There’s a reason the title has a Supernatural reference, and it’s not just because I am, unfortunately, a genuine Supernatural fan (I mean, it is partly that).
I also realize I’m doing this a bit backwards, as I never actually wrote the classic How I Got An Agent post, because I’m lazy and I kept putting it off, but I’ll get there eventually.
Anyway. I’ll keep this short and sweet (hopefully).
I went out on sub(mission) in early October 2020. My agent likes to give editors about a month to respond, which is amazing and probably saved my sanity a lot. So by the end of October, a publisher expressed interest. Pub #1 asked for an outline of book two, since we were pitching this as a duology, and also a phone call. As we were setting that up, another publisher (Pub #2) asked to talk on the phone. We also got passes from two other publishers. I was very hype at this point!
Phone call with Pub #1 went great, and got me a preempt offer! This is when I hopped on the phone with my agent to discuss what that really meant and what I wanted to do about it. I’d heard of preempt offers and knew vaguely what that meant, but I wanted the nitty gritty details, which my agent was happy to talk through. Basically, a preempt is when a publisher offers a good amount of money for you to take your book off the table from other publishers and accept their offer. But at this point I still had another phone call with Pub #2 and we hadn’t heard from several other publishers, and I knew I definitely wanted to wait and see what everyone else would say, so we demurred on the preempt, and Pub #1 graciously agreed to wait for us to make a decision.
I ended up having a video chat with Pub #2, which also went well, but this publisher wanted some major changes. Like Pub #1, they also wanted an outline for the second book, as well as a revised outline for the first book. Cue about three absolutely feverish days of revising and a lot of back and forth with my agent (fun fact: I listened to the song Laykoon by El Morabba3 nonstop while outlining and now I can’t associate this book with any other song). It was extremely difficult, to say the least, because I’d only given book 2 half a thought at best, but it was also very satisfying, because the pressure and time crunch forced me to really sit down and think through the plot of the duology as a whole, and I came up with some changes I’m pretty proud of. I think this was also the point where we received passes from a bunch of other publishers, but it’s all a bit of a blur at this point.
So, by this time it was November 2020, and we were fast coming up on election week. We submitted the revised outline to Pub #2, and on November 2nd they made an offer! Pub #1 was still interested, so it was at this point that we went to auction, which is a lot less exciting than it sounds. Essentially (thankfully), your agent handles all the back and forth negotiations, but first we got on the phone to chat about everything that was going down and how I was feeling.
Then the election had us taking a brief pause. The waiting would have been agonizing, had it not been for the insanity of That Week. We reconvened on November 5th (remember, remember, the fifth of november!). If you’ll recall, as we were all waiting for Georgia to turn blue and for Nevada to count their ballots, Destiel…went canon and there was a rumor that Putin was resigning and all these things converged in a pretty fantastic way. I’m probably cursed for even mentioning this in a post about how I got my book deal, but honestly, I kind of love that all that insanity went down while we were in the midst of negotiations. Tumblr went feral in a way we haven’t seen since like 2015. It was a wild night.
But anyway, the afternoon of November 5th, it was officially official, and I accepted an offer from Harper Voyager!
Eventually my decision came down to two major factors, aside from the monetary. First, I really liked that Voyager forced me to think about some necessary changes for the book and the duology as a whole. You know how sometimes you kind of know something is wrong but you can’t clearly see it until someone else points it out, and then it’s all you can really see? That’s what happened. But I was happy about it, and Voyager’s ~editorial vision won me over. Second, Voyager has published two of my favorite fantasy trilogies, so I was definitely very sentimental about that, and I’m a fan of their reputation and reach in general.
Then, after telling my family and a few close friends, I got to sit on the news for about six months, which really isn’t bad at all, not to mention I was kept occupied with actually revising the manuscript with the changes I’d worked out with Voyager.
And now my book is literally on Goodreads and I am a very happy clam!