How I Got My Book Deal [CC]

How I Got My Book Deal [CC]

January 25, 2020 14 By Kailee Schamberger


and welcome to the demesmerization of
the fact that my how /i got my agent video didn’t come out that long ago and now
I’ve got my how I got my book deal video and it looks like it’s all super fast
but it’s actually very long it’s finally time to talk about the news
and to officially announce if you haven’t heard because you don’t follow
me on Twitter and Instagram, I announced my book deal so I am having my black
witchs duology published by Simon Pulse in summer 2021 and summer 2022
it’s been a long time when I say have been sitting on this news a long time I
mean a long time I learned a lot of realities about publishing timelines. I’m
very very very very very very very excited I’m so excited and grateful and
humble to be having my book published it’s honestly my childhood dream it was
my childhood dream to be an author and have a book published and it’s so
exciting that I finally achieved that goal what once felt impossible is now
possible assuming I don’t mess up somehow and get it cancelled so we’ll
just knock on wood for that one this is a Boca Raton chair I don’t know what’s
the difference between like wicker and Boca raton like is this Boca Raton or
is this wicker I don’t know comment if you know anyway
this is all about how I got my book deal so if you’ve watched my how I got my
agent video, if you haven’t I will link it up here hopefully I’m
pointing in the right spot this time and you can watch like you you can hear
about the journey from when I first started writing until I got my agent so
I got my agent in Summer 2018 I signed with Kristy
Hunter at The Knight Agency who I love and who was awesome I signed with her and
then we hopped right into revisions we did four rounds of revisions yes that is
correct yes we did four rounds of revision the first
round I cut like I basically like chopped out half of the book and rewrote
that half so I rewrote half of the book for the first one the second one the
second edit we did I think I added in a bunch more stuff still but not actually, ahhh there’s a wasp, there’s a wasp, there’s a wasp the second revision I added in some
stuff I changed some character things I think I also cut out one character or
two characters two characters I think I got I can’t remember that’s when you know a
character isn’t necessary for your story when you cut them and you literally
can’t remember who you cut I remember one character I cut for sure but I think
I also cut a second one but anyway that was either the first or second revision
and then the third revision was like pretty light it was just me going
through and basically cutting down my word count cause my word count had
got very high I think I had ended up somewhere like a 112,000 words and the manuscript would be sent on submission was like 98,000 words so uh yeah I had to cut down a lot so that’s what the third
revision was and then the fourth revision was just like polishing up stuff like
there were some phrases that were a little bit awkward or whatever. At that
time I was like, so we revised for six months by the time we got to the fourth
I was so tired of reading this book I was just like please let this be the
last revision so we could go on submission but I was like Kristy was
extremely upfront about how many revisions we would be doing she had
let me know before we even like before I had even said yes to her as an agent
that she kind of thought it would be like three rounds of revision so I knew
going into it was gonna be a lot of revising and I’m happy that we did it
because maybe probably we hadn’t done as much a revision we wouldn’t have sold it
so went on submission in September I believe I’m gonna put the actual date
here submission if you don’t know is when your agent on your behalf sends
your manuscript to publishers to the editors at the publisher specifically
and they read your manuscript and if they like it they make an offer and they
buy it um so we went on submission in September it depends on the agent style
some agents will send just the pitch letter and they’ll solicit the editor to
request the full manuscript if they’re interested based on the pitch letter and
whatever other conversations your agent has had with that editor which is how
Kristy did mine and some agents will send the full manuscript right away
Kristy like I said she sent the pitch letter only and the editors had to
request the full manuscript so we sent to 16 editors um I believe that’s right
if I’m wrong I’ll put a note saying I’m wrong but we sent to 16 editors all of
them wanted all of them replied like in a fairly timely amount of time I think
it took maybe like the longest two weeks for someone to get back to us saying
whether or not they wanted the full manuscript and everybody except for one
said yes they wanted it and the one was like really busy so that was why they
couldn’t take a look at the manuscript and so then we sent to an additional
person after they said they couldn’t take it and so that brought us up to a
17 and then I think later we may be sent to one more person that brought us to 18
but I can’t remember so I’m gonna put it somewhere here in text if I’m wrong I
really liked that style personally because then like the first day we got a
