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Book Contract Details

THANK YOU ALL for celebrating the news of my book contract with me! I read each of your well wishes and am treasuring them in my heart!

Some of you asked for me to share more of the details of my book contract. Those who use Twitter already got a sneak peek! A few of my sweet tweeting friends (you know who you are!) pulled the information from me in short bursts of 140 characters or less.

On the one hand, I'm super excited to share the news and want to tell everyone, everywhere! But on the other hand, I'm struggling with how to broach such life-altering information humbly (aka without pride or boasting!). Even though I know it's important to build a web presence and market ourselves, I don't want this whole experience to be just about me.

It's my desire that by sharing my experiences I can encourage and give hope to other writers; if dreams can come true for an ordinary writer like me, they can come true for you too.

I also hope through blogging about the ups and downs of my journey I can provide an inside glimpse of what the steps to publication look like. It's never my intention to boast, so if I ever sound like I am, I give you permission to email me and scold me!

On that note. . . I would love to share more of the details of what my book contract contained:

1. Bethany House Publisher (BHP) is the publisher that I'll be working with. They are a large, traditional Christian publishing company. They publish both fiction and non-fiction and have authors like Beverly Lewis, Tracie Peterson, and many others.

2. They've offered me a three book deal. As part of the contract, they agreed to publish one of my completed books and would like for me to write two additional new books for them.

If you remember from previous posts, I had another completed book as part of my book proposal. While BPH liked it and might possibly consider it for future publication, it was set in the middle ages in Europe, not the greatest time period and setting for an author trying to break in and build a readership.

They would like to have some input into the direction of the next books with the intention of helping me develop the most marketable novels possible. Since they're good at selling books, I'm going to trust their advice!

3. My first book is slotted for publication next fall. That means, one year from now, I could be kissing the cover of my book. That is truly an amazing and humbling thought. Over the next months I'll begin the editing process. I've already spoken on the phone with the one of the editors I'll be working with, and he did an incredible job of immediately making me feel apart of Bethany House.

4. My synopsis for book number two is due by November and the completed book next fall. I'm in the process of gathering ideas to present to the editorial team. After I get their seal of approval, then I'll jump into writing the next book. My agent and now my new editor have both had to listen to me whine about how READY I am to start writing it!

5. And finally, my advance pleased my agent. Of course it pleased me too! But I since I'm a flop at financial issues AND since I had no idea what to expect, I would have been happy with a couple of pennies. What's most important to me is getting this awesome privilege of publishing a book. However, advances are part of the deal and I'm very grateful for what I was offered! (See Rachelle's recent blog post More About Advances.)

Thanks again for sharing in this joyful experience with me! Most days I wake up and wonder, is this REALLY happening?

If you have any words of wisdom for me as I start this new path of the writing journey, I'd love to hear them! And let me know if you have any other questions about the details of my contract.

65 comments:

  1. Eeek. I missed this. Congratulations!!!! Wishing you continued success. You deserve it!

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  2. Whew, that was better than the little 140 character blurbs! :) Thanks for expanding on all my little questions. I love learning about this process and find it fascinating! I do have a question. Did they give you any advice or guidance in what to write about next? I cannot imagine just trying to figure out what to write that would fall into the publisher's wants. Surely they gave you some guidance before you started the work of figuring out what to write.

    Oh, and thanks for the advice on my blog. I knew a "pro" like you (yes, you can call yourself that now!)would know what I should do. :)

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  3. Hi Sherrinda,

    Much better than 140 character answers! ;) And yes, they are giving me direction on my next novel. It must be an American setting and in a bit later time period than the middle ages. I have to send them all of my ideas and then the editorial committee will look them all over, offer their suggestions, and then hopefully give me the green light with one of them. So, that's what I'm working on right now, typing up a half to one sheet blurb on each idea.

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  4. oh WOW!! Bethany House! That's incredible news on top of incredible news. What a great company to work with! Continuing to be SO excited for you... :)

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  5. Three Books! That is great. No one hit wonder for you. Can't wait to see it next fall and the others. :O)

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  6. My words, well word, of wisdom: Enjoy.

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  7. Wow! That is so cool. A three book deal! TRIPLE CONGRATS! (and would NEVER consider you a boaster!)

