Thursday, May 21, 2009

And here's the rest of the story...

So I fretted. And fumed. And fretted. Much like most of you did in my comment trail when you discovered my inadvertent cliffhanger in yesterday's post. I didn't mean to leave you hanging, I promise. I was sooooo tired and that's just how it ended up. But the outraged reaction was worth it, I have to say. (Evil, much? Mwah hah hah hah!)

Anyway, I fretted and fumed. I fumed because I didn't agree with the suggested changes. I fretted because I wanted to make the smart decision.

I thought about it long and hard. The first company loved my manuscript. They offered me the contract without going to committee and they were excited. But the second company...they're the big boys. They've got some serious distribution and based on everything I've read from them, good editors. And that made me think: maybe there's a good reason for the changes they requested.

I took a deep breath and a huge leap of faith. Based on my gut and some advice from two author friends, I informed the first company that I would have to decline their offer and pursue a different opportunity. I dreaded sending that email, but I finally did.

I had to reread the evaluation the second company sent to me a bunch of times to take it all in, to get what they wanted fixed. There couldn't be anything wrong with MY-absolutley-perfect-the-first-time story, right? RIGHT?! And then I began to see it, to understand their point-of-view. So over the Christmas holidays I thought about it. All but one of the changes made sense and eventually, that one fell in place, too. I dug in and made the changes.

Now I'm making it sound like there was a ton to change. There wasn't. I had to write more instant messages into the story, tweak two scenes, and add one chapter. The thinking about it took a lot longer than the writing did.

Finally, mid-January I sent it in.

Now, mind you, the first time I submitted, their evaluation took five weeks. That's it. They knew I had a contract offer from another company and they were hustling to make a decision. Now that I had willingly given up that contract, this company was under no pressure to rush through a re-evaluation. They could afford to take their time.

And boy, did they!

A month went by. Then another one. Then another one after that. By Storymakers conference time, I still hadn't heard from them. But I had a pitch session scheduled with one of their editors. When I sat down and mentioned who I was and that I had turned in a resubmission at their invitation, the editor's eyes got really wide. And the editor said, "Um, I can't go on the record with this, but I'm pretty sure you're going to be getting some good news soon."




Turns out, Click cleared committee and they were working up a budget on it. (I don't actually understand what that means yet). The editor said that if the numbers looked good, the managing editor would be in touch to let me know they were accepting the manuscript and that I was supposed to ACT SURPRISED.

So I went, "Squeeeeeeee!" really quietly on the inside, told almost no one about it, and went home to wait impatiently.

A week went by. Nothing.

And then the Family Night fundraiser craziness heated to boiling point. I had no time to write or do anything except the Family Night stuff. And when I didn't hear from the publisher after another week, I thought maybe the budget numbers didn't work and it wasn't going to go my way. I just couldn't deal with that in the middle of all the stress I was under, so I made a decision that as soon as the Monday after the event rolled around, I would email them and follow up.

So I did.

It was just kind of a, "Hey...remember me?" type note. "I sent you guys something in kind of liked you remember that? Because I totally remember that. Just wondering if you remember that."

And then I sent it.

Tuesday, I pulled out my laptop to pick up on my new manuscript that I hadn't touched for three weeks. And I checked my email. And there it was.

A message from my new publisher saying they had accepted my manuscript and that I had "official permission to celebrate. :)" It was even their smiley face.

It isn't even close to matching my smiley face. My smiley face is HUGE. The smile part, anyway. My face is actually normal-ish size.

When I sign and return the contract and do a thousand happy dances, I will tell you exactly which company and when the book is coming out. But let me just tell you, I'm thrilled with this publisher. They put out such GOOD stuff. GREAT stuff. And I get to be a part of that.

Tomorrow. . . .I'll tell you a teensy bit about my UPCOMING BOOK! Aaaaaaaaaahhhhhhh!


Jaime Theler said...

Congratulations!! What a great story (now). Maybe not so great when you're living through it, though, right?

Again. Congratulations!

Luisa Perkins said...

Awesome! Worth the wait!

I look forward to hearing about your WIP, but I also want to hear about Family Night.

LexiconLuvr said...

I can't believe you've kept all this under wraps since CHRISTMAS! Dude! If I have secrets, I know who to keep them with! =]

I'm so happy for you, Melanie! I am just so freakin' happy for you!!!

