No Guts, No Glory- by Sara + giveaway!
No Guts, No Glory- by Sara Humphreys
Where do I begin? In some ways it feels like I’ve been doing this my whole life and then again…it’s been just a blink.
Back in 2008 I finished my very first manuscript and had the audacity to send it out to everyone.
Let’s face it. I had NO idea what I was doing.
I was rejected a lot and by just about everyone. Oh, I had several nibbles, requests for full manuscripts and so on but mostly they said, “No thank you.”
By the summer of 2009 my book was available as an e-book which was very exciting but I can’t tell you how many people thought it wasn’t a real book. I had to explain to people what an e-book was. Amazing how far things have come in the past couple of years, isn’t it?
I knew that if I sold enough e-books then it would be available in print-on-demand. That was very exciting but I realized pretty quickly that my book wasn’t going to be on all the shelves in North America, or anywhere else for that matter, in that format… so I took a new approach.
I decided that I would put out this little e-book and market my butt off. I’d get some buzz going and use that to get the attention of an agent who would then sign me and help me sell my series to a major publisher….and ultimately that’s what happened.
I had mustered up some decent buzz about the book. Since it was in print-on-demand, I hustled at the bookstores and organized about 12 book signings throughout various Borders and BN’s throughout the Northeast. This helped get my book floating around from CRM to CRM at the various stores. These CRM’s were kind enough to tell the illustrious Sue Grimshaw about it and anyone who knows Sue, knows how incredibly supportive she is of authors!
Next step: I needed an agent.
Over the years, I’ve realized that you need to be willing to take some major risks if you expect to get anywhere. No guts, no glory.
That being said…I was at a charity event featuring Mary Higgins Clark and Carol Higgins Clark, both of whom are signing books for the attendees. As I stood off to the side waiting for my friends, I noticed an opening with Carol. I said a small prayer that I wouldn’t completely mortify myself, marched right up to her, introduced myself and told her my story as quickly as I could.
Basically it boiled down to, “I really need a good literary agent to help me take my series to the next level. Can you suggest anyone?”
To my utter shock she said, “Sure. Jeanne Dube of Forte Literary Management is great. Send her your work and tell her I told you to contact her. You can use my name.”
I wrote Jeanne’s address down on a cocktail napkin, quickly thanked her and got out of the way so she could sign more books.
With fingers crossed, I sent my book and marketing plan to Jeanne. About six weeks later, my cellphone rang with an unfamiliar phone number from NYC…and it was Jeanne.
I’ll never forget it.
I’d had a very long day at work and was walking down the street lugging various bags and bracing myself for the body slams/hugs from my four boys. The air was crisp, cold, clean and held the hint of wood burning in a fireplace from one of the houses nearby. When I realized who it was on the other end of the phone I dropped everything else in my hands onto the sidewalk and had my first chat with Jeanne outside on my street.
Ultimately, Jeanne agreed to sign me, I bought back the rights to my series and then she set out to sell it in mass market. Later that year, Jeanne sold my Amoveo Legend series to Deb Werksman at Sourcebooks in a 5 book deal.
It was more than I’d dreamed possible.
So that’s it. That’s my crazy and circuitous route to publishing. However, the reality is that things are just getting started!
So, what is something you’re working, or have worked, really hard to achieve, you know, your own ‘no guts no glory’ story? Sara is giving away UNLEASHED to one lucky commenter — check back later today as she’ll include the winner in a comment in this post –
ALSO – every week on Romance At Random – 5 commenters win a free book every week comment below to be included in the random drawing – winners announced on Sunday – good luck!
Sara’s paranormal romance series, The Amoveo Legend, was sold to Sourcebooks Publishing in a 5 book deal. The first book in the series “Unleashed” will be released on 10/1/11. Sara is a graduate of Marist College, with a B.A. Degree in English Literature & Theater. Her initial career path after college was as a professional actress. Some of her television credits include, “A&E Biography”, “Guiding Light”, “Another World”, “As the World Turns” and “Rescue Me”. For the past several years Sara has been a professional Public Speaker and Speaker Trainer. Her speaking career began with Monster’s “Making It Count” programs, speaking in High Schools and Colleges around the United States to thousands of students. For the past several years, Sara has worked with The College of Weschester in New York as the Director of High School and Community Relations.
READ AN EXCERPT: WATCH THE BOOK TRAILER
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Unleashed (Book #1 Amoveo Legend) will be released on October 1, 2011
Untouched (Book #2 Amoveo Legend) will be released on April 1, 2012
I also have an urban fantasy series in the works called Dead in the City. It’s about a coven of vampire chicks that run a nightclub out of an old church in Greenwich Village. Think of it as Sex & the City with vampire chicks. Stay tuned for more information about that over the coming months.