Friday, September 29, 2017

That will Never Sell


Have you ever heard that? I have multiple times.

By the way, this is Christina Rich, and I'm one of those authors that, according to the publishing world, never should have been, at least not with my first book.

The Guardian's Promise, a book birthed during a message about being a bond-servant while my husband and I visited a church. I remember it quite well, it was almost seven years ago to the day. I sat in church and wrote notes. No, not sermon notes, but plotting notes, and then I came home and wrote an overview of the story. I wrote that story in fifty-five days and started entering contests and  querying agents. Many of the responses I had received were, "it'll never sell" and "there is no market for it".

Why? Because it was an inspirational romance set in Ancient Judah and I wasn't Francine Rivers. Of course, I was disappointed. I loved the story and the characters and dreamed of seeing it in print, but then most writers dream of seeing their stories in print.

After hearing the same thing over and over, attending small conferences, and hearing it again I really dug deeper into the Lord. I removed my focus from the book, which I knew had been God-given, and started focusing on Him, but I also kept thinking that if I could just get to a big conference I'd sell the book. It never happened.

Most of us know about Seekerville, and every year they throw a huge birthday party. This particular year they  held a pitch contest? And guess what? I received a partial request from Emily Rodmell, and editor from Love Inspired, my dream publisher.

I sent it off in November 2011 and waited. And I waited. Come June 2012, I finally asked for advice and it was suggested I contact Emily through her email, well at the time, when I'd sent my manuscript off, it was done snail mail. I didn't have an email. A couple of lovely ladies helped me out there. I emailed her and received a prompt response with a revise and resubmit letter. 

Gracious. I took it as a rejection, but I was informed that it was a good deal. By the end of July, I resubmitted, electronically and quickly forgot all about it. 

Seriously, I did. I mean after all, I had been told it would never sell. I didn't have high hopes for my story.

The American Christian Fiction Writers conference was coming up and I knew I needed to get there. I knew I had to get to Texas so I could sell my story. Again, I didn't make it. But a month later, well after everyone had come home from the conference and shared all their wonderful news, I ended up in Texas.

Here is an excerpt from a blog post I wrote for Seekerville right after I received the call, I just can't rewrite any better.  (I hope it's okay to share.)




You see my sister-in-law was graduating nursing and my dear mother-in-law wanted to be there, so I escorted her. After several hours of flights and layovers I was sitting on the floor of my sister-in-law’s living room thinking about how awesome it was that she was fulfilling her dream, and if I’m to be honest, I was a little sad about how mine had yet to be. No sooner had the thought tripped through my brain I opened my email. And there it was at 10:13 p.m., an email that could only be one of two things, a rejection or an offer.

Everything after that, I’m sure was a bit comical. Just ask my mother-in-law, Tina Radcliffe and Ruth Logan Herne. I mean, how does one react? How is one supposed to react? 


I called Emily the next day with pen and paper in hand. All I remember saying is okay, multiple times. Even when she asked if it all sounded good to me. Okay. So she wants to buy my story. 

No, wait, she bought my story, right?

I sent a text out to my peeps. I sold!


I received phone calls and texts. My friends jumped up and down, they squealed, they cried. I was in a state of shock. Seriously, what happened? Was this real? I got an email from Twitter, good ‘ol social media, telling me Emily Rodmell was following me. Me! So, I hopped on over there and what did I see? A tweet about how she bought a new author for LIH a manuscript set in Biblical times. Hey, that’s me. 


You better believe I saved that baby in a screen shot. *g*


Hubs called me, “Well, you just had to go to Texas and sell a book, didn’t you?”  Yep, I knew it too. But it still hadn’t completely sunk in. I was getting sick and all I wanted to do was go home and sleep in my own bed and let hubs take care of me. It wasn’t until we were on the plane in Houston that it began to click. You see this lady sat next to me and struck up a conversation. She asked what I did and I gave her the typical answer, “I’m a stay at home mom.” My mother-in-law, God bless her, nudged me and said, “go on.”


“Oh, and I just sold a book.” 



 If you're reading this and you're waiting to sell, keep writing, keep knocking on doors, and keep learning the craft while you wait. 

Blessings, 

Christina

10 comments:

  1. Love it. Absolutely love it. Wonderful story. Praise God!

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  2. Great words of encouragement, Christina. I sold to Emily through a pitch event as well. I kept pinching myself after I sold because it didn't seem real. Blessings. And congrats on living the dream.

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  3. A little teary-eyed, Christina. What a great first sale story.

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  4. Thanks for sharing your story, Christina.

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  5. This is awesome! Thanks for sharing your first sale story!

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  6. Great, inspiring story, Christina. Would you believe my first book was a "that will never sell" story, too? My critique partners hated it. One even told me she just couldn't keep reading, because the romance was centered around the hero's daughter who had an inoperable brain tumor. The book won the Golden Heart and sold. So, I really think the Lord knows how to get these beautiful stories "out there" to the readers. I'm so glad you shared your story today. Congratulations! And well done for enduring to the end on this.

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  7. Good morning, Ladies. I know I am a day late responding. I've been deepn in the writing cave. I'll respond as I can.

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  8. Wow, great story. Texas is a pretty good state, eh? LOL

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  9. Such a fun and inspiring telling of you sale.

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