Q10: Standout

(This post is part of a larger subseries entitled Perpetual WIPs: Pre-Pub Authors. To see the rest of the questions posed, click here.)

Based on feedback, what about your book do you think was the biggest driving force toward its getting an offer from a publisher?

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The differences that make it strange and weird. I’ve taken a lot of normal things and kind of turned them on their head. The safe becomes scary and the normal becomes magical and expectations tend to disappear entirely. I also had a really diverse and dynamic cast of characters to play with, so that helped. 😉

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One thing that was mentioned over and over is that it’s different from everything else out there, and publishers seemed to really like that.

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My editor really connected with the voice, I think. They said they’d read a book with the same premise just a week earlier, but that mine was better executed. I was really excited about that. Not to mention it had requests from nearly every house we sent it to.

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I think I had a unique way and perspective on a very real teen issue.

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You know when agents and publishers say that they’re looking for a book with a new concept or a new twist on something that’s popular or been done before? They’re not lying. I wrote to a niche market and I tapped into something that my publisher found both salable, but different than what’s currently on the bookshelves. And that’s just pure luck. There were some publishers that rejected me because it was TOO different.

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I would have to say either concept or voice.

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Contemporary was definitely hot when I sold. The manuscript has a strong voice and it deals honestly with issues important to teens (sexuality, racism, finding yourself.) The voice was what sold my editor and agent.

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To be honest, I’m not really sure. My editor just said she fell in love with the book, the characters, the writing. I do know the thing that held other publishers back from making an offer though – timing. YA dystopia is a pretty saturated market, and it’s not as popular here in the UK as in the US. There’s nothing I can do about that though, so I didn’t feel too bad about it.

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The main character. People just seem to fall in love with her perspective on life and want to follow her journey.

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I just looked back over the emails–the unifying themes seem to be strong writing/character development and fresh concept.

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I think editors were hungry for contemporaries with a strong hook right now, and thankfully, the editor who acquired the book loved the characters as much as I loved writing them.

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The writing. Also the poisonous moon. That’s all I’m gonna say.

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