[Life After College Book Project] Some Very Exciting News...
Sent Sunday, June 6, 2010
know, I know - this update is so long overdue it's not even funny.
But...with good reason (I hope). After 27 rejections - aka badges of
honor - we have a book deal!!!!
note: the contract has NOT been signed yet, which is partly why I was
waiting so long to update you. It could take a few more weeks, but the
process is moving forward...plus - you should be in on the inside
scoop! That *is* what you signed up for, right? I would just ask that
you not tweet or blog the news until I have :)
So here's the deal: after the handful of meetings I had when my literary agent sent out the proposal, Running Press, a division of Persus
based in Philadelphia, made an offer to publish the book by Spring
2011. SPRING 2011! A book! A real one! I'm so excited I can barely
contain myself! I talked to my editor on Friday, and she said it would be
okay to let you all know that this is in progress...and now that you DO
know, I can keep you filled in on how everything works. (For starters,
once the publisher makes an offer to publish, the author is assigned an editor who will
work with him/her throughout the process).
current stage: I sent my editor the FULL draft of my book (previously
she had only seen the three sample chapters), and she is reviewing
it this weekend. SCARY!!! But it's nice to know that the book manuscript is
finally seeing the light of day. Even though getting feedback can be a
little nerve-wracking (depending on how much extra work it creates ;), getting
my editor's perspective will be hugely helpful. The deadline for the
polished draft is July 1 - right around the corner!
I'm trying to take
it one day at a time, and remember what my mom recently reminded me -
that the majority of the work is already done. In other process updates, I filled out an 8-page "Author Questionnaire" with information about me, the
book, how I will promote it, etc. They used that information to
"launch" the book to the sales force in a meeting last week; the
information also goes into the Running Press book catalog that goes out
to vendors like Barnes and Noble. It's crazy how early that stuff
that's my exciting news...it still hardly feels real! But it is sinking
in a little more every day, and I'm just so grateful for all of your
support and encouragement.
I will continue to keep you posted, of course :)
my last update, I mentioned I had a meeting at Random House (heaven)
and with Chronicle Books. Both really liked me, but their sales teams
ended up rejecting the project in the end. It was an honor to have such interest from them at all, and besides - it only takes one offer in the end; I could not be more thrilled to be working with Running Press!
One of my favorite new friends (and an awesome author, speaker and publishing-industry leader), Kevin Smokler, let me know about two unpaid internships available with his company, BookTour.com. If you're interested read more here.
As the job description says, "The internship is technically unpaid but
we fully intend to shower said interns with free books, gift baskets,
good will and career advice/introductions." Where can I sign-up?!
Major thanks to Chris Guillebeau,
the founding member of the Jenny Blake Advisory Board (as he likes to
refer to himself :), who sent me a box of cookies in the mail addressed
to "Author Jenny Blake" and checked-in on me throughout the book process so far. It
really helped me celebrate - and made the whole thing feel more real.
And serves as further proof (not that I needed any) that Chris is an
JUST FOR FUN
A writing-related conversation with my friend (and great book mentor) Phil Villarreal: Background: He told me he was "throwing a book draft to the scrap heap" after it didn't get picked up by publishers.
You say "throw that one to the scrap heap" so casually! What I love
about that is the way you just go with your ideas...work on all your
projects and see what sticks. That's awesome! And it seems like because
you are able to work on multiple eggs (in the proverbial basket), it's
not as big of a deal to let one go if it isn't working out.
Throwing things to the scrapheap isn't necessarily failure, and that's
why I stay positive. Part of construction is demolition. Quentin
Tarantino and Roger Avary's first screenplay was The Open Road. It was
this 400 page piece of nonsense that was too unwieldly to produce, but
they repackaged parts of it and turned that one into Reservoir Dogs,
True Romance and Pulp Fiction. I know my stuff in that manuscript is
good but I probably just need to reshape it.
"Use what talents you possess: the woods would be very silent if no birds sang there except those that sang best." -Henry Van Dyke
this age, which believes that there is a short cut to everything, the
greatest lesson to be learned is that the most difficult way is, in the
long run, the easiest." -Henry Miller, The Books in My Life
not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong
man stumbled, or when the doer of deeds could have done better. The
credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena; whose face is
marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and
comes short again and again; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great
devotions and spends himself in a worth cause; who at the best, knows
in the end the triumph of high achievement; and who at the worst if he
fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall
never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory or
irony of commitment is that it's deeply liberating -- in work, in play,
in love. The act frees you from the tyranny of your internal critic,
from the fear that likes to dress itself up and parade around as
rational hesitation. To commit is to remove your head as the barrier to
your life." -Anne Morriss