Today is a milestone anniversary, as it was ten years ago today that I sold Enchanted, Inc. to Ballantine Books.
I went into the day with a good chance that the book would sell that day because a publisher had expressed interest and it was going to auction, but after the auction announcement, most of the publishers who hadn't already rejected it started sending in their rejections. Oddly enough, the publisher that triggered the auction ended up not actually bidding, and Ballantine swooped in from out of the blue to buy it.
That means that the Infamous Red Stilettos are also ten years old, since I went out and bought them that day to celebrate. Yikes. They haven't come out to play for a long time. Maybe I should bring them to ArmadilloCon this weekend, even if I don't wear them for long.
To give you a sense of the process of going from idea to book sale, here's a timeline:
January 2002: I got the first glimmer of the idea for the book.
July 2003: I'd figured out more about the book, but hadn't really fleshed it out. I mentioned the concept to an editor at a party, and she immediately handed me her card and said she wanted it (she ended up rejecting it).
September 2003: I started researching the book and made a research trip to New York.
October 2003: I started writing the book and sent a proposal to that initial editor.
December 2003: I finished the first draft, thought I might just have something, and started researching agents.
January 2004: I queried an agent I thought might be a good fit and she asked for a proposal.
March 2004: The agent asked for the whole manuscript and offered representation (we're still together).
April 2004: I did some revisions on the book.
May 2004: The book was submitted to publishers.
July 2004: The book sold.
September 2004: I got copyedits on the book.
October 2004: I started writing the sequel.
November 2004: I saw the cover.
Late May 2005: The book was published.
That's actually a pretty short timeline, compared to my next couple of books (one: idea in 2009, wrote in 2010-2011, sold in 2013, published in 2015; the other: idea in 2009, wrote in 2009-2010, revised in 2011-2012 and again in 2013, published in 2014).