Keli Gwyn
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Your Story Sold! Next Step: Publishers Marketplace

Imagine you just received The Call.

What? No whooping and hollering?

C’mon, nobody’s looking, so there’s no need to hold back. Happy dance to your heart’s content. Your pets won’t tell tales, I promise. Although they might appear traumatized or shy away from you for a while, they won’t blab.

But you got The Call at work, you say? Time to slip into the break room where you can engage in some silent shouting and fist pumping. Keeping all that euphoria inside could be a health risk, don’t you think? A little release could help you regain some composure.

There. That’s better. Now you’ll be coherent when you call your spouse, parents, and/or critique partners. Of course, your CPs will probably be able to ascertain what’s taken place even if you call and utter nothing but nonsensical mutterings.

Once the calls are made, you’ll want to celebrate. Dinner out works for me. Besides, who can cook at a time like this? Your mind is too full to think about recipes, measurements, and such.

Depending on your situation, you might be able to hold your cyber celebration right away, or you might have to wait until the contract is signed. Waiting can be tough, but it does build the anticipation. When you are finally at liberty to share the news, you’ll be able to experience the thrill all over again.

OK. The party guests who came in droves to share in your excitement have returned to their regularly scheduled activities, and only a few crumbs from the virtual treats remain. What now?

In my case, the next step was the announcement of the deal in Publishers Marketplace.

For those not familiar with this awesome hub of the latest news in the publishing world, it is, as described on their website, the “biggest and best dedicated marketplace for publishing professionals to find critical information and unique databases, find each other, and to do business better electronically.”

One of the many services offered is the New Deals page, where editors and agents report their latest purchases or sales of both fiction and non-fiction books. Only those who subscribe to PM are able to view it, though. Subscriptions are by the month with the current fee being $20. While that might seem like an unjustifiable expense, I’ve learned so much the past year by seeing who is selling what to whom. My PM subscription enables me to keep my finger on the publishing world’s pulse.

I’d dreamed of the day I would click the link to the New Deals page found in the issue of Publishers Lunch I receive in my inbox each weekday and see my name as I scrolled through that day’s deals. Somehow, seeing my sale there made it seem more real.

So, what does a PM announcement look like? The helpful staff at PMΒ  has granted me permission to share a photo of the screen showing my dealΒ  here on my blog. (For those, like me, who’ve reached the age of reading glasses, I’ll add the text of the blurb below.)

January 19, 2011
Fiction: Women’s/Romance
Keli Gwyn’s A BRIDE OPENS SHOP IN EL DORADO, CALIFORNIA, in which a forward-thinking woman is rejected as partner by a mulish mercantile owner, and opens her own shop across the street from his, causing sparks to fly, to Rebecca Germany at Barbour, by Rachelle Gardner at WordServe Literary Group.

A New Title

Yes, my book has a title, a very nice title, if I do say so myself. When Rachelle made The Call, she said the title we’d used in the proposal would change, but until I saw the contract six weeks later, I didn’t know what the new title would be. A Bride Opens Shop in El Dorado, California is the new name, albeit a tentative one as per the contract.

I’d said many times that I was willing to leave the title to the publishing pros because they have the expertise. Barbour couldn’t have picked one that does a better job of saying what my story is aboutβ€”or one that would make it any easier to market the book here in the Golden State. Color me happy.

I believe I have the privilege of being one of the writers for Barbour’s new Brides series. My agency mate Erica Vetsch will be one of the first, with her book A Bride’s Portrait of Dodge City, Kansas due to be released September 1, 2011. Her cover, which can already been seen on Amazon, is beautiful.

* * *

Did you know about Publishers Marketplace and the role it plays in the publishing world?

What do you think of the fact that a publisher will ultimately choose your title?

Keli Gwyn


  • I get Children’s Publishers Weekly in my inbox each week. It keeps me abreast of all things in the world of children’s publishing (which of course includes the latest YA). As a children’s writer I don’t get to pick the illustrator much less the final title. But in my current case, I get to do it all since I’m publishing my picture book as an iPad app!

    • Keli Gwyn says:

      Chris, Children’s Publishers Weekly sounds like a great resource for those of you who write for children. Does it include the deal listings for everything from picture books to YA?

      I think it’s cool that you’re in the process of publishing your book as an iPad app. Sounds like you’re having fun learning about this new way to get your story into readers’ hands.

