Special squeetastic edition!

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.

11 thoughts on “Special squeetastic edition!

  1. I like that idea–I especially like that you pointed out that your friends (and other writers in general) are not your competition. For all of the publishing industry’s faults and difficulties, it’s not really about pitting authors against each other, especially at the early acquisition level.

    Congrats to Maggie and Tiffany! Fabulous houses to be pubbed by.

  2. The Chocolate Mafia is on a roll! Adding my Squees here for Tiff and Maggie. By my count, there are about three more published ladies from the FanLit/Mafia mix.

    Back to my word mill.

  3. As a huge fan of the Chocolate Mafia… I don’t know how to explain that seeing some (ack MANY!) of my favorite authors getting published is so awesome… I cannot WAIT to go to the book store and buy their books. Just reading little snippets so long ago on Avon FanLit wasn’t enough… I wanted more.. and thanks tro their hard work, we’re all in for an amazing treat!!

    This is so great.. I am a fan… and will have an entire bookshelf dedicated to the Chocolate Mafia! YAY!

    :)~ Laura T (a long time fan).

  4. Katie, there is most assuredly hope for you! :) The number one thing is that you have people who will give you great feedback.

    And Louisa, I don’t think that publication ever pits authors against each other. From my perspective as an extremely voracious reader, I never felt as if I had to make a choice between Julia Quinn and Eloisa James, or Lisa Kleypas and Connie Brockway. There were never enough books out there to satisfy me. I used to read every historical romance published, and lament the fact that there weren’t enough to satisfy me. (These days, now that I’m writing, I don’t have time for that anymore, and so I am a little more picky–but I will still throw down everything for a book that people tell me is a must-read.) When I read a good book, it makes me hungry for more good books. When I read a bad one, it makes me want to go do something else. Authors are not in competition; they should be in cooperation, because the more good books we produce, the more readers we will have, and the greater the voracity for published books.

    Now at some point, the demand will fall off–but I don’t think we are anywhere near the saturation point for truly excellent books.

    And Santa and Laura–you are both a vital part of the Chocolate Mafia, and rest assured that I *know* that if you continue to write and push forward, you are going to see your books on the shelves. All of my friends really can get published, and that specifically includes YOU TWO.

    As for Tessa… squee is right! :)

  5. Frankly, I would love to be a member of a group called the chocolate mafia. That’s too awesome for words. Wise words and 9 of 14, wow! That’s some great results. Congrats on the sales.

  6. It is about sticking together. Surround yourself with others who have the SAME GOALS! I think that is the most important thing we did as the Chocolate Mafia… and really, that is totally the best name!

    Thank you for the congrats! I’m still SQUEEEING!!!!!!

  7. I so agree with everything you wrote—there’s no competition between any of us, and I want to see all of you succeed. And I know you all will. I am so lucky to have met and be included in the Chocolate Mafia group.

  8. Doesn’t everybody have a book in them? *blinks innocently*

    It’s an honor to be included in such fine company! Thanks, for the shout-out, Courtney. 2010 is going to be a great year.

  9. Courtney – A certain gal that’s a pixie with initials for a name was bragging on you and what an awesome encourager you are just last night. Your post is inspiring, as is your generosity.

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