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  8. Thanks Jody! I bet it was fun to come up with several ideas and flesh them out a bit. I'm so glad they gave some direction! I can't imagine doing it any other way! :) Have fun at the conference! (I'm still praying you don't get sick!)

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  9. Girl, this is SO SO excited! And a HUGE thing to be contracted for unwritten books too. EEEEEeeeEEE!

    You are not bragging at all, although you have every right to a little!!! We're celebrating right along with you, and can now say, "Yeah, we knew Jody when..."

    *grin* Okay, so maybe that will be US bragging about who we know... but hey, it's good marketing for ya! LOL

    C-ya soon!!!

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  10. This is so exciting! And honestly, none of this comes across as bragging. This is definitely a time to be shouting with jubilation. and I've really enjoyed your blog and the inside peek at the beginnings of agents, contracts and publication. Keep it up!

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  11. Jody,
    Congratulations. As for advice... #1 When you have questions, listen to your editor and your agent.#2 Be constantly aware that, although your book was good enough to get a contract it will require revisions. #3 Learn all you can about marketing. #4 If all else fails, consult rule #1.

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  12. Okay, today's details rate more than a mere "congratulations" for me.

    WOO-HOO! A three-book deal, how totally awesome is that! And, so fast to publication! Have you joined the "Tenners" yet? (Online group of authors slated for 2010 publication.)

    How are you feeling about your deadline to produce a synopsis? By when does book #2 have to be written?

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  13. Wow, my eyes got misty as I read this post, Jody. Bethany House no less--I am amazed at how good God is, and faithful to His kids.

    I'm happy you received a good advance; that helps you feel more like a professional, huh?

    My only advice is: 1. pray. 2. Keep that humble attitude. God will take you farther than your wildest dreams if you keep your eyes on Him.

    Love you, dear!
    jen

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  14. So awesome! I looked you up on Publisher's Marketplace last night and I saw the three book deal! That is incredible. You must be so excited. Congrats and thanks for sharing your experience with us :)

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  15. The news just gets better and better ... Kudos to you on the 3-book contract. What a wonderful commitment, you must be so excited!

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  16. I think you are handling this with grace and class, Jody! I know that your blogs have been such an encouragement to me! So please know that God is using your story to uplift others!!

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  17. Jody, I struggle sometimes with what to share, as you saw on my post this morning, but like you, there is a wider reason for sharing some of these pieces that is not boasting. People will look to you to learn. That is always how we make our way on a new path -- to check out the path of those who have gone before and learn from them. That's where you are now in some sense, working now as teacher, and of course, there is always more to learn. We're never done. So we can always live humbly in that knowledge. As for advice, I have some that relates to trying to be public when you're still mothering five young children, but too much for here. We'll have to talk. :)I will be here for you, though. I think we will continue to learn a lot from one another and I am so glad I've stepped upon YOUR path. I hope the same is true in reverse. Blessings and enjoy every moment of this! It only gets better -- the book world is a very special place to be.

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  18. I'm here to let you know yes, this is REALLY happening. :D

    You've worked hard and will continue to do so.

    I'm just excited to buy my copy next fall.
    ~ Wendy

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  19. Wow! A three-book deal is fanstastic. Good for you. And to have the first out so quickly next fall!

    This is a reflection of hard, steady work. You should be proud.

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  20. Jody, my only words of wisdom would be to savor every single moment of this experience. Only other writers can know how hard you've worked to get to this point. There will be difficult moments, to be sure, but savor even those. And it is not boasting to talk about successes. It is sharing!!!
    karen

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  21. Wow, Jody, three books! Amazing. You are going to be quite the busy woman!

    Your humble heart is so evident, I don't think you need to worry about appearing boastful. We're all just thrilled to get this inside peek, and to cheer for you.

    Can't WAIT to read your book, Jody!

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  22. Carrie (aka CKHB),

    To answer your question "when does book #2 have to be written?":

    My contract states that book #2 needs to be delivered to them by next November. Mostly likely I'll complete and deliver the book to them much sooner than that. In that case, my editor and I discussed the possibility of getting it slotted for an earlier publication too. But for now, since I'll be editing book #1 and writing book #2 at the same time, I've got plenty of leeway.

