Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Cue the White Rabbit...

Yes, I'm racing against the clock today! Seems like I'm doing a lot of that, lately.

When I look back, I realize I was pitted against the clock for years while trying to get published. Interestingly, I never realized how long it took me until I finally got there. That's because I wasn't watching every second tick away like I am now. And I think maybe that saved me.

Here's a peek into my publishing journey for those of you still racing Father Time to get your novel written, an agent to take notice, or a publisher to sign you. 

My Publishing Timeline:

• March 2006 started querying my first novel. After 100 or more rejections, trunked it and wrote two more books.

• July 2007, started querying my third novel and worked on the forth one while it was out.

• May 2008, signed w/my first agent on my fourth novel. She submitted the novel for one and a half years while I finished books five and six, which she turned down for being too fantastical.

• December 2010, left Agent One after she wanted me to take the fantasy out of my seventh book, Splintered, my YA Alice in Wonderland spinoff. Started querying new agents immediately.

• February 2011, signed with my present agent (aka, Agent Goddess) who loved the fantasy in Splintered.

• August 2011, went to auction and signed with Amulet.

• January 2013, Splintered hit the bookshelves!

Okay, you'll notice I left out two very important details. How long was I on sub and how many passes did I get before I got my yes-es? Splintered was on sub for nine months and was rejected by 23 publishers before it went to auction, sold to Amulet and then to over a dozen foreign countries. The entire series hit the NYT bestselling list in 2015 with Ensnared's launch, and Splintered itself went on to hit INTL bestselling lists, proving that dreams can come true if you never give up, and in a bigger way than you ever could've imagined!

So, 7 books and 7 years after I first started this journey, my publishing dreams became a reality. The best advice I can give any aspiring writer is: The only way to "fail" in this business is to give up on yourself. If you keep writing and submitting new work, polishing your craft and believing in your talent, one day someone else will see the value of your stories, and it will be your turn to shine.

I'm hoping that now, after seeing how much time and how many books it took me, you're feeling encouraged, your determination renewed, and can move forward without ever looking back. Because the best way to embrace your future is to leave the past behind and stop looking at that blasted clock. ;)


  1. Gorgeous! I'll definitely be trying for one of those posters! Thanks for sharing your pub story with us! I can't believe they asked you to take the fantasy out---what??? They're loss LOL. Do you happen to know if they'll have Splintered ARCs at ALA this weekend? I didn't see your name on the list of Apocolypsies that would be there---which is a bummer, I would have loved to meet you! :D

  2. i'll be happy to be part of the maddnesss

  3. Hey! Have I told you lately that I love that cover? Can't wait to get a shiny copy in January!

    I'm actually familiar w/the SPLINTERED timeline, but I didn't know this one. Ahh, this business. :p

    So it'll be fun to see the new website! Good luck getting it all together, and glad you've made it to enjoyment. ((hugs))

  4. Such wise words, Anita (leave the past behind!). I was just telling Bethany that I'm going to try and be more positive (regarding this soul-sucking submission process. Oops! That wasn't a very positive thing to say, was it? ;). I have faith that something will happen when the time is right ;o) I just have to constantly remind myself of this.

    Loved this post! You've been an inspiration to me from day one, friend. :o)

  5. Anita - love this timeline. I'm so excited for your book. I was excited before but I just saw Melissa Marr loved it and I love her books so Squee!! I've come over from QT and I love your query tracker posts. Keep 'em coming. Good luck on your publishing journey. I can't wait to hear all about it.

  6. Twink, this might be the most amazing thing I've ever read: "...the best way to embrace your future is to leave the past behind..."
    I have chills, real chills. And it's 100 out today!

    YOU continue to inspire me. Thanks for sharing your journey with us ;) I AM SO HAPPY YOU KEPT GOING!

    PS The poster is SUPER gorgeous xoxoxo

  7. You wrote seven books within five years. Color me impressed! You are so amazing, Anita. SOOOO AMAZING :)

  8. Many days your difficult journey has been the only inspiration I could call upon to keep myself going. I have no doubt others will respond the same way.

    P.S. I ♥ Control Freaks!!

  9. Full of awesomeness and inspiration! You kept on writing despite the obstacles. I bow to you, oh writerly goddess! You are my hero. <3

  10. Thank you so much Anita. You're so freaking inspiring!

  11. Becky~ Hey there! I don't think they'll have any ARCs there. As far as I know, they're not going to print until next week. And I would love to meet you, too! Maybe one day soon. :) About the fantasy, right??? That's how I finally realized that there was no way agent one and I were a career match. HEH.

