I hope I will remember the day for the rest of my life, but it was really such an ordinary day … if not for THE CALL.
I had finished work at the usual time, met up with the husband and kids at home then went out to the grocery store. We had just walked in the house with arms full of grocery bags when my phone rang.
It was my agent, Nalini Akolekar with Spencerhill Associates, Ltd.
I had received an offer on my manuscript!
Now, when I heard those words, several things ran through my mind at once. Someone wanted to buy my book! What did this mean? What did they offer? Does this mean I am going to be published? This was a moment I had been dreaming about for years. Shouldn’t I be screeching with excitement?
My agent started to explain some of the particulars and that the manuscript was still out with a few more editors at the moment. She had advised them of the offer and we would wait to hear back from them before going forward.
I have heard many stories about how people reacted when they got THE CALL indicating a first sale. Strangely, I felt like I wasn’t doing it right now that it was my turn. Why wasn’t I jumping up and down? Why wasn’t I shaking with joy? Wasn’t this exactly what I had been striving for since I took up writing? Wasn’t this the moment that reflected a culmination of everything I had worked so hard to accomplish over the years?
I thought about it after hanging up with my agent and decided that it didn’t quite feel real yet. It was just an offer after all, so many things were yet to be decided. I was definitely closer to publication, but I wasn’t there yet.
A week or so later, my agent called again. One of the other editors reviewing the manuscript was also interested! This editor was with a large traditional print house and they wanted my book for their new e-line. We were in a great position to negotiate. The next few conversations were discussions about the merits of the two publishers with clarification and comparisons on the differences between the two offers. The right choice became clear and I accepted a two book contract offer from Samhain Publishing. Just over two months after the initial offer, the signatures are dry on the contracts.
And I’m still waiting for that “whoo hoo!!” moment when I feel like I have succeeded.
Maybe when I get a release date. Or when my book is actually finally available for electronic sale. Or when it comes out in print and I am able to hold it in my hands.
On the other hand, maybe it will never come. I just can’t stop thinking that this is all a process. Each step accomplished leads to another not yet started. There is no final pinnacle to reach. There is no end point. Even with a contract, I still have immeasurable hours of work to do. I still have so much to prove and so many more dreams to fulfill. What is so frequently referred to as the “road to publication” is actually more of a superhighway that doesn’t end with publication. In fact, I suspect that this is where it all begins.
So now I am practicing patience as I wait for the next step. I have learned enough to know that in the world of publishing, things can progress slowly or quickly depending on a publishers schedule. I don’t know exactly what comes next, but I am determined to be ready for whatever it is. This means too much to me not to recognize the value of the moment I exist in right now, for what has brought me here and for where it will lead me to next.