Friday, January 31, 2014

Darkly Delicious Details About How I Sold My Book! by Joshua David Bellin

I should begin by mentioning that my current agent, Liza Fleissig of Liza Royce Agency, isn’t my first agent for Survival Colony Nine. I had another agent who seemed to really click with me (and my book), but the relationship fell apart once we started preparing the manuscript for submission. I don’t want to go into too gory details, but suffice it to say we didn’t share the same vision of the book or where it needed to go.

So I took a deep breath, crossed all my fingers and toes, terminated our contract, and went looking again. In the end, exiting that relationship was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made, because Liza has been the book’s best advocate and got me a great deal with editor Karen Wojtyla of Margaret K. McElderry Books.

But that deal didn’t come without some last-minute anxiety! Liza had sent out the manuscript to a number of editors in late 2012, and though a couple had shown interest in the writing, they weren’t ready to make an offer. Then, in early 2013, I got an email from Liza telling me that Karen was going to bring Survival Colony Nine to an acquisitions meeting at McElderry. I freaked out, of course, only to be told that sometimes, even with a top editor’s support, books get turned down due to marketing concerns. That made me nervous, but Liza told me to relax and wait for word from her.

This was right before the weekend, and Liza was expecting to hear something--yea or nay--by Friday. But Friday afternoon came and went, and no word. Liza sent me an email saying she was sure we’d hear any minute, but by this time I was totally freaking out (and not in a good way). I asked about emailing Karen; Liza said that wasn’t proper etiquette and we’d just have to wait until Monday. So now I was TOTALLY freaking out, and advising my wife and kids to stay as far away from me as possible over the weekend!

But as it turns out, there was nothing to fear. Liza did email Karen, whose meeting had gone long and who hadn’t wanted to call us too late in the day or to send us the good news by email. From that point it was anticlimactic (though still terribly exciting): the offer was made and accepted, the contract drawn up and signed, and we turned to the business of publishing a book!

I have no idea if my case was more or less smooth, dramatic, or anxiety-ridden than other people’s. All I can say is I’m beyond thrilled that it worked out in the end!

For more information on Joshua and his books, click here.


  1. That had to be hard to let go of your first agent, but it was obviously the right thing to do. Waiting through the weekend to hear back from the editor had to be pure torture! I'm glad that in the end you received such great news.

  2. Lol, Josh, I love the idea of you warning the family away from you for the weekend! Great story. Thanks for sharing. Can't wait for your book.

  3. WOW! That was gutsy to end the relationship with your first agent - - - but obviously the RIGHT CHOICE! Good for you. And your sales story is awesome (some similarities to mine ... but you'll have to wait for my story). Thanks for sharing!!