Since I’m writing this final post like a year after I went into subs with my first book, I can’t remember at which point I had The Talk with my agents. Sorry guys! But it went like this:
1. My agents informed me that they were receiving the same sorts of rejections: YA Dystopia isn’t selling.
2. I told the agent I was interning for about it and asked him for advice. He said he would shelve the book for now because it’s futile trying to sell YA Dystopia in this market.
3. I had a talk with my agents and we agreed not to submit the book to any more editors. We decided to move on to my third book instead, the YA Contemporary Suspense.
4. The book went into edits. My agents suggested a major change which basically had me rewriting half of the book. In the end, my agents loved the changes, but because of said changes, felt that the book was too quiet for the YA market, and so wanted to move on to my second book, the Adult Fantasy.
5. I thought long and hard about my options. I completely believed in my third book. After the major changes, I agreed it was a bit too quiet, but I thought it was salvagable. I asked my agents if they would still be interested in working on the third book, and they said no. So, after weeks of sleepless nights and hoof-biting and a good bit of tears, I decided to part ways. We parted ways amicably and they were extremely kind about everything and were just as sad as I was about the first book not selling. I promised to keep in touch with any news.
6. I edited the hell out of my third book and queried it. I guess because it’s in such a hot genre, I immediately got tons of requests for it. But I also got lots of rejections. The reasons given for rejection varied. It wasn’t commercial enough. It wasn’t literary enough. Just didn’t fall in love with it. Too edgy. Not contemporary enough. And so on and so forth. I was beginning to wonder if my ex-agents were right after all, that this wasn’t the right book to debut with. Then, three months after I started querying, I got an e-mail from one of the oldest agencies in NYC. “I really enjoyed the book. Would you be free to talk about it tomorrow?” Would I ever! The rest is as per normal. They offered, I nudged the other agents who had the full, then, when time was up, I considered my options and accepted their offer.
So that’s where Book 1’s journey ends. That was my time on the submissions round, an entire roller coaster ride full of downs and more downs. 😀 But, well, it wasn’t all bad. I learned a lot from it, and the biggest piece of advice I can give to those who are in my shoes would be: WRITE THE NEXT BOOK. Not the sequel to the one that’s being subbed, but a whole different project. It was the only thing that kept me sane throughout the process, and, when I started receiving the rejections, my new book was the only thing that cushioned my fall. Knowing that I have a new book to move on to was invaluable.
Best of luck to those in the same boat! I’m pretty sure I will do a submissions process series when I next go into subs, so we’ll see how it goes the second time round.
If you want to read how this entirely exciting/horrendous journey began, here are the previous parts in all their terrible glory . . .