Friday, February 7, 2014

Darkly Delicious Details about How I Sold MY SISTER’S REAPER by Dorothy Dreyer

I’m a member of an awesome organization called YALitChat. It’s a great place for writers to network, exchange ideas, get information, and swap critiques. Back in January 2012, YALitChat was holding its 2012 Agent Pitch-Slam Weekend. In this pitch contest, writers would submit a four to five sentence pitch on the forum to two literary agents and an editor from SourceBooks Fire. I had just participated in the Baker’s Dozen contest the month before and done well, awaiting word from agents who had requested my manuscript of MY SISTER’S REAPER. The Pitch-Slam began, and so did my nail biting. To my delight, I received great comments on my pitch and was listed as one of the top ten finalists! Cool! The finalists then had to re-pitch, making such changes to their pitches the judges had suggested. When it came time for them to announce the top three winners … I wasn’t on the list.

Having already developed a thick skin from countless rejections on the previous three novels I’d written, it didn’t faze me too much. I was proud to have gotten into the top ten, and in the meantime I had won in other contests and had my full manuscript submission out with an agent and a publishing house. Then something unexpected happened: I received an email from Georgia McBride’s assistant. They loved my pitch from the Pitch-Slam and wanted to read the first chapter of MY SISTER’S REAPER, as Georgia McBride had started up a publishing company called Month9Books. Wow, awesome! Yes, of course. I sent the first chapter right away. Within a week a subsequent email came in asking to see the full. Yay! Then one morning a couple weeks later, as I was checking my email over breakfast, I got the offer for a two-book contract. I was completely blown away. The other publishing house still had my manuscript, so I did the courteous thing and let them know I had an offer. After a bit of back and forth on the email front, I decided to sign with Month9Books. Fast-forward to May of 2013, and my book was released in digital format while I was at BEA signing ARCs. Then in June, the print format was released. And my dream of becoming a published author came true.

For more information about Dorothy and her books, click here.


  1. What an exciting ride! Thanks for sharing your story, Dorothy.

  2. Awesome story, Dorothy! I love My Sister's Reaper.

  3. LIke you, I wouldn't have made as far as I have (agented though no book deal yet) without the online resources like Bakers Dozen, Write on Con, and other blog-based writing resources, including YALItChat. I'm constantly reminded of other writers' kindness in helping newbies find success. So glad it worked out for you.

    1. Thanks! And I'm crossing my fingers for your book deal. :)

  4. I bet you just flipped out when you got that email :) I did. Congrats!!

  5. I did! Smiled like an idiot the whole day! :)