This is going to be another one of those “Jolene’s a realist” posts.
So. The Summer I Found You hit stores!!! YAY!!!!!!!!!!!!! I may have done a little happy dance (or a big one) when I saw my book on the shelves in the DOWNTOWN SEATTLE BARNES AND NOBLE. And then again when I saw it in my Anchorage Barnes. (See mine? There in the sort of middle w/ the big flowery heart?)
So. I went to the AWP conference last weekend in Seattle where I spoke on a panel about dealing with illness and loss in YA novels. Despite the dark topic, it was a blast. AWP expected about 10,000 people to show up at that conference – I’m not sure on final numbers.
Some were professors and high school teachers and librarians, but nearly all of them were also writers. Nearly all of them are fighting to get a spot on a shelf in a bookstore.
That was one conference.
NO WONDER IT’S SO HARD!!
Here are agent query stats I pulled from THIS POST
Total queries received in 2012: 3,914
Total manuscripts requested from those queries: 71
Total clients signed from the 2012 slush pile: 2
GAH! Hard, right??
AND THEN your agent has to try and figure out which editors would be the best fit for your book.
Maybe the editor loves it, but then they have to take it to their acquisitions board where they discuss marketing and schedules and possible similar titles in their line-up. So, yep. Your book is being judged/chosen again.
IF your book is picked up, your publisher then needs to sell your book to bookstores.
Yes to the indie stores, but let’s be honest – they really have to sell it to Barnes and Noble.
And then, after ALL that, Barnes and Noble puts your book on a shelf with a LOT OF OTHER PRETTY books (see above picture), and then imagine a WHOLE STORE of books, where yours is just one. All you can do is sit back and hope enough people pick up that book so that your publisher will want to try to sell another book with you…and they may not…
Every. Step. Of. The. Way.
I know people complain about their publishers, or timing, or edits, or how little say they had in certain aspects of their books, but… BUT… I also think it is so easy to forget all the huge steps it took to get your book on a shelf.
I guess what my post really comes down to is that I feel so incredibly fortunate for where I am right now. Have I worked hard? Yes.
Was a lot of my path directed by right person/editor/agent, right time? (aka luck) Yes.
Did I just spend a weekend watching authors who are SO much further along in their career, making me a little jealous? Yep. Did it change how lucky I feel? Nope.
I’m incredibly happy to be on the path I’m on. It’s been hard at times, and I’ve wanted to give up at times, and I’ve been insanely jealous at times… BUT. When I really sit back and think about MY path, I’m thrilled and grateful and want to happy dance everywhere 😀 This is very likely to change next week, lol.
Just wanted to share my gratitude for the very bizarre path I’ve had to publication…
What have you been grateful for lately?