Friday, March 28, 2014

How Rebecca Taylor’s Ascendant found a publisher

I am writing this blog post from my hotel room in Bologna Italy!

I have ALWAYS wanted to start a blog post with those words!

I’m here for the Bologna Children’s Book Fair on behalf of the literary agency I work for and in case you are wondering—how the heck does she get to go?? One of my jobs at the Nelson Agency is working to connect with foreign publishers in the Asian territories on titles the agency represents.

So—VERY EXCITING. I will be posting pictures and blogging more about my experience on my personal blog if you want to check it out. 

Anyway—this post is not supposed to be about the amazingness that is Bologna but the amazingness of connecting with a publisher that wants to publish your book. I like to say I took the long way around to hook up with Crescent Moon Press—two bottles of whiskey for the way. (For some reason the CUPS song is stuck in my head—traveling, jetlag, and the excitement of being in an amazing city does funny things to the brain.)

In November of 2010, I got the agent call. Emma had read Ascendant, loved it, and wanted to represent me. I was shocked, amazed, sooooo happy—finally EVERYTHING was happening. Right??

Well, turns out that getting an agent who loves your work is a brilliant step towards that writing career you’ve always dreamed of, but it’s only one step in the middle of many.

Many, many, many steps.

But in November of 2010, I was blissfully ignorant of just how steep the rest of the hike up Publishing Mountain was, so when Emma sent me the email in January of 2011 that said, “…your book is out on submission!” I was pretty positive I would be signing on the dotted line with a publisher within weeks. At most a couple of months, it can take some time, I reasoned—but definitely before summer of 2011. Yes, by June 2011 my book and I will have been brought into the warm protective folds of a publishing family.

I could weep for that ignorance.

And that’s not to say that it doesn’t happen, exactly that way, for some writers and some books—it just didn’t happen that way for me.

In a drawer in my office I have all my old day planners for the last five years or so. That planner from 2011 has a long list of publishers and the editors I was on submission to that year. While it’s true, I came acquisition-table-close with a couple of them, I ultimately never received an offer. In January of 2012, I bought a new planner and by June of that same year, the painful realization that I needed to let go had set it.

Except…for better or for worse, I couldn’t let go. Somewhere along the way I had started researching small presses and began to broaden my publishing horizons. Maybe the big six (because they were still the big six back then) didn’t want my book, but I suddenly realized there were other alternatives.

I sent Ascendant to Crescent Moon Press on a bright and sunny Monday in June, 2012. One week later, they told me they wanted to publish Ascendant AND the second book in that series, Midheaven.

Six big doors had slammed shut—but a window of opportunity had opened and—you better believe it—I shimmied through it.

Ascendant released the following year, June of 2013, and Midheaven (currently in the editing process) is scheduled to come out later this year.

Follow Rebecca here:


  1. Well congratulations on getting published. just blogging around and found your blog. Every blog I visit is like meeting someone new. T hanks for letting me visit.

    1. Thanks for stopping by Susan...I hope you'll come back often and check out the rest of the DDYA authors as well :-)

  2. Hi Marvela! Yes, it was very beautiful. I only wish I could have seen more of it--and the rest of Italy. I will definitely have to go back some day.

  3. This is a great story on how if you believe in your work and don't give up, you will succeed. Congrats on the two book contract. And I'm so very jealous that you were in Bologna. Hope you had a great time!