Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Authors - Tell us about your first book contract

Authors - share your first book contract experience!

This is always a fun and interesting moment to share with other authors and readers because there are so many varied answers.

How did you leard about your first book contract? Who notified you?

Where were you when you received the notification?

What did you do the moment you found out about your first book contract? What did you do next?

Who was the first person you told? Why?

How long did it take from the time you submitted your manuscript for the first time to the moment a publisher bought?


Horror Writer July 7, 2009 at 8:16 PM  

I was at work and a colleague approached me saying, I really want to buy your book. She is now my biggest fan.

Pauline B Jones July 7, 2009 at 8:54 PM  

My first sale was PIG IN A PARK. I got an email, instead of "the call" because it was to an epublisher. And I was at my computer.

It was wonderful. Told my husband, then my sister.

I think I did a happy dance. **g**

Jacqueline Seewald July 8, 2009 at 8:17 AM  

My first real book contract came from Harlequin. The editor phoned me in the late afternoon and told me she wanted my novel. I was delighted.

Mark Rosendorf July 8, 2009 at 8:28 AM  

It was Sunday, 5PM, and i had just come home from visiting my folks for a late lunch. In my junk folder is an e-mail from L&L Dreamspell. Of course, my thought was, "oh great, another rejection." I opened the e-mail and noticed an attachment. It was my contract. I can honestly say that i drained all my phone batteries and I didn't sleep for a week.

Theresa Meyers July 8, 2009 at 10:34 AM  

It was actually a huge surprise. I had sent in a three-page rough outline of a particularly vivid dream I'd had to my agent to ask if it might work for a new paranormal short-story line from Harlequin, Nocturne Bites.

She said, it's worth a try, and sent it in and I got a call about a month later from my agent saying they'd like to buy it. Now I've sold two full length books and another short story to the same editor at Nocturne.

Heidi Betts July 8, 2009 at 11:41 AM  

I was away at a writer's conf. Got home & my dad told me a bookstore had called for me. Listened to the message on the machine & it wasn't a *bookstore*, it was book *publisher*. (To which my dad responded: "Well, how the hell should I know?" LOL) That was on a Sunday evening & I spent a *very* restless night waiting until I could return the editor's call Monday morning. Gack! But totally worth it! And I've lost plenty more sleep since just trying to meet deadlines. :-P

Denise July 8, 2009 at 6:28 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Denise July 8, 2009 at 6:29 PM  

Pauline -

Pig in a Park - cool title!!

How many books total do you have out now?

Denise July 8, 2009 at 6:30 PM  

Jacqueline -

So was the editor just as excited as you when you got the call?

Denise July 8, 2009 at 6:31 PM  

Mark -

The fact that you remember the time is awesome! Not to mention that you drained your phone batteries.


Denise July 8, 2009 at 6:33 PM  

Horror Writer -

I have yet to have a colleague get excited about my books. Most look at me like I'm kidding when I tell them I have a book published.

Congratulations on winning over a colleague and having her for your biggest fan!

Denise July 8, 2009 at 6:34 PM  

Theresea -

Wow! You got a contract on a rough outline? Must have been some dream!!

Denise July 8, 2009 at 6:35 PM  

Heidi -

I would have been biting my nails and anything else I could chew on until I could make that call the next day.

Don't you just love dad!

Denise July 8, 2009 at 6:40 PM  

Okay, here is my first book contract story.

I received an email message from the publisher one hot July afternoon last summer after I had just come inside from planting a bunch of flowers in my garden.

I think I re-read the message a good dozen times before it sunk in, before my brain said, “Yo, dummy, you just sold your first book!”

I hooted, hollered, and did the happy dance, or maybe it was a hoochie-coochie dance.

After I called several people and calmed down to a level 8 on a scale of 10, I went out and bought a case of champagne. Oh yeah, and drank plenty! Yes, I shared some with friends including my hairdresser because I had a hair appointment that night. Can’t miss that!

I called my parents first and told my father who thought I was kidding. Nice! Why was it I called him again??

Pauline B Jones July 8, 2009 at 7:07 PM  

Not sure Pig in a Park was a perfect choice, since some people would ask me, "Did you write that pig in a poke book?" LOL!

