Publication Board

I just have to start out this post by telling you how encouraging all of you are! My writing journey wouldn't be nearly as exciting without my blogging friends cheering me on. So thank you! Your enthusiasm is a blessing!

So. . .did my book make it out of Editorial Committee? Did the team of editors give it a thumbs up or a thumbs down? (For more about this stage of publication, click here: Editorial Committee.)

Most of you guessed right! Editorial Committee gave it a thumbs up. But. . .not without a great deal of complicated discussion. Because I'm an unpublished author, the committee had to look at my project from all angles: is the writing strong enough, will the story and series attract readers, are the settings and time periods saleable, etc.?

I think I can safely sum up their meeting by saying this: they like my writing, but we still need to work through some issues regarding the saleability of the settings and time periods. I'm learning that even though historical romances are very popular right now, the ones that sell best have American settings and take place between 1880-1900.

Since my historicals don't fall within those specific guidelines, the challenge lies in discovering how best to proceed! Every new author needs to build a strong readership with their first book. I'm soaking in the advice of both my agent and the editor and trusting they will lead me in the right direction for having the best first book.

So, will my book make it to the next stage: Publication Board? Hopefully.

If my book makes it to Publication Board, then a whole new group of people will debate whether to take on my project: company executives, presidents, vice-presidents, sales and marketing, and editorial representatives.

Agent Steve Laube describes the committee this way: It is this meeting where every objection possible is thrown at the book. Participants come up with reasons why this idea is a failure and why it should never be published. The discussion can be brutal.

So, my friends, I still have a rocky path ahead, but I'm learning so much from this whole process (more about that in the next post!). For now, I will leave you with one final thought: As writers we face incredible adversity. It's easy to get discouraged. But we need to keep moving forward doing what we love--writing.

Have you hit any rocks in the path lately?


  1. Jody, I'm so enormously proud of you!!! You've come so far and are so gracious to share all this "unknown" stuff to those of us riding behind you. Thank you so much for letting us in on the road to publication--heartaches, hurrahs, speed bumps, wrong turns, wavy endless roads, and all.

    I'm praying for you and your stories, Jody.

  2. Wow, I didn't know you still had to go through all that, or about the popular time frame for historicals. Man.

    Well, congrats for getting this far! You've worked so hard and I really hope it passes the contract committee! You're being so positive about all this. Kudos to you. :-)

    And thanks for sharing!

  3. I find it curious they wouldn't want something new instead of the tried and true. Only a twenty year historical span? Aren't readers chomping at the bit for a taste of something different? Well, I'll leave that to the professionals . . . but I do hope your work will blaze a fresh path on that rocky landscape.

    As always, good luck. :-)

  4. I too didn't realize historicals were hot for only a particular time period. I mean, I know some are more popular than others, but many many many of the recent historicals I've read are outside those dates, and they are some of my favorite books. Wondering if this particular mantra is this particular publisher only?

    Here's a question. What IS the time period of your book?

    CONGRATS on making it this far though!!! Every step is a bit closer and I'm SO excited for you!

  5. How exciting for you! I love reading about your journey. I have no doubt the rest of the rocks will smooth out for you!

    I've mainly been stumbling upon the rocks of confidence. I'm starting to pick them up and throw them out of my way though. I know I need to move forward.

    I can't wait to hear what happens in the next step!

  6. Congrats on the next step!! I appreciate you keeping us up to date with all this information. I am learning so much from you:)

  7. One hurdle cleared, another to come! How exciting! And it's funny you mentioned American history between 1880-1900. Several years ago I thought of an awesome series set in Chicago in the mid-1880's but the time period was lukewarm at the time. Then, it was all 1870's frontier and westerns. See what happens when we wait a while?

    Congrats and good luck!

  8. Jody- you are so gracious to share your experience with us. I am sure that you will gobble up the advice of your agent and the editor to produce the best book you can.

    I am so excited for you. Good luck. I'll keep praying for you.

  9. WOW! I cannot believe how much is involved in the publishing process. My naive little self assumed you get an agent, then you get a contract! It is SO much more complicated, isn't it?

    Have you ever watched School House Rock? You know that song called "I'm Just a Bill"? Does anybody know what I'm talking about? This publishing thing is SO much like that song, only instead of how a bill becomes a law, it's how a story becomes a published book.

    Thanks SO much for sharing this Jody. I find it incredibly fascinating.

    Just like Dr. Seuss would say, "You're off to great places! Oh the places you'll go!"

  10. YES! I knew it! When Rachelle Gardener told me at the WTP conference last month: "Jody is such a great writer," I knew you were destined for success! She chooses only the finest to be on her team, Jody.

