It’s the moment all writers dream about. The letter/email from a publisher saying they actually want to [dramatic drum roll] publish your novel! Ta dah! All writers have experienced the other kind of letter, too many times. The one that goes, ‘Thank you for your submission. Unfortunately, it does not suit our list. We wish you luck placing your story elsewhere. Yada yada yada. Yours sincerely.’
We get so used to them, we start to expect them. Just another rejection, no surprises there. So when the right kind of letter comes along, it’s hard to believe. You wonder whether you’re hallucinating. My wonderful email began with the standard thank you for your submission line. Then the golden words, ‘We are keen to publish this title in 2014.’
I had to read that sentence a few more times before it sank in. I wasn’t sure if it was real, or wishful thinking fuelled by caffeine overload. Then the next beautiful sentence, ‘Is it still available?’
It is such an incredible thrill. I’ve already had many non-fiction books published, and I’ve loved writing them all. But this is extra special. This is fiction, my first little novel, my dream come true. Ever since I was a kid … well, you know how it is!
My junior novel is going to be published by New Frontier http://www.newfrontier.com.au/ as part of their Little Rockets series. The books are fast paced and humorous, for readers aged 7+ who are starting to read independently. They’re all stand-alone titles. Online teachers’ notes make them great for the classroom, as well as the home. These are the ones that have been published so far: http://littlerockets.com.au/ This time next year, my book will be among them! Horray! The story was fun to write, and I hope kids find it equally fun to read.
The journey so far
New Frontier announced it was accepting submissions for the Little Rockets series during March. I studied other books in the series and wrote one that I thought would fit. I sent off my story, also submitting it to the CYA competition, which I’ve blogged about previously: http://www.cyaconference.com/. Then three months later, my story wins first prize in the chapter book category, and I receive that awesome acceptance letter!
My editor asked me to trim the word count, which turned out to be much easier than I expected. A little snip here and there, and the pace has picked up – very important for this readership. An illustrator was chosen, and then came the contract.
What comes next?
It will take almost a year before the book hits the market. It sounds like a long time, but there is still a lot to do production-wise, and the book needs to be slotted in with the rest of the series. As each new milestone is reached, I’ll let you know in my blog. In the meantime, I’ll keep on writing 🙂