Pub Rants

Best. Story. Ever. (Part II)

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STATUS: It’s been a little quiet. Fewer emails than normal. Let’s me get stuff done!

What’s playing on the XM or iPod right now? DREAMGIRL by Dave Matthews Band

Ah, I just so love torturing my blog readers. Just to be nice, I’m doing my blog entry early today.

So as I mentioned yesterday, the one thing everyone else wants to know is why did the editor change her mind and decide to offer for a book she had initially passed on?

Before I answer that question, here’s another fun facet. A day or two after I got that call from the editor who originally passed but now was offering for the book, this same work received another offer from an editor at another house.

All this after the project had been on submission for a little while. It’s like one offer knocked the universe open for the other.

So not only did we have one offer, we had two. There is no better place for an author to be. So I had the author do phone conferences with each interested editor. Get their vision for launching the title. For us, it just wasn’t about the advance. We wanted to be with the editor who best “got” the book—especially given the unique circumstances of one of the offers. Ultimately, the author did go with the editor who originally had passed.

So why did that editor change her mind?

She couldn’t stop thinking about the project and decided she had been wrong to pass on it. She figured out how to do the book and once that answer was clear to her, she called me to offer for three books—not just one.

The author and I were super pleased. After all, when we were working on the novel, we totally had this one editor in mind for it. We were actually flummoxed when she passed as we thought it was tailor-made for her.

So, I love an editor who can say, “hey, I was wrong. Is the book still available and if so, I’m going to offer right now for it. On top of that, I’m going to show you some serious commitment by offering for more than one book.”

And I’m just saying I’m around today if any other editors want to call me about past submissions they passed on…

43 Responses

  1. Amanda J. said:

    This, this is why I love the business. Because you never know what could happen, so you should never give up if publishing is your dream. Great story and fantastic news for both of you. Congratulations!! 😀

  2. Marie Andreas said:

    This is a great story- for you, the author, and that editor. We often hear the negative sides of publishing, it’s great to see the positive side. And I’m very impressed with that editor’s actions.

    So lets hope sometime soon you have a Best.Story.Ever.(Part III) 😉

  3. Josin L. McQuein said:

    Any story that can stick with an editor like that (as-is before editorial input, no less) is sure to stick with a reader, as well, and that’s a killer combination for novel.

    Congrats to the writer and you (and the editor, too).

  4. Anthony said:

    This story put a big smile on my face!

    Congratulations all around, the author, the agent and the editor. It was like a storm of WIN.

  5. therese said:

    Wow. This story reinforces that editors really do LOVE stories. Maybe her allergies were making her miserable that first day, but once the antihistamines kicked in… 🙂

  6. Lucy said:

    This reminds of me of when agents have to tell a writer, “I don’t know how I’d market/sell/place this.” Clearly the same thing happens to editors.

    It’s wonderful that things came together for everybody.


    @ Screaming Fangirl

    I hope that was irony, I really do. There are some awesome editors out there.

  7. Joseph L. Selby said:

    This post reminded me of something I read on another blog the other day. I had never considered that something like that would happen, and wondered if you had experienced it and if so, whether you would extrapolate.

    Your author just got a deal for three books. So she’s written the first. She goes and writes the second. Then the house doesn’t like it. They reject it.

    How does that work? Does the author have to keep churning book after book until the house finds something they like?

  8. Courtney Milan said:

    After all this, you are going to tell us what book it is, right? I totally want to hear about the kind of book that an editor can’t get out of her head months after the fact.

  9. kcoombs1 said:

    It’s great to hear a story that offers up hope. Question: Does this ever happen to agents? Have you ever contacted the author of a work you rejected and asked for a second look?

  10. tessaquin said:

    I’ve been reading myself numb with horror stories of the industry, and it’s nice to hear the good stories as well. I’ve been waiting for this part of the story with great anticipation, thanks for sharing it.

  11. r louis scott said:

    Great story, Agent K! Now tell me this, have you ever had a first time author try to avoid a multiple book deal? As in offered a three book deal and preferred to only go with the book that was ready? And how do editors and publishing houses react to such a thing?

  12. Karen Erickson said:

    This really is the best story ever! Thanks for sharing. And I’m with Courtney – please tell us what book it is whenever you can. I’m curious.

  13. Susan at Stony River said:

    What a wonderful happy-ever-after that is — I hope it keeps getting happier for the author, you, and the publisher!

    On the other hand, for me it just stinks, because the next time I get a ‘no’, I’ll still be hanging around the phone waiting for someone to possibly *change her mind* LOL

  14. Ted Cross said:

    Ha! This has been my recurring dream about agents, that one who rejected me after the partial will realize that there was too much promise there, and despite the necessary elbow grease it would be worth it to take me on.

  15. Claire Robyns said:

    This put a smile on my face. So nice to have a door opened that had previously been shut. Congratulations to both you and the author and I second those that would like to know what book this is so we can look out for it in the future

  16. Billie D. said:

    Don’t know if this question has already been asked or addressed(and please forgive me if it has). But I was wondering: Was this author a “debut” author by any chance? Or, did this author already have a book (or books)previously published?

    Just curious if this *too*, might have added to the editor’s new vision for this author’s work.

    And of course, HUGE congrats either way, to Kristin and the author for this remarkable story.

  17. Claudine said:

    Kristin, you mentioned that the title had been on submission for awhile, and this got me thinking: how long typically does it take for editors to respond to you with an answer? How long are manuscripts usually on submission?