  • Children’s Publishers Weekly includes the deals from PBs to YA novels as well as editor/publisher changes–anything children’s publishing in the news. And it’s FREE. It’s a good way to keep up.

    I will even be able to announce my PB iPad app when it becomes available in the app store.

  • T. Anne says:

    Congrats again Keli! I must have read that tiny screen blurb three times before I read just below where you reposted it! lol! I’m seeing two of everything right now. πŸ˜‰ No really, I’m not. I’m SO happy for you! When you get the final title let us know. BTW, I like the one it has. Your story sounds so cute I really can’t wait to read it!!!!

    • Keli Gwyn says:

      T. Anne, sorry about the small print. I changed things in the post so visitors will know that the blurb is included beneath the photo.

      Thanks for your kind words about my story. It feels weird to have people say they’re looking forward to reading it and knowing that is really going to happen. I foresee you experiencing similar feelings in the near future when Rachelle sell your book(s).

  • Wendy says:

    There are so many cool things about that picture. I know Erica V. has a scrapbook of stuff like this. I think I might start scrapbooking my friend’s tidbits like this! πŸ˜€ It’s just so exciting to watch it all unfold.

    Hey, thanks for your words to my DD on the blog today. She was beaming at your comment (I think she couldn’t understand why someone would take that much time to encourage her). She hasn’t met Keli yet clearly!
    ~ Wendy

  • Pepper says:

    Thanks for the info, Keli.
    And your ‘blurb’ looks great, btw. Love the new title!
    Thanks for the info about PM. I can’t afford it right now, but it’s on my wishlist for a future subscription. Most authors I speak with recommend subscribing.
    Oh happy,happy day for you!! I love sharing people’s good news.

    And Wendy,
    Your time’s a comin’!

  • Kara says:

    I didn’t know about Publisher’s Weekly, thank you for sharing:) How exciting to see your own name on the list- congrats again!

  • Congratulations on the write up in PW! Must say I was not aware that the publisher ultimately chooses the title for a book! Question – Is there value in a subscription to PW prior to being represented by an agent? My WIP is coming along, but I’m not ready to query yet. Any thoughts?

  • Thank you for all this helpful information. No, I didn’t know about Publishers Marketplace or the New Deals page. How interesting!

    Nothing could work better for me than to have someone with some knowledge choose the title for my novel. I cannot think of a title that resonates with my expectations. I’ve been able to decide quickly that each title I’ve thought of is not IT. Maybe, when the day arrives, someone will come up with IT.

    I am so happy for you, Keli. You are ready for this event in your life. I can see you’ve been steadily getting yourself into position for this wonderful blessing!

  • My agent sold a book last year for someone and the announcement was printed in Publisher’s Marketplace, but I don’t have the ability to see the site. I believe you have to be a paid member? Do you have to pay to have your news announced?

  • Mary says:

    How cool is that to see, Keli! I feel like saying Congrats all over again. πŸ™‚

    I’ve subscribed to the free version of Pub Marketplace but have never paid for the subscription one yet.

    The notion of titles always intrigues me. What power they can hold! I’ve submitted the same book under different titles in contests (not to hide anything but just because I had come up with what I thought was a better title.) It was amusing to see that it often finaled under one title (the first) but rarely under the second. It could have been a fluke, but if not, then that just shows the power of the right title.

  • Kerry Johnson says:

    Hi Keli,

    Thanks again for sharing this process! I hadn’t heard of Publishers Marketplace so I’m grateful to know about it, and perhaps in the near future I’ll consider a subscription. It sounds like it’s the next step to take once a writer begins submitting their story to agents and publishers. And what an exciting moment to see your name IN it! Surreal, I’m sure, but oh so exciting! Congrats again. πŸ™‚

    Also, I received my goodies today. πŸ™‚ I love the book mark, note pad and magnet. Thank you SO much. You’re a sweetheart!


  • […] I subscribe to Publishers Marketplace, which is where agents and editors announce the deals they’ve closed. Each weekday at noon Eastern time, a new edition of Publishers Lunch shows up in my inbox. For $20 a month, I get the latest industry news and the opportunity to see who’s buying what from whom. (If you’re curious what a deal listing looks like, you can see my Publishers Marketplace announcement.) […]