I am finishing my ninth book, and have three NF books, plus some short stories in anthologies.

I've had a good run since 1998. :-)

Pauline B Jones July 8, 2009 at 7:08 PM  

that's a great story, Denise! Better than mine. :-)

Denise July 8, 2009 at 7:17 PM  

Pauline -

My father probably would have made some crack about the pig in a poke. :-)

Your ninth book? That's incredible! And short stories! That's something I wish I could do, but I'm too longwinded.

Cornelia July 9, 2009 at 6:38 AM  

It was in 2000. So nine years ago and as authors are known to do, I wrote an article about it at the time. Here is my impression, when it happened in 2000.

When I received the e-mail form Awe Struck accepting my novel, the “Fox Prince”, I was on cloud nine. Bubbling with happiness, I was more animated then usual at work. I followed my standard good mornings with, “Did you hear about my book?” I e-mailed my publisher, Kathryn Struck, to tell her that I too was attending the Romantic Times convention and that I would love to meet her. She replied, “I am taking all the Awe–Struck authors to dinner on Thursday and would love for you to join us.” I walked around work waving the e-mail saying, “Look, look; I’m going to have diner with my publisher and the other Awe-Struck authors.”

Thursday came. I left work early and headed to the Romantic times convention. A lady at the sign in desk handed me a goodie bag of books and trinkets. With goodies in hand I headed to the e-publishing room and spotted the Awe Struck table the moment I waked in. I had seen Kathryn Struck’s picture from the web site, but I glanced at her nametag to make sure. It was her. I told her that I was Cornelia Amiri, the one that wrote the Fox Prince, and I just wanted to meet her. She said, “Oh, Cornelia yes you are going to write for us.” “Yes, yes I am,” I answered. I was buoyant, elated, . . . awe struck.

At dinner I met the awe struck authors who attended the convention. I’ve never met a nicer group of people and through out the coming days they were always there for me. We sat together at the fabulous luncheons and dinners: the award ceremony, the Roman Luncheon, the Venetian Carnival, Kensington's 25th Anniversary Luncheon, the Mr. Romance 2000 Competition, and Heather Graham's Vampire Ball II, Dead Man's Waltz. The highlight was Sunday's book fair where I handled the Awe-Struck table. I told everyone about electronic publishing and Awe-Struck, sold diskettes, and passed out bookmarks and pamphlets. I made a hand out that included my URL. Five people asked me to autograph it. Wow. Oh Wow. Fans!

The convention came to an end and I signed and snail mailed the contract to Awe Struck. I wrote two blurbs, e-mailed them and the excerpt that I’d picked out to Awe Struck. They sent me the specs for the cover art. I picked out one of the artist they use and sent the information he requested.

There is still so much to do. I am going through one more edit to make sure “The Fox Prince” is my best work. Then I have to make galleys; first I have to learn how to make galleys. But I love that. I love all of it. Cloud nine is a nice place to be.

Denise July 9, 2009 at 6:52 AM  

Cornelia -

Thanks for sharing such a terrific story. Your enthusiasm bubbles over into the tale. I can just picture you walking on clouds.

Congratulations and keep walking on air!

Pauline B Jones July 9, 2009 at 10:25 AM  

I actually started out writing short stories, then moved in to novels, but had thought I couldn't go back for same reasons as you.

Then my son was ill and I could only write short things in short bursts. I started serializing some shorts in my ezine to try to keep up interest while I wasn't writing novels.

And then our writing group decided to do an anthology...

Shorts can be a good way to promote your longer fiction, but it is hard to think shorter again. No question.

LOL about your dad. :-)

Pauline B Jones July 9, 2009 at 10:27 AM  

great story, Cornelia. :-)

Terisa Wilcox July 13, 2009 at 12:27 PM  

The publisher emailed me and offered me a contract for Timeless Mist.
When I first read the email, I screamed, then I told my husband and the rest of my family, all the while doing the happy dance. My husband threatened to chain me down lol.
From the time I submitted to when the publisher offered me a contract was about 2 weeks. I'm still doing the happy dance :D

Denise July 13, 2009 at 12:35 PM  

Terisa -

Love the happy dance!

You are a woman after my own heart. That's a great story!

Tell hubby no chains unless they are fur lined. :-)

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