    Rogier~ YAY! So glad you'll be joining us. muwah-ha-ha

    Leigh~ Hey lady! I haven't seen you in ages! I HOPE the new website comes together alright. EEPS. I'm always second guessing my designing abilities. *cough*

    Angela, Bethany, Cherie, and Kerri~ I love my goats. *happy sigh* You've all been an inspiration to me, too, in so many ways! And Kerri, YAY! I finally said something profound! WOOT! Hee

    Rachel~ So nice to meet you, and thanks for the support! I will keep on w/the QT interviews as long as humanly possible. But I can't promise forever, because things are starting to get crazy up in my world. LOL

    Lori~ Thank you lovely! YES, I was nothing if not prolific those first few years. ;)

    Katherine~ Aw, you rock! Thank you. :) You gals at WrAHM all inspire me, too.

  12. LOVE the poster!! :)

    I love hearing stories like this - it's so interesting to see how other people travel this journey. Thanks for sharing :)

  13. You are so inspiring! Wise words to keep in mind as I begin the querying process yet again!

  14. Wow, I'm glad I read this! You have an amazing journey, Anita. It shows with perseverance and hard work, you can achieve your dreams!

  15. Jemi~ So nice to see you! And I think for the most part that authors are getting in the pub door much faster nowadays. Theye're learning things about querying and writing via agent blogs and tweets online = instant gratification. Whereas, when I first started out, I was learning everything via books and trial and error. Slowed me way down. ;)

    Amber~ So glad you stopped by! And yes, I'll never let any of you gals give up. Because the next book just might be THE book, or that next query might be THE query.

    Melissa~ Thank you! My journey is amazingly INSANE. heh. W/out writer friends to lean on, I would have never made it out w/sanity intact. :) So glad it inspired you to keep on keeping on!

  16. Woohooooo! As always, you are an incredible inspiration, and I'm just delighted I know you. I can't wait to see the new website, and I honestly can't tell you how much I appreciate your continued guidance and encouragement.

    As I prepare to venture into the forays with my next novel, I keep repeating to myself, "What would Anita do?" WWAD, if you will. ;)

    You deserve every delightful minute of happiness and success, my friend! :)

  17. P.S.- Holy shit! Just read Melissa Marr's review of your book... OMG, that's MELISSA MARR!!! Can I just take a second to hyperventilate over here??

    1. That review floored me. M-dawg totally loving on SPLINTERED. How great is that?

    2. LOL! You guys, can you imagine how I felt? I didn't even know she was reading it. I saw that she had followed me on twitter, and was like, WHA? This has to be a mistake. Then, I saw a tweet she did about loving Splintered and MEEEEEEEEps. Kind of freaked a little. Then I DMed her and we chatted back in forth. MAJOR fangirl moment there. LOL. In fact, still AM fangirling. *cough*

  18. Thank. You. I am guilty of looking at the clock as well—-okay it's been so long make that the calendar. Nice to read a success story that DIDN'T happen overnight.


    PS Can't wait for SPLINTERED!

  19. What an amazing journey. Thank you for sharing! I have an award for you!:

  20. I can't believe they wanted you to take the fantasy out! I guess that's exactly how you know when you're not with the right person, lol... Glad you stuck to your guns because I CAN'T WAIT to read SPLINTERED. It sounds epic!! I would love to end up with one of those posters, too. They are gorgeous! You won the cover lottery, lol. :)

  21. I can't decide if I'm inspired or depressed. I'm more on the beginning side of your journey. Do I really have that long to wait?? LOL!

    It's an awesome journey. Glad you stuck with it. :)

  22. Oh my goodness! LOL You wrote TONS! 4 years is pretty good for a pubbing journey, actually. :-) I'm so excited for you! Thanks for sharing!

  23. Lisa~ Aw, thank you! And yes, I was very excited about that review on GR. She posted it on my birthday weekend, so I had a lot to celebrate! :)

    Bethany M~ It's so hard not to watch those minutes, weeks, months tick by. And believe me, there are a lot of very inspirational stories out there that took even longer than me! I might have to do a post on those one day. And so glad you're excited about the book!

    Sylvia~ Thanks so much for the beautiful award, and for stopping by.

    Jessica~ I know, I was floored by how many agents I queried that wanted the same thing. It was just a matter of finding the one who shared my vision. :) I'm so glad I held out! And YES, the cover gods have smiled upon Splintered, and I'm so grateful!

    Laura~ Don't be depressed! You have so much more going for you than I did (agent blogs, online critters/betas, query databases). You'll get there WAY before I did. :)

    Jessie~ Thank you! I think I've heard that most people find their agent by book four, and I did. I just found the wrong agent and we couldn't sell my book, and worse, she didn't really relate to my other stuff. I'm just glad I finally found someone who did (both agent and publisher). :)