    Thanks for asking! :)

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  23. Jody,
    I have nothing to add since this is new territory for me, too. I'll just add that I am very proud for you.

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  24. Jody!!!

    I AM SO HAPPY FOR YOU!!!!!!!

    I'm also thankful that I know you because I can learn about this process vicariously. :0) Thanks for being willing to share it with us!!!

    So, you have to write a synopsis for a book beforehand? Is that how you normally work or is it new to you?

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  25. Kristen,

    To answer your question "So, you have to write a synopsis for a book beforehand? Is that how you normally work or is it new to you?":

    Yes, this is very new to me! But fortunately I'm a huge plotter. So I think I can come up with a decent synopsis, with the understanding that it will change a bit as I write the book.

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  26. A THREE book deal with BETHANY HOUSE! Jody, that's amazing. What a tremendous blessing and a great testimony to the importance of perseverance. I am so happy for you. I appreciate that you share the details with us--we get to share a little bit of this journey with you and it feels so good :)

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  27. I am sooooo very happy for you and am so excited they gave you a three book deal too! WOW!!!!! Wish I was there to jump up and down with you! Don't worry about being humble--you always have been and always will be, I know that from how you've shared in the past. This is an awesome blessing and I am blessd to be part of it in your news! Can't wait to read your book!

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  28. Incredibly, Jody! Every bit of this news is just incredible. I'm so happy for you. I wish you nothing but the best in this endeavor, and I know He'll lead your heart and your craft. Best to you!

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  29. I am so excited for you! Thank you so much for sharing your journey with us. It is such an inspiration to me when something great happens to one of my writer friends!! Congrats, honey!! I'm doing the Snoopy dance for ya;)

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  30. Simply amazing! And a 3 BOOK DEAL!

    My question is...did they give you any idea of what types of books actually ARE more marketable at this time? Just curious!

    So very, very excited for you as you start this new "chapter"! LOL

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  31. Ah, shucks! I missed the big news. Well, at least I saw this post. Congrats, girl! You so deserve it.

    Lynnette Labelle
    http://lynnettelabelle.blogspot.com

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  32. Congrats! Your life is picking up speed. Keep us posted on the step-by-steps.

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  33. Thanks for sharing the details. For the record, you are one of the most humble people I've had the pleasure of getting to know. You could never come across as boastful.

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  34. What's most inspiring about you, is that you've got your feet firmly planted on the ground even as you experience such an uplifting event in your life. Thank you so much for sharing it with us! Enjoy this special time in your life - you've worked hard for it and you deserve it. And, it's okay to kvell! (Yiddish word meaning: rejoice, gush, to be extraordinarily proud.) ;-)

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  35. I'm so excited for you I want to go out tell everyone for you!!! What an awesome deal!! You must be flying high!! Again, tons of congrats!

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  36. Beth,

    To answer your question: "Did they give you any idea of what types of books actually ARE more marketable at this time?"

    Yes! They have been incredibly helpful in pointing me in the direction of what is most marketable. Since I write historicals, they are encouraging me to write something that has an American setting and that falls within the 1800's. These types of historicals appeal to the most readers and sell the best, at least currently. Hopefully, once I become an established author, then I'll have more flexibility with settings and time periods! But for now I'm writing that BREAK-IN novel!

    Thanks for asking, Beth!

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  37. A 3-book deal! Woo-hoo!

    I certainly can't offer "words of wisdom", but I can tell you that by sharing your journey, you are indeed inspiring others, at least me.

    Congratulations, Jody!

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  38. Congratulations!!!! This is awesome news.

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  39. Jody, I am so happy for you! This really is exciting. And it does give authors like me hope! Knowing that there are still publishers out there willing to take on new writers is very good news.

    You deserve the success and I'm thrilled to know that your hard work is paying off.

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  40. Thanks for answering my question! I think this is one of the biggest reasons why it's good to have written more than one book when you finally get your agent and book deal -- so you don't pass out cold at the thought of having to write MORE books, on a deadline!

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  41. Looking forward to next fall and your book as much as I am the start of every college football season.

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  42. I'm just seeing your incredible news now! CONGRATULATIONS! I'm sooo happy for you! And you don't sound like you're boasting--you're very sweet.

