For many writers, a First Sale would top the list. Other dreams might include securing agent representation or winning a contest.
Maybe you dream of making a best seller list, getting rich, and giving up the day job.
Dreams are great. They motivate us. They empower us. They push us to do more than we ever imagined was possible.
When coupled with a plan, our dreams can come to pass.
In my previous post, Going Places: Planning Pays Off, I said one step in devising a workable plan is to make sure our goals are realistic. My goal wasn’t to drench your dreams in ice water. My intention was to point out that while it’s wonderful to reach for the stars, it’s important to realize that some things are out of our control.
Lest I come across as gloomy as Eeyore, let me clearly state that I believe in the power of dreams. We all have them. My agent, Rachelle Gardner, blogged about the dream of having our book turned into a movie in her posts Hoping for a Movie Deal, Part One and Hoping for a Movie Deal, Part Two. I gotta admit, it would be cool to see my story on the big screen, even if it was a screenwriter’s take on it.
Some of our dreams are focused on other people. We want our stories to impact our readers in positive ways. I’m an inspirational writer, so I want mine to glorify God and impart spiritual truths that can enhance readers’ lives.
One of my dreams as a fiction writer is simply to offer my readers an enjoyable story. If that story were to earn me a place on Oprah’s couch, I’d gladly accept the invitation. 🙂
Two Writers Whose Dreams Came True in a Big Way
This week I learned of two debut authors who landed the kind of deals dreams are made of. I offer their stories as encouragement.
In this Galley Cat post (title above is link), I learned that Karen Thompson Walker sold her first novel to the Random House Publishing Group division in a pre-empt. The Publishers Marketplace announcement of her deal included the fact that this was “a major deal, said to be low seven-figures.” It also noted that the book sold to publishers in Canada and Spain in pre-empts and went to auction in Holland and the UK.
According to the Random House release quoted by Galley Cat, “Thompson Walker wrote the book before work every morning for the last three years.” The same release included this blurb: “The novel centers on an eleven-year-old girl and her family who wake one morning in their modest suburban home in California, to discover, along with the rest of the world, that the rotation of the earth has suddenly begun to slow. Set against this mysterious looming global disaster, The Age of Miracles unfolds a suspenseful family drama, a moving story of the lows and highs of a girl’s adolescence, and a poignant story of first love, beautifully mapping the effects of catastrophes big and small on the lives of ordinary people.”
Tahereh Mafi‘s post (title above is link) includes the press release from her publisher, HarperCollins Children’s Books, dated March 2, in which they announced that they acquired North American rights to Shatter Me, her debut novel , in a major pre-empt.
Here’s the blurb from the press release: “Shatter Me is the first book in a riveting trilogy about a girl named Juliette who has the ability to kill people with a single touch—and the power to save her shattered world. Combining a crumbling dystopian world with a compelling heroine who has inexplicable powers, Shatter Me is a mesmerizingly romantic thriller with major teen appeal.”
And it gets better. Mafi is a twenty-three year old recent college graduate. Per the press release, her debut novel not only sold to Harper Teen, but “foreign rights to Shatter Me have already been sold in thirteen countries after a series of unprecedented pre-emptive offers were received within days of submission.” According to Publishers Weekly, which Mafi quoted in her post, “. . . it’s also rumored that the book has already been optioned in Hollywood.”
Why I Find This News Encouraging
- Publishers are still making deals, even BIG ones.
- Both titles are YA, which means publishers believe young people are reading.
- Both titles include strong romantic elements, which means romances are doing well. As a romance writer myself, that is good news.
- Both authors had a dream, formed a plan, and did the work. When they were writing their stories, Walker Thompson was going to her day job and Mafi was in college. Because of their efforts, they reaped success. We can, too. It’s naïve to think we’ll meet with the kind of success they did, but such stories prove that anything is possible.
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How big are your dreams?
Do you find First Sale stories like these encouraging?