Signing with an agent was a huge deal for me. I had visions of best-seller lists and movie deals and a quick deal for my book. Things didn’t play out quite that way.
He offered suggestions and revisions and I made the changes. He sent the book out to the big publishing houses.
And they all said no.
Some said no more succinctly than others. One person didn’t like royalty and therefore didn’t want to publish the book.
Another gave me an editorial letter and hope. I made the changes, but the deal broke down somewhere along the line and they didn’t want the book either.
After a year, my agent decided he’d done all he could and we parted ways.
That was a blow, but I was not deterred.
I had published books before without an agent. I knew there were small publishing houses that would work with authors. The best-seller list and movie deal might remain elusive, but that didn’t mean there couldn’t be a book.
The key thing to remember about writing is that most of the time it actually involves revising. It was time to figure out what the editors did not like about my story and fix it. I took all the rejection letters and compiled them into one document. Took out the comments like “don’t like royalty” and others that weren’t really helpful and took a look at what they all might have in common.
It turns out the part I loved where Fritzi has her adventures all across Europe was a stumbling block for many of them. Upon reflection, I knew they were right, and that part had to come out. The problem was that it was nearly half the book and it had to be replaced with something.
So I got to work and tinkered and edited and made the story nearly as perfect as I could make it.
Then it was time to send it out again, and I queried Madeline at CBAY books. I knew other books she’d published and hoped she thought my story would be a good fit for her. She, happily, agreed and ONCE UPON A PRINCESS had found a home.
In part three I’ll discuss the rest of the process.