bunch of editors like requesting the full manuscript and then it was so
exciting it was like oh my gosh like editors at real publishing houses are
like want to read my book and that’s so
exciting and it was just like this huge burst of
positivity to start off the submission experience which is so appreciated
because the rest of it was very difficult so it was nice to start out on
a really positive note that was really nice
that’s why I kind of liked soliciting the manuscript in that way because it
was nice for me some agents like depending on your agent they may or may
not share the sub list with you which is like the name of the editors they sent
to and they may or may not share rejections with you for me and Kristy
she shared the whole list of editors with their names with me I assume
because she trusted me to not like be weird and send them weird emails and do
like creepy stuff and also so that I could know and she also sent me all of
their response emails so all of the rejections I think I like seeing
everything I’m a control freak so I wanted to see everything there was to
see so I like to see, I didn’t like seeing the rejections I didn’t like
seeing the rejections but it was helpful for me to see and hear what people were
saying especially when what people were saying was starting to have a theme that
I really appreciated seeing it because then I kind of knew that if the first
round didn’t go well I would know what maybe needed to be edited later first
month passed and I was like oh well I’m not gonna be like one of those amazing
like people that’s like they sold in a month or a week or a day and they have
like a ten house auction after the first month I was like oh that’s probably not
gonna be me but I can still sell and maybe that’ll happen for me. Second month
things started to get harder some things that I did that kind of like helped me
is I put and I like I made sure I had a really good
alert on my phone so I knew that if I didn’t get an alert on my phone I
didn’t have an email so there was no point obsessively checking my email
because if I had email I would have gotten an alert so that was helpful for
me chatting with other people I joined a Facebook group for like submission
commiseration because the thing about submission and this like I remember
listening to watching Alexa Donne’s video on submission I’m gonna post it here and
she had talked about how you can’t really gripe publicly about submission
because you are in a privileged position in that your on submission like you’ve
made it past that query process past that agent as a process to get
to the editors and so many people like struggle to get just to the agent
section so like you’re at the final your final inning stretch and you don’t get
to complain to everyone when you’re at the final end stretch and I really like
I was also I I don’t think I would have complained publicly anyway but I was
glad that I had watched that video because then I was like keep your mouth
shut and complain in private which is what I did even though I hadn’t actually
been waiting long at that point um I think around the second month we had
gotten like a good chunk of rejections I was really starting to feel it a lot of
especially since a lot of the rejections were they were converging on one thing
so my story is a genre mix so it’s a fantasy and a sci-fi mashup this
market-wise is more difficult to sell and I knew would be more difficult to
sell when I went into it and Kristy knew it might be a harder sell both of us
were aware of the challenges of the market and how publishers see genre mix
stories but that’s how I wanted to write the story and that’s what makes the
story good, like that’s what makes the story good the genre mix is a big part
of what makes a story unique and so I knew I was never gonna get rid of that I
just wasn’t so when some of the rejections started coming in about and they
started converging on that like basically like all of my notes cause I put
notes in the spreadsheet for like people’s rejections were and they were
just like dislike genre mix, dislikes genre mix, dislikes genre mix, dislikes
genre mix and I was starting to feel a little bit yeah but yeah I’m just like I
couldn’t tell if it was that people didn’t like period that it was mix
genre which it says in the pitch letter that it’s mixed genre it’s not
like it was like hidden in any way but I was like oh maybe people didn’t realize
how mixed it was gonna be or maybe I did the mixing really poorly and they just
don’t like how I did it it wasn’t really clear so I started to get like that in
my head and I started to think about what I might change but then I knew it’s
like early days like two months it’s still early days and then got into the
third month and I think between the second and the third month like that was
the longest period of nothing like I don’t think I got an email from Kristy
for like four weeks so like full month just like nothing happening which can be
really stressful but also I started to like settle into a Zen kind of mode like
I wasn’t happy about it obviously I was a little bit low-key sad but I wasn’t
like I didn’t feel like it was over because we still had so many people on
our list like we still had like half of the people on our list at that point and
so I felt that there was still like a lot of potential
