Monday, July 15, 2013

I sold my novel, Second Chances!

By Susan J Berger
On October 28th, 2009, I wrote my first pen and Ink post, November is Officially Write a Novel Month.



In order to get the information to write it, I had to register for the 2009 NanoWriMo . I had no intention of joining that year's marathon. But my inner voice kept nagging me. You signed up for it. The least you can do is try. So on Monday, November 2nd, 2009 I sat down at my computer with not an idea in my head. On November 30th I finished the first draft of an adult time travel romance, Second Chances.

I couldn't wait to show it off. But, of course it wasn't in any shape to be seen. In April 2010 I showed it to my sister, Kelly, who is my biggest fan and she loved it.

In May, 2010, I bid on a critique of the first forty pages of a manuscript from Kelley Armstrong in Brenda Novak's On-line Auction for Diabetes Research and won it.
Then I got sidelined by unexpected open heart surgery. I finally got the manuscript to Kelley in August. Her critique was both kind and blunt. I had a lot of work to do.
In 2011, two rewrites later, I ran it by a few agents. No response.

At the 2012 Brenda Novak's On-line Auction for Diabetes Research, I bid on a critique from Soul Mate Publishing and didn't win it. But I like the sound of the company.

So I got their submission guidelines and queried them. And I was sure I needed an eBook publisher. There is a logic problem if two women in their sixties time travel back to 1969, and it's published later than 2014
I got a request from Cheryl Yeko asking for a more complete synopsis. I revised the synopsis and sent it to her with hope in my heart. She replied requesting the full manuscript. Needless to say, I was over the moon.

I sent her the manuscript and four days later I get a letter from her detailing revisions to be made before they could offer a contract.

Now I don't have a romance critique group, and I felt odd sending it through Pen and Ink because it's a children's book writers critique group and Lupe's a guy and I was afraid his eyes would bleed. But they said send it. So I did and, chapter by chapter, Kris and Hilde and Lupe helped make the manuscript so much better. I sent it back through one more time for a full read. I also sent it to Nancy Stewart, a fellow GAP writer who returned it with a fabulous line edit.

Last month I sent the heavily revised manuscript to Cheryl. Four days later I got a contract offer. After an email shout of joy to my critique group and family, I printed out and read the contract. I emailed back my questions and Deborah Gilbert, founder and senior editor answered them. I signed the contract.

Soul Mate Publishing  is an eBook publisher that publishes all genres of Romances. I just bought my first book from them, Al Capone at the Blanche Hotel.

The name and the cover intrigued me.  Soul Mate uses Amazon's "Look Inside" feature. I read the first chapter and got hooked.

One of the things I am supposed to do now is write cover flap copy. I know this is one of the most important things I will write. If it isn't good, I won't get read. Debby also invited me to give my ideas on a proper cover. All I can think of is a phone book flying through time and space and that idea's been taken.

HELP!!  (Really. Please help.)

I've got lots to think about before I get my first editorial letter. I have two middle grade books I am revising and a vague flicker of an idea for this year's Nano.

Write on!

NB: The RWA National Convention convenes in Atlanta this week. Soul Mate's editors are accepting pitching appointments at the convention. Soul Mate has been in business less than three years. They will be listed on the RWA publisher list on October, 2014. If any of you also write in this genre, you should check out their website for their individual preferences.

26 comments:

  1. That is so exciting, Susan! Congrats. I'm thrilled for you.

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    1. Thanks, Kai. Can't wait for the editorial letter.

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  2. Susan, I think it's great you were able to complete NanoWriMo in the first place! I tried Nano once and barely got a third of it completed. The anal editor in me refuses to give up enough control to let my fingers fly across the keyboard without reading it twenty times before I move on to the next chapter. :)

    Congrats on your upcoming release, and welcome to Soul Mate!

    Char Chaffin, SMP Author and Editor

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    1. Char, I completed it three times (no one was more surprised than me.) I've never revised the other two. On My first one, Missing, a first person YA,.When I went to revise, I realized I'd used Robert Heinlein's science and couldn't think how to rescue the novel. Maybe one day I will find a way.

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  3. Wow Susan! Huge congrats, I am so happy for you.

    Nicole Weaver
    http://nicole-weaver.com

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  4. I have never been brave enough to do NaNoWriMo! Congratulations for signing with Soul Mate. I love the company! Best wishes for a smooth process and great release!

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    1. Karin, If you can ever free up the time, it's a crazy adventure. It gives you the gift of a deadline. When I would write my 2500 words a day, I would often look at what the first few pages of my 2500 words and say "This is Awful!" and I would then reply to my inner critic, "Never mind. It's word count. Keep writing." You have to resist the temptation to go back and fix it or you will never finish the 1st draft in a month.

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  5. Hello, Susan!
    Congratulations on your SMP contract! I know how wonderful you must be feeling right now. I am really impressed that you completed the NANO challenge with such success. And, I am completely blown away by your mentioning my debut novel, Al Capone at the Blanche Hotel, here. Thank you so much for your kind words and support! I hope you enjoy the rest of the story.
    Wishing you much success and many future sales,
    Linda Bennett Pennell

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  6. When's the autograph party and will there be snacks?
    Sincerely,
    Mr. Munchie

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    1. You will be duly informed and I promise snacks.

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  7. Congrats, Susan! That's such awesome news.

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  8. Hi Susan, You give us all hope. I have a couple of MG/YA novels in me somewhere, struggling to get out. Your accomplishments are awesome! Keep it up -- hope rises like the sun!

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  9. Susan, I cannot begin to tell you how happy this makes me! This book is so worthy of finding a home, and I am sure you'll have many happy and contented readers. Yahoo, and best wishes on it and many more!!

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  10. Congratulations, Susan! How very exciting. I look forward to reading your book once published. Good luck with all.

    Karin

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  11. Congratulations!! Your post shows that hard word and talent AND perseverance (a heart attack in the midst of it all?!) are all required to make that dream of landing a contract come through. I'm SO thrilled for you!

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  12. Wow! That is really wonderful news!!!

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  13. Wow! Congratulations. This is fantastic.
    Anjali

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  14. That is exciting, Susan! I wish you great success.

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  15. Susan--

    It's all so exciting, I don't know where to start! This will be your 3rd publishing deal? (Correct me if I'm wrong.) What have you got up your sleeve to top this at the SCBWI Summer Conference??? Inquiring minds want to know. Congrats!

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  16. Congratulations, Susan! Thanks for sharing your wonderful news with us!

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  17. Thank you all for your comments. I thought I tapped out individual responses on my ipad while holding the baby, but they didn't make it to the blog.
    So Thank you all for your congratulations and comments. I truly appreciate it.

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  18. Susan,

    I've caught up on my e-mail and this is the fabulous news I came across. Congratulations! Yay, yay, yay! for you.

    Judy

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