I'm published

I have sold my first book.  Scholastic plans to publish it in the Fall of 2010.  I’m still walking around as though I’ve stumbled into some alternate reality, where everything looks the same, but at the same time kind of doesn’t.

So, a little background on the deal.

Back in January, I posted about signing with my agent.  Since that post, he and I have been working on revisions to my book, trimming and tightening the manuscript.  I’ve heard of some writers agonizing over that part of the process, but it was a great experience for me.  My agent had wonderful suggestions and insights, and I’d been away from active writing on the story long enough that I had some perspective on it.  It made it easy to say, “Oh, yeah.  That needs to go.”  BALEETED!

So come March, we felt like the book was ready to venture out into the wide, wide world to look for a home.  My agent started pitching it on March 2nd, and we had interest from several publishers right away.  He sent the book to Scholastic on the 4th, and received an encouraging email from them a few days later.  And then the weekend came.  During this time I was an obsessive wreck, checking my email every chance I could, jumping every time the phone rang, the whole while telling myself that we probably wouldn’t hear anything for at least a couple of weeks, likely more.  But on Monday, my agent emailed me to say that Scholastic intended to make a pre-emptive bid some time that week, and then he called me on Tuesday the 10th with their offer.

That’s when everything changed, really.  That phone call was the moment.

The time frame here is unusual, and completely unexpected.  Scholastic made the offer just shy of a week after receiving the manuscript.  That just shows that my agent knew exactly who to send the book to.  I’m very appreciative of that, and I’m very happy with my editor, the wonderful writer Lisa Sandell.  I spoke with her on the phone a few days later, and felt reassured that I had someone who loves my book.  I think Scholastic will be a perfect home for it.

So if you see me, and I’m looking a little stunned, a little shell-shocked, with a ridiculous smile on my face, it’s because I still don’t know quite where I’ve landed.  I think it might take a while to settle in.

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18 Responses

  1. That is *awesome*!!!!! And what an inspiring timeline from agent to contract. I’m in awe.

    Reply
  2. I just saw your deal on the deals page of Publisher’s Marketplace. How cool is that? Congrats, Matt. Totally exciting. Steve is on a roll. He must be going for a record–three deals in the same week, I think?

    Reply
  3. Yeah, 3 deals. He’s awesome.

    Reply
  4. Congrats again, Matt!! I am so thrilled for you! I see double book signings in our future. . .
    Can you believe how far we’ve come since that writing workshop less than two years ago? And Elena will be next. Are you going to the BYU conference again this year? I’m taking Martine’s class again just because I love her so much.

    You rock! I can’t wait to read your book!!

    Reply
  5. Rebecca

     /  March 17, 2009

    It’s so great when wonderful writing gets rewarded with publication. It’s even more wonderful that kids are going to get to spend time with your amazing characters. I can hardly wait to see the book in print, to buy my own copy, and to dive back into Guiseppe’s world. Congrats, Matt This is so well-deserved!

    Reply
  6. Congratulations! I can’t wait to see it in print.

    Baleeted! I use that word all the time. Hilarious.

    Reply
  7. So the notes coming out of that green violin are green too. I thought so all along. Add my salute to the others.

    Reply
  8. Kim Woodruff

     /  March 18, 2009

    I’m so excited for you Matt! Congratulations!

    Reply
  9. Duane

     /  March 19, 2009

    Wow, Matt. Great story! Congrats.

    Reply
  10. Thanks, everyone!

    Reply
  11. So what is a pre-emptive bid? Did that exclude all other publishers from getting a crack at it? Did they have to sweeten the deal with promises of free stuffed Clifford dogs and all the Hannah Montana Posters you could fit on your wall?

    Honestly I can’t wait until November of 2010 when we will have our first post-Grimore bookfair. I can walk my students out and say, “I knew him when . . .” Maybe you will get to do a bit for their promotional video I am always asked to show the week before the book fair. They are pretty cheesy, but any book covered gets lots of sales. The artist at home type of thing . . . . . Do you have a jacket with elbow patches? Maybe you better do some shopping.

    Well done.

    Reply
  12. Sarah

     /  March 22, 2009

    Congrats!! You know I have always been a fan, and i cant wait to cry again. Im still stumped on a title- I will let you know the minute I have an epiphany .

    Reply
  13. DaNae,

    A pre-emptive bid, the way I understand it, is where a publishing house basically says, “Here’s our offer, but it’s contingent on being the only bid you consider.” It’s basically an attempt to keep a book from going to auction, or prevent a bidding competition between publishers. It did not come with any Hannah Montana merchandise, unfortunately. I’m not THAT important.

    Reply
  14. I think you were wise to take Scholastic’s proposal, but wouldn’t it have been cool to have several suitors fight over your hand? Maybe sword fighting could have been involved.

    Reply
  15. Sandra

     /  March 27, 2009

    Matt! I am so proud of you and so happy for you. What a great accomplishment. Congrats and lots of love. Nannie

    Reply
  16. Hey, Congrats. That’s very exciting news. We’ll have to watch for it, especially when we order books from them!!! Hope all is well for you and your family, we are a little sick, but having fun in Idaho!!! Good luck with your future adventures!

    Reply
  17. Thanks Nannie! Lots of love to you too. I hope you and Uncle Richard, and all the Dabneys are doing well.

    Reply
  18. Thanks Sarah. I hope that’s good crying.

    Thanks DaNae. While sword fighting might have been flattering and cool, I have no wish to see the number of talented editors in this world reduced by dueling.

    Thanks Heidi. I hope your family is doing well.

    Reply

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