and a lot of my friends had already been kind of like waiting that period of time
and or like longer so I wasn’t too impatient cause I was like okay this is
like we’ll see about three and a half months and I got an email from Kristy
it just said like ‘a little update’ but like at that time I think I
hadn’t heard anything for like so many weeks so I jumped on it I was so excited
to just hear anything and it was she had had some feedback from an editor and
they said they were really liking the book and they wanted to read, like to
finish, before they made any decisions but they wanted to know if it
was a series and how many books were in the series and so Kristy just shared it
with me to share like maybe something’s gonna happen so that was super super
exciting at that time I had written a synopsis like a full synopsis for the
second book in the series because I knew it was gonna be a duology originally I
had nothing prepared and then my friend Faridah was like oh what’s your second
book gonna be about and I was like I don’t know guess I’ll wing it and she
was like you should prepare something she’s like I have a friend and she’s got
like her next five books plotted out you should probably have something prepared
and I was like oh fuck like okay so I plotted I ended up plotting fully my
second book in the series and I had that synopsis ready to go which was really
great cause then and I could just send it over with Kristy to send to that editor and
so at this point I was hoping that maybe I would get to second reads so this is
the thing about publishing this is the thing that I have been told about
publishing and submission was that if an editor likes your book then they give it
to other people around the publisher to read and that’s called second reads
because other people are taking a read of the book that the editor’s already
read and liked if those second read people also liked the book then the book
will go to acquisitions which is a meeting that the publisher will have
like once a week where they’ll all the editors will like kind of pitch books
that they’ve gotten that they’re interested in buying and how much they
want to buy for etc and then everybody in the room kind of decides whether
they’re gonna do that and whether they’re gonna buy the book
and that’s where those second reads people come in handy because they can
lend their support to loving the book because they’ve also read it so and
that’s like a 1 2 3 step process and I knew every step of that process would be
long because I know some people that like we’re told their book was going to
acquisitions and would wait like month like a full month to hear back about
what happened on acquisitions so I was hoping that it would just go to like
second reads and I was like that would be really exciting that would be one
step closer and so then a week later my agent would send me an email and said
hey can we talk on the phone and I was like I I was thinking she was gonna tell
me we were going to second reads and so that was still really exciting because I
was like when you’re on submission and your agent wants to talk to
you on the phone that means something real good is happening so I was like
okay I’m so excited I was at work I like found a little alcove to answer
Kristy’s call and she said okay so they want to buy it and I was like wait
what wait what cause it has been a week and I was like oh did that happen that
fast but apparently uh and that offer came in we sent like we notified all the
other editors that get an offer that ended up being the only offer we got and
I don’t care cause it was an offer so yeah and that was from Sarah McCabe at Simon
Pulse so that was how I got my book deal was very exciting
I like spent that whole lunch calling people cause yeah you can’t like tell
everyone until it’s announced but you can like tell family members that aren’t
gonna say anything and be like shut up don’t say anything so I called my mom
and my boyfriend to be like I got a book deal etc
and yeah I spent my lunch running around to call them and then I came back to my
desk and I was like I hope my boss doesn’t think I’m like organizing
interviews or like looking for another job so I was like by the way this is
what’s happened I’m not trying to like find another job she didn’t think that
anyway so it was fine but that’s what happened I’m so thankful and happy that
my book is gonna be published I’m so grateful to all my CPS and my betas and
my friends that supported me and everybody that helped me with my book so
so grateful. It is still untitled as of now we’re gonna be coming up with a
better title I’d had a previous title but I didn’t think it would fit for the
type of book it is going out to market and my editor agreed and my agent agreed
so we’re working on a new title so at some point though the title reveal and
I’m just so excited that my book is gonna be out in the world my black
witch’s book will be coming to a bookshelf near you in 2021 and that’s
really it for this video if you have any questions for me feel free to comment
I’m always happy to answer questions however I can if I can if you like this
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minutes if you don’t feel like watching 20 to 30 minute long videos on Tuesday
um and yeah thank you so much for watching bye