    I believe the Contract committee will approve your ms. I know you are not cocky about it, but we will pray and ask God for favor for you, dear.

    And to quote a favorite preacher: "Just because something is hard doesn't mean the Lord doesn't want you to do it."

    Audienc of ONE

  11. Yeaaaa Jody! You jumped another hurdle and are getting into fabulous shape! I'm with the others though...20 year span for historicals? Is it just that publisher, because that just doesn't sound right!

    I love hearing your journey so that we all reach that point, we will know what to expect and not fear the unknown! Paving the way, girl!

  12. It is so interesting to read about the immense scrutiny a manuscript undergoes, and you are very generous in sharing the details. I think your posts help us all to keep our work polished till it shines.

  13. Why is it when I read your posts I hear the theme song, "Movin' on up" in my head? :D

    I love learning about your journey. Latest rock = vacation soon and craving to hold onto my momentum w/out a laptop.
    ~ Wendy

  14. I'm so glad you navigated through another step in the process. Thanks for giving us this up close look. It's a real eye-opener!

  15. Jody, these posts and your journey are so encouraging! Thanks for being so open about the process you're going through.

    And best of luck as you continue onward!

  16. Congratulations, Jody! You've come so far and clearly your writing speaks for itself. I can't wait to read your book someday. I'll pray for you on this next part of your journey and be looking forward to hearing how the next stage goes.

    Right now the rocks in my path all have the word "marketing" on them. Making progress, though :D

  17. Yay! Another step along the way! And though it is true some eras of historical fiction have a built in sell-factor like "Mary on the Prairie" books, all it takes is one rock-your-socks-off book to start a whole new trend. :)

    If Love Comes Softly had been a WWII story or a Regency, we might be struggling to find homes for 1885 Pioneer novels. :)

    Here's to surviving contract committee! Congratulations on getting this far, and any rocks in the path are to be climbed so you can enjoy the view!

  18. It's so nice to live through you. Thanks for sharing. Good luck.

    Lynnette Labelle

  19. Congratulations! That is very exciting! I know you still have a ways to go, but look how far you've come. Thanks for sharing every step of the way!

  20. Wow, all these committees - it just seems like an endless amount of hurdles to clear! Congratulations though on getting over the first one - that is a big deal!

    Yes, I have faced some rocks in the path recently and many times before now. It is easy to get discouraged and to get bogged down in self doubt, but reading about others' successes always help pick me up again!

  21. Congrats on making it so far! I hope all your dreams come true!!!

  22. How wonderful. You have much to be proud of!

    I guess I'm just glad I write because I want to and enjoy the whole process. If nothing of mine ever gets published I will leave behind my love of writing to my children and that will be enough. Of course, being published would be nice too:)

  23. Jody,

    I knew some of the details inherent in the process of a story becoming a book, but I think I am actually glad I didn't know this much as mine was making it through the various committees. Yikes! That said, you are SO CLOSE and you have every reason to feel optimistic. Many people do not make it this far. Remember that. Nothing has been lost and so much has been gained so keep the faith, and keep writing! Blessings...

  24. Wow. I never realized it was quite this complicated. Thank you for sharing. And congrats on getting one more step down the path!

  25. Hi everyone!
    You guys are so awesome! I just love you all!! Thanks for continuing to cheer for me, even though the path seems a little rough ahead!

    I think it's true that we can publish books with settings and time periods outside of what is MOST popular, it is harder to gain a readership, especially for a NEW author. Once we have an established readership, then we might be able to break into newer eras and settings without as much worry!

    Thanks for all of your thoughtful comments so far!

  26. Yes! Yes! It will make it!

    I am loving these series of posts...they are so much fun :D

  27. Congrats on coming so far! You've worked hard and it shows. You'll make it! My prayers are with you!

    P.S. I just realized we have the same blog background. Promise I didn't copy :) Great taste!

  28. Congratulations on getting so far along in the process, Jody! I have no doubt much success awaits.

    Steve Laube's description of Contract Committee, though? Gaaa! I started sweating just reading that.

  29. ooh that does sound brutal. Glad you survived it. :) Lady Glamis sent me over here cuz she knows I'm hitting my own rocky path lately. Thanks for reminding me that we all have some jagged roads to travel.

  30. Hi! Lady Glamis suggested stopping by your space. Congrats on round one. Postive thoughts and prayers are with you for the rest of your journey ...
    smiles & best wishes,

  31. Thanks for stopping by Billy! I agree, just the thought of Contract Committee makes me sweat!

    And Suz and Karen, thanks for stopping by too! Glad you found your way here from Lady Glam's fabulous blog!

  32. Every step forward is a blessing! Congrats. You're in great hands with Rachelle.


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