I’ve imagined writing this post for a long time…years. Eleven to be exact. That’s how long I’ve had publishing on my brain.

To say I’m still processing recent events with regards to my writing career is simply an understatement. As I was trying to explain to my husband last night, sometimes you want something so much, and for so long, that when it finally happens you’re not exactly sure what to make of it. How does a person process elation?

Last month, two days after my birthday, I received an email from my agent who was 30,000 miles up in the air on a return flight from New York.

Subject: Offer/Her Perfect Life

I glanced at those words and a flood of adrenaline hit my system. My body responded to what they meant before I even clicked the email open.

Before writing Her Perfect Life (my first work of women’s fiction) I wrote six other novels. One mainstream adult and five young adults books–all of them self-published.

But I had long wanted to partner with a traditional publisher.

One of the really great things about self-publishing, of course, is that you have all the control with regards to getting your work out there. The only person that has to say, “yes” is you. And then, once you tell yourself, “yes” you get to work. A. Lot. Of. Work. A lot of learning. A lot of everything. And that is really great because you have all the agency over that process. It feels good, productive…empowering.

There are many aspects of the self-publishing process that I love. But the one I hated was the difficulty of truly wearing all the hats; specifically with regards to marketing and audience reach. For the type of books I was writing, young adult, I found it to be particularly difficult because the wider YA market can be hard to reach without the support and connections provided though a traditional publisher.

So by 2017, armed with very realistic expectations, I was ready to try finding a traditional publisher again. I found a new agent, pitched her a new book in a new market for me (women’s fiction), and got to work writing, revising, and getting ready for my agent to take Her Perfect Life out on submission by the end of 2018.

And on February 26th, two days after my birthday, the offer came in.

Best. Birthday. Present. Ever.

Her Perfect Life will be published in the Spring of 2020 by Sourcebooks Landmark. They have also contracted for a second untitled work of women’s fiction.

Am I happy? That word doesn’t even begin to brush the surface of how I feel. I imagine it’s like finishing a marathon. All those hours, weeks, months (for me years) of training in order to cross that line, throw your arms in the air, and finally declare, “I did it!”

For sure I wasn’t the fastest, sometimes I walked, and I was nowhere near the podium of writers who won their first race. But the elation of getting here? That emotion is just as sweet.

If you have a question you’d like me to answer on my blog, please send it to my email: rebecca (at) rrtaylor (dot) com

From Self-Published to a Traditional Deal: It Only Takes One Yes
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