In October, John Corey Whaley submitted his book Good God Bird
to Agent Ken Wright through AgentInbox. The last three months have been an amazing ride. Over Thanksgiving, Corey incorporated some suggested edits from Ken, and in December the book went out to editors. Just a few days after the New Year, Corey got word from Ken that Good God Bird had received its first offer. Over the next few months, Corey is going to share his exciting path to publication, right here, on this blog.
Like many writers out there, I had almost given up hope that my novel would ever see a bookshelf other than the one in my own apartment. However, over the span of just about two and a half months, I have seen that it’s possible to go from being a completely unknown writer to a published author.
My story is a common one among writers: I wrote a book, I sent out query letters, I got rejection after rejection, and I sent more out. Then, I got discouraged. I stopped sending out letters. I told friends and family that “maybe this just isn’t the right book” and “I guess I’ll just let that dream go.” Then a funny thing happened. A little over three years after typing the last sentence of my novel, I, on a whim, submitted a query letter and some sample chapters to AgentInbox (which I’d learned about through the WEbook’s newsletter). A few days later, Ken Wright, from Writers House, asked to read my entire manuscript. He spent Sunday evening reading my novel and was on the phone with me Monday afternoon. Now, I had an agent.
And so, after some minor revisions and interest from several publishers, Simon & Schuster’s children’s imprint, Atheneum Books, has purchased the rights to my debut novel, a coming-of-age story for young adults. I am awestruck at the enthusiasm with which my novel has been met. I have also been forced to very quickly begin learning all there is to know about publishing a first novel, or any novel for that matter. So, I’m going to take you all along on this journey with me. As the next few months pass, I will be writing about my experiences with the publishing world and, hopefully, help prepare all of you, future novelists and writers, for the journey ahead. I will also be answering any and all questions you may have, so I encourage you to leave comments or follow me on Twitter (@corey_whaley).
John Corey Whaley