The story so far… I wrote a book. Some smart people told me how to make it better, and I did. Four years later, I was ready to get it out into the world, into the hands and hearts of eager readers. All I had to do was find a publisher.
Yes, stage three of the journey to a book is: finding a publisher.
This part of the journey is a little like when Frodo gets to Mordor. Dark forces are at work. You can trust no one. The quest seems unattainable. Alas, that’s where the Lord of the Rings analogy ends. Because, unlike Frodo’s ring, which every man and his orc wanted a piece of, no one seemed to want my book.
I’ve already written about my failed attempts to find a literary agent. Next, I boosted my rejection collection with letters from the few publishers who accept unsolicited manuscripts. No matter how polite their rejection, I knew what they were really saying.
An ordinary trip to the mailbox could ruin my day week month.
I reponded to rejection in the time-honoured ways – by drinking heavily and eating excessive quantities of chocolate. I considered the possibility that maybe my book just wasn’t good enough, that it was time to send it to the dreaded bottom drawer. But every time I re-read it, my confidence returned. I told myself that the right person just hadn’t seen it yet, and sent it out again.
Then, one fateful day, I received a phone call, and a voice said
– Hi, this is Georgia Richter, Fiction Editor at Fremantle Press
My first thought was, I can’t believe they do their rejections by phone! I mumbled something resembling a greeting, and the voice said
– I just finished reading Whisky & Charlie and I LOVED it.
Say whaaaaaaaaaat? I had found the right person! She ‘got’ my book!
And the rest, as they say, is history.
UPDATE: US Publication
More than a year after Whiskey & Charlie was published in Australia, the simply wonderful Shana Drehs of Sourcebooks offered me a contract to publish Whiskey & Charlie in the US. Cue: giant bottle of champagne!
Missed the first part of this tale? Read about how I wrote my book and my process of getting feedback from test readers.
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