I’ve voiced this theory before: all my friends really can get published. I know it sounds insane, for those of you who are trying to get published. You know that there are only so many slots in publishing, and a multitude of eager authors slavering at the bit for every one of those places. It’s a hard, hard world we live in as authors, and reality is grim. And it may appear to you at first glance to be a harshly competitive world, one in which authors are secretly at each other’s throats wanting to tear the competition down while there’s still a chance.
But reading–and book-selling–doesn’t work that way. There aren’t enough slots available for everyone to get published, but there are more slots available than you have friends–many more slots. So you, and your friends, can all get published. Now everyone, and everyone’s friends, cannot. But there’s no reason to think that your friends are your competition.
Case in point: Two years ago, Avon ran a contest. I entered that contest because I heard about it on Eloisa James’s bulletin board; I continued to enter that contest because of the fun and camaraderie that I found from the participants on that bulletin board. There were 14 of us, and we banded together to critique each other’s entries, to give out virtual hugs when mean comments were made, and to celebrate each other’s successes. We ended up calling ourselves the Chocolate Mafia. Not all of those 14 women went on to try and write full-length romance with the hopes of publication. By my count, I think only 9 of them did. (I think.) Of those nine, five now have publishing contracts: Tessa Dare, Sara Lindsey, me, and — as of a handful of days ago, Maggie Robinson and Tiffany Chalmers.
Here’s the deal announcement for Tiffany’s debut, HIDDEN BEAUTY:
Tiffany Chalmer’s debut historical romance HIDDEN BEAUTY, in which a gently raised Victorian English beauty is sold by her debtridden husband into a harem, then purchased by the Marquess she’s always loved but now must reject for the safety of her young son, to Monique Patterson at St. Martin’s, in a pre-empt, in a three-book deal, by Helen Breitwieser at Cornerstone Literary (World).
And here’s Maggie Robinson’s PARADISE:
Maggie Robinson’s PARADISE, in which an honorable man in the market for a virtuous wife must address the complication of his late Uncle’s ward, who he discovers was also his late Uncle’s mistress, the subject of an erotic book called The Education of a Young Lady of Doubtful Virtue and the woman who makes him forget all his good intentions, to Kate Seaver at Berkley Heat, in a nice deal, in a two-book deal, for publication in Summer 2010, by Laura Bradford at Bradford Literary Agency.
Congratulations, ladies! And squee!!!! I cannot wait to see these books on the shelves. Remember, all your friends really can get published. It’s not a competition.