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Wet Noodle Posse | Blog

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

First-Sale Jitters -- Kiki Clark

Selling a book was a lot like losing my virginity. I didn’t understand exactly how the process worked and there was no written contract. “What’s happening? Is this normal? Wait! I’m not comfortable! Okay, I guess this feels pretty good.” Even with an agent (and we’re dropping the sex metaphor right there), I had to take a lot of things on faith. Faith that the contract details will be worked out, even though nothing might be signed for two or even five months. Faith that the edits, which I won’t see for six months, won’t be onerous. Faith that my second book idea will be approved, and faith that the paranormal market won’t be dead and gone by the time my first book appears.

As a perfectionist who loves control, I’m easing my way into pleasure at this first sale. The days of being agented and unsold were halcyon. I would have paid my agent up front to say the nice things she said about my writing. True, there were no covers on my books, but I had no cover worries. I was free to try any genre I wanted, take my time, and dream of the day when slavering publishers bid on my most-loved manuscript like wolves fighting over a choice piece of carcass.

Selling a book is like a dream come true, but remember -- we don’t have the control over dreams that we have over our writing. Dream characters change mid-plot, locations are oddly unfamiliar, and our hands don’t work the way we want them to. This doesn’t mean we’d be willing to give up dreaming. To use another metaphor, I want a writing career the way some women want children. This sale is one of many baby steps toward that goal and if I’m lucky, the overall experience will be wonderful, with miminal sleepless nights and vomit on my shoulder. I’m nervous about this sale, and afraid of failing at something so measurable, but of course I’m excited and happy. I’ve sold a book.



6 Comments:

At 3:35 PM, Blogger Trish Milburn said...

I'm thrilled about your sale, but I think your concerns are normal. We have a new set of concerns at every stage of our careers.

 
At 6:51 PM, Blogger Theresa Ragan said...

LOL on the metaphor. I could see how the process would be hard for a controlling perfectionist. Glad you're enjoying the process now and that you're excited and happy. You should be! It's a very exciting time for you. Good luck.

 
At 11:47 PM, Blogger Lorelle said...

Esri,

Congratulations! I hear all you're saying. It is scary and new, but know that I am walking right beside you, taking the same steps. We're noodlers and we are never alone!

Lorelle

 
At 11:18 AM, Blogger Kiki, aka Esri said...

Lorelle, we're like swim buddies. :D

 
At 5:32 AM, Blogger MaryF said...

We're happy and excied that you sold TWO books!!

I like the metaphor, too!

 
At 1:22 PM, Blogger bridget said...

Kiki darling! This is so wonderful. Let yourself love it; you've waited and worked, and it's okay to bask a little. Yay!

 

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