Path to Publication

I love reading about other authors’ paths to publication, so I thought I’d post the timeline for me so far.

  • Sept 2009: spark. I wrote two short scenes—one is in the current draft, one isn’t. I put it aside all fall while I queried my first book, Inheriting Garolass, was offered representation, & revised that with Agent Jim
  • January-March 2010: Started writing Born Wicked in earnest while Garolass was on sub. Wrote roughly 2/3 of the ms.
  • April-May 2010: worked on Garolass with editors’ feedback
  • June-July 2010: Turned back to Born Wicked & finished the first draft, which was about 79K
  • August: light revision, mostly focused on worldbuilding, with feedback from crit partners & The Playwright
  • Sept: sent it to Jim. At this point, Garolass had been shelved.
  • Late Oct/Nov: revised for Jim. Rewrote lots of conversations to deepen character relationships, tighten up the beginning, add lots of Cate’s thoughts to help the reader understand her better, rewrote a pivotal scene, etc
  • Jan 2010: one more pass, tweaked a few things (now at 74K)
  • Tues, Feb 15: the pitch went out in the DGLM newsletter
  • Tues, Feb 22: pre-empt from Penguin!
  • Mon, March 14: the deal was announced in PW and I got my edit letter

Any questions? I’m happy to share what the process has been like for me, but I’m not sure what’s interesting!

6 Responses

  1. Jess, I can't believe how quickly BORN WICKED sold after it went out! Amazing.

    What exactly is the process with the DGLM newsletter? Are multiple books pitched at once…with the newsletter being sent out to a mass of editors? Do they then request MSs that interest them?

    Thanks for sharing the breakdown of your journey! Very interesting stuff 🙂

    1. jessica_shea

      I'm so glad you found it interesting! There were 8 books pitched in this first YA newsletter, which Jim said went to basically all the children's/YA editors, and then the editors could request them. You can actually see the newsletter here. It says Jan, but trust me, I know it went out 2/15 bc I was going crazy! Ha.… I know at least Bethany Griffin's book & mine have sold since then!

  2. Stefanie

    This is so exciting! And you're going to be printed in different languages! So cool, and it's so great to see you rewarded for all of the hard work and creative energy you've put into this. Congratulations again!

    1. jessica_shea

      Thanks, Stefanie! I'm so excited. I love the idea of having a whole shelf of foreign editions someday, with all different covers!

    1. jessica_shea

      Thank you! I'm esp. excited for the Italian one, too, since that's the language I took at WAC and probably have the best chance of reading.

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