Shelle-BlokThoughts said...

k that is SO cool!!! I can't wait to find out what your book is about and who is publishing it! CONGRATS!

Kristina P. said...

I am really thrilled for you, Melanie.

Don said...

OK - a satisfying conclusion can help with cliffhanger forgiveness.

This is really great news. Congratulations! Can't wait to hear more about the book.

And since I think I remember you pitching the same place where I just submitted, I should probably hunker down for some extended waiting.

I'm not going to sign up to chair any fundraisers just to keep my mind off my submission, though. I think that might be going a bit too far.

Congrats again.

Becky said...

Sheesh! I would have been a mess the whole time. But again, congrats!!! Such great news.

Kimberly said...

Yes, cliff-hanger totally forgiven. So thrilled for you, Melanie!! Multiple exclamation mark kind of thrilled!!

LisAway said...

Oh my gosh, I would have been dying through those months. I'm so glad everything worked out so beautifully! SO excited for you. (and me, as I mentioned yesterday)

diapers, drool and life said...

Very nice resolution. I'm THRILLED for you. Thanks for finishing that story. When you come down from cloud what ever number high you are on, I know I'm looking forward to some tidbits on fe Family night. But you take your time enjoying your high. If you've managed to keep it all under wraps since December, you've earned it.

Anonymous said...

HURRAY!!! That is so great. I love the "I can't go on record with this"

wonder woman said...

I knew it!! Good for you! I can't even imagine how excited you must be.

Can't wait to buy it!

Heather of the EO said...

THAT is so great. I'm so happy for you. I loved your posts, you're hilarious. Your face is normal crack me up!

And I just can't wait to read it!

Chas Hathaway said...

That's great! Congratulations. I can't wait to find your book in the stores!

- Chas

Aubrey said...

Soon, I will be able to say I knew you when... :)

And, yup-- still over-the-moon excited for you!

Lara said...

Wow. That is SO great! Can't wait to hear more about it.

I don't know if I could ever have been so patient.

wendy said...

OK -------I'll be waiting-----------has to be a really exciting time for you FOR SURE

Erin said...

What an exciting time in your life right now! I am so happy for you!

Debbie said...

This could not be happening to a nicer woman!

Kazzy said...

I always do a happy dance inside when I know someone who has a success story related to writing, or music, or visual arts. So so cool!

Mina said...

Hey, congratulations! I can't even imagine how excited you must be! Can't wait to hear more.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for wrapping up the cliffhanger!

(Even if you did kind of leave us with a little bit of another one.)

Amber Lynae said...

Wow! What a roller coaster of emotions. Congrats on the offer, and the gumption to stick with your first choice even though it was more work. It just makes the success that much sweeter.

DeNae said...

OK, that was a great ending. WHEW! Had me going there for a while! I can't wait to find out why it's called "Click". And a red-headed protagonist named Sandi is a great start.

Just don't forget us little people when you're shmoozing with Oprah.

Emily said...

I'm so excited for you! You should post another happy dance!

Jami said...

I was congratulating myself on not having to endure the cliffhangers and then. Ahhhhhhhhhh! I must know the rest. I must! Do you want another Tobblerone? Tell me! Please...(Imagine ingratiating smile here). Pretty please?

So cool. So awesome. So amazing. I've got to stop now or my head will explode and I won't be able to press "publish your comment".

To summarize: congrats & tell us more!

The Crash Test Dummy said...



YOU GO GIRL!!!!!!!

I'm so happy for you. And proud of you!!!!

Amateur Steph said...

Alright! I am so excited for you. I can't wait to read it.

T said...

I wish I knew how to make a BIG ole smily here!!!

but I don't, so just imagine me with a cheshire grin on my face happy for you!!!

Heidi Ashworth said...

Ah, Melanie, how truly wonderful! Yay! You are so talented and you deserve this, esp after what you did for the school (people might not notice but God does). Yay! Can't wait to read your book!

Jessica G. said...

Awesome, AWESOME, AWE-SOME!!! So completely ecstatic for you! So I get a free copy, right?

michele holmes said...

Soooo cool! Congratulations. And I am completely worn out just reading about/looking at pictures of your rock and roll night. WOW. Makes writing a book look easy.

Youngblood4ever said...

CONGRATS! I love that I get to know all of these famous writers personally (sorta) through blogging and then they become all famous. Can't wait to hear more! WooHoo for you!