, uh, revising. Yup, again.

Step 11: And…then again.

Step 12: Wait. Taking over the world put on the back burner while gnawing fingernails to nubs.

Step 2385: Get an offer from a dream publishing house.

Step 2386: Scream, eat a lot of bacon, laugh, smile until face hurts.

Step 2386B: Wait.

Step 8939: Announce the deal!

Step 8940: Wait.

Step 12,094: Edit novel—again.

Step 12,095: Wait.

Step 18,306: Release cover. Freak out.

Step 18,307: Wait. June 7, 2011 can’t come fast enough.

My best advice through all the steps is simply to remember this: Publishing a book is not a race where the winners come in first. It’s not important WHEN you finish, just that you DO. Oh, and one more thing: Your journey is your own. It won’t look or feel like mine. It shouldn’t. Don’t compare journeys. Just be grateful you can take one more step.


Elana Johnson said...

Is it wrong for me to cry a little over this? Probably. It just feels still very close, you know? Like, how can one person live through that much rejection? Oh, wait, that was YOU... :)

Marie Rearden said...

Fantastic post! What is this community you've found and where can I sign up? :)

lisa and laura said...

There are no words. None. Thank you so much for the mention, Christa. It seriously couldn't have come at a better time.

kah said...

Love all the fabulous gals you mentioned.
Thanks for finding me. Look forward to your future posts. :)

Alexis Bass said...

Oh Man, Elana Johnson cracks me up! Thanks for posting this.

I’m giving you the Stylish Blogger Award!