So I got my contract signed, my forms filled out, and everything else tidied away and put in the mail last week. The good folks at Clean Teen have them now, and I just get to look forward to scheduling a video chat with the ladies in charge. I think it’s pretty neat that my publisher’s chief officers are all Texan women. That’s just neat. Who would have even conceived of such a thing fifty years back? The internet and twenty-first century are ushering in a lot of interesting change and putting a lot of power in strange geographical places now that anybody can be anywhere.
Which brings me to Book Country.
I am so lucky I found this website and had a chance to discover the possibilities of it while I was at the San Francisco Writer’s Conference six months ago (I can’t believe it’s already been half a year!) I hop around the west coast too much to regularly attend any writers group, but with Book Country I can be anywhere. It’s easy to log on and review manuscripts, and it’s so nice to know that mine is up and open to members for review too. I could not have made the revisions I did without the feedback of the Book Country community, and I feel so grateful to the people on that site who have made it what is it.
Before Book Country, I was really bad at taking feedback. I think that’s a pretty common thing for armature authors. I just had this absurd feeling that nobody knew my manuscript like I did, and no one could know what needed to change to make it better. I was so certain I was writing immaculate first drafts that didn’t need anything more than proof-reading. I never articulated this because even in the height of my pretension I was fully aware of how arrogant it was…but that thought lingered in my head and clouded over my ability to give my book to people who would challenge me creatively. It was so much more fun to give it to friends and have them tell me how amazing I was.
On Book Country, you run into other writers. People who read, study, and produce fiction are some of the most valuable assets to a blooming manuscript. What’s more, it’s a community of people who all share a common dream and don’t have any desire to “shoot you down” but by the same token, are not your friends and are not there to pump up your ego.
I highly recommend to anyone who has a manuscript, a draft, or even just an excerpt of a story to come join the community and get involved in Book Country. Even if you’re not ready to post your work, get involved with other people who are excited to be writing in the genre you are. Book Country has wide open arms, and is a good place for any aspiring writer.
I joined Book Country thinking that there was a chance some imprint of Penguin-Random (Book Country’s parent corporation) would find my book through this unusual and strictly 21st-century avenue. I never imagined that the feedback I got would enable me to completely rewrite my opening chapters, and pack so much more punch into the rest of the story. In the end, I had a publishable product and now I have a book deal to prove it.
11 thoughts on “How Book Country Helped Me Land a Book Deal”
Hmm.. I may have to look into Book Country – I haven’t really done much with groups like that but, probably a good time to start.
I highly recommend it! Find me if you do join, I’d be happy to connect and see what you’re up to with your writing 🙂
I’ll add looking around at it to my “to do list” for this week. Probably will be a while before I put anything of my own up (want to get through this edit before I share the WIP with anyone), but will be good to look around 🙂
Fair enough! I heavily edited my book before I put it up on Book Country too…I wanted to show my best face, after all! One of the metrics that keeps spambots and other unfavorables off the site is the requirement that you review a story before you post your own, so there isn’t a hurry to throw your book up even once you’ve joined. The site really fosters community.
Ack! I had your book on my ‘to review list’ for a long while now, and didn’t get around to it. Your review of my story Scarlet Crimson was helpful.
Darn. I’ll have to be quicker next time, I suppose.
. . . I’m a Book Country native, by the way 🙂
Congratulations on having your novel published! You must be so excited!
Thank you so much Amber! I’m actually leaving my book up on Book Country and would still very much appreciate you reading through it…I’m not looking for feedback anymore, but I am trying to get as many beta readers as I can to go through it and be able to write reviews for it on Amazon/Goodreads when launch day comes. I am fantastically excited, and appreciate your encouragement!
I’ve been busy with my own writing and returning critiques, but I’ll do my best to squeeze your novel into the mix 🙂
When is the publish date, or is there one yet?
We don’t have publication date yet…we haven’t even started down the process! I’m sure you will months and months to figure out how to squeeze me into the mix 😉 No hurry.
Okay! Incidentally, is the draft up on Book Country your most current one? I just started reading it–what I’ve read is lovely, by the way–and realized that reading the most current draft would be best, if I’m planning to leave a review 🙂
Yes! I’m happy to hear you’re finding time for it so soon 🙂 The draft on Book Country is the most recent, so read on my friend!
Alrighty then! I’ll get to reading when the opportunity arises 🙂 I’ve read the prologue and will try to get through the rest when I have free time 🙂