This post was originally published at Novelicious.com and is now at WritingTipsOasis.com. WritingTipsOasis.com acquired Novelicious.com in June 2022.
Prior to accepting my first book deal for The Tea Chest, I’d been writing full-length manuscripts for twelve years straight. I was well used to rejection, upon rejection, upon rejection. So, let’s just say my expectations were low. To put it simply, before I signed with my agent, Fiona Inglis (which is another story in itself), I would have taken any deal, with anyone, and I would have taken it for nothing.
My book deal ‘moment’ turned into a bit of a book deal ‘season’. Fiona sent my manuscript out to the biggest publishing houses in Australia and they quickly began responding with enthusiasm. My first offer came through and I read it with shock, really. Utter shock. I simply couldn’t believe that it was finally happening. The financial advance attached to it was what I’ve come to expect just by watching the sort of money that was offered in competitions for unpublished manuscripts, so I figured that was standard. But Fiona told me I didn’t need to do anything at that point because we were likely to get more offers.
Then came the first big offer. I was invited to fly interstate to meet with the publisher and it felt like something out of fairytale. I loved them. I knew I’d work well with them. Their reputation was outstanding and it was a total dream come true. Fiona and I left that meeting with an offer of a two-book deal and a formal written offer to come, which followed a few days later. The financial offer was significantly greater than the first and, again, I was in utter shock. I couldn’t believe that not only was my book being published but that somehow these people thought it was worth very real money. At this point, the publishing houses were breaking for Christmas and Fiona advised them we had to wait for the other publishing houses to get back to us.Then in January, I got the third offer and an invitation to once again fly interstate to meet the publishers. And this is where it got really tricky. I loved these publishers, too! Both publishing houses were offering roughly the same deals, so that wasn’t an issue, and it was never going to be a deciding factor for me anyway. What was more important to me was that these were the right people for the book to give it the best chance out in the world. I knew I couldn’t make a wrong decision between these two publishers, so how would I make a right one?
Before I was in that position, I used to think having multiple publishers wanting my book would be a great thing. But, honestly, I found it really stressful – not wanting to let down the other wonderful publishing team, and not wanting to make a wrong decision. So I spent a little bit of time tossing it around but at the end of the day I had to follow my gut because there was no way I could make a decision with my head, and I chose Allen & Unwin.
It actually took quite a while for me to feel the excitement that so many other authors write about. In all honesty, I probably didn’t really feel it until many months later, after my publisher, Annette Barlow, sent me back her structural editing notes for me to work on. That might sound strange, but it was then that I felt like I’d finally ‘arrived’ into a world where I had partners, peers and mentors who could guide me further than anyone else had been able to up to that point, and it was something I’d been craving for years. That was when I knew that I was in great hands and my book was going to grow up into something special. And that was the most amazing feeling of all.
The Tea Chest by Josephine Moon is out now.