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  43. How did I miss the announcement post? Well, kudos to you! so very happy :D :D :D

    And, only one year?! That is SUPER DUPER fast, don't you think? most of my published friends are on a 18-24 month contract-to-book schedule. Very cool for you to have your book coming out by next fall.

    Get to work! Have fun! Wa-hoooo....

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  44. Hey, Jody, thanks for answering my question! I know you can do it and I'm just so excited for you--and can't wait to read your book in a year! A contract is a huge thing; a three book contract with Bethany House is even bigger!!!!

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  45. How exciting that you got a book contract. When it comes out, I can show it to people and say you commented on my blog. I feel priviledged already. Have fun writing your new book.

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  46. It all sounds so exciting and I do not sense any boasting, just great joy at a blessing! Please continue sharing!

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  47. Congratulations! This is extraordinary moment in a writer's career - savor it! And kudos to your for such a wonderful attitude!

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  48. What fun to read all your details. I'm so excited just hearing about it.
    What a great deal! wow!

    A year will fly by and you'll be blog-touring.

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  49. How wonderful for you. Not one book, but three.

    I am sure you will face many new challenges ahead as your life changes. I was reminded of a verse from Proverbs which is good advice at the onset of any new journey.

    "Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life." Proverbs 4:23

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  50. CONGRATS Jody!!! I'm thrilled for you! You seem to be in good company at Bethany House! Good luck and may you sell many many books! :)

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  51. As long as you aren't feeling conceited or prideful, your words won't come across that way. Every author's experience is different, and we all love to read about each different journey. You can rest assured that you are providing a public service by giving us as much information as possible!

    Congrats! And how exciting, a three-book deal!

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  52. Hi Jody -

    A three-book deal! Yahoo! I'm so happy for you, Jody.

    Blessings,
    Susan :)

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  53. WOW! It's SO EXCITING to hear these details! Thanks for sharing and again "CONGRATULATIONS!!"

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  54. A three-book deal, that is so exciting! It's so great to see that the dream can come true.

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  55. Congratulations!

    Congratulations!

    Congratulations!

    That's one for each of the books in your three-book contract from Bethany House. I squealed when I saw the news on Twitter. I'm thrilled for you!

    Thanks for sharing the deets. For those of us who have yet to experience the thrill of landing an agent or receiving The Call, your story is fascinating. You're a humble, generous person, and that comes through clearly. We want to share this incredible milestone with you and learn from your experience, so please continue to tell us about your journey.

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  56. Jody,
    How awesome!!! Not just one book, but three. I am so excited for you. Just imagine in such a short time you'll see your very own name on the cover of an honest-to-goodness book!

    I know the hard work really starts when it comes to marketing and I pray you navigate and persevere through this next challenge.

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  57. What wonderful details. I'm so happy for you. I can't wait to see a picture of you kissing the cover of your book!

    Advice? Just keep the same passion for the writing and the spirit of humility that you have now. Perfect combo.

    *Mwah*

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  58. Lots of work ahead for you, but an exciting time for sure. Congratulations!

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  59. So much hard work in this writing world. Happy to wish you well.

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  60. I am so very excited for you!! You deserve this and I can't wait to hear about the process from you. I also can't wait to read your book. Congratulations and I don't worry at all that you will get a big head over this, you are just not that kind of person. Congratulations!!

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  61. Jody, this is such amazing, incredible news. Bethany House is such a respected and wonderful publisher!

    I have one question. What time period is your first novel set? (I have been wanting to know for sooooo long!).

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  62. Congratulations!!! And you could never be arrogant. Please! I'm so happy for you!!

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  63. Stopping by from A Peek at Karen's World. Congratulations on the book deal! It's always so exciting when a blogger makes it to the big time!

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  64. Oh, my, goodness, Jody! You could never sound anything but humble and gracious! I am so excited for you, and I also can't wait to hold a copy of your book in my hands. Congratulations! And thank you for sharing your experience with us. You are an inspiration to many writers out there.

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  65. I haven't been to your blog in awhile but I saw over on Chelle's blog where you got a contract then hopped over here to read all about it. congratulations! You deserve it!!!!

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