Monday, February 6, 2012

A "Better Late Than Never" Success Story

And, as always, it's my own fault.  Amanda shared her story with me MONTHS ago, and it got lost in my disorganized mess-that-I-call-email.  At any rate, she's been kind enough to nudge me with a freshly revised story, and I'm delighted to share it with you!

Dear Authoress and lovely community,

I’m so excited to share my story with you!

After watching so many SA contests on the edge of my seat, I decided to go for it and enter my YA novel.  I wasn’t having a lot of luck querying it—friendly and helpful rejections to be sure, but no takers—and I knew I could trust the opinions on Authoress’ blog. My entry wasn’t chosen, but the feedback was, as always, helpful and encouraging.

During this time I was working on novel #2. I was busy working away when Authoress posted about her First Kiss critique. I was so excited and sent mine in.

Then about a week later I received an unexpected email. An agent had seen both my SA and my First
Kiss entries and requested BOTH manuscripts! I was over the moon and sent the first one, working
steadily to finish the second.

In September 2010, after receiving as lovely a rejection as possible for book #1, I sent book #2. And
waited, as querying goes. At the same time I took on a marketing internship at Harlequin TEEN, because
let’s face it—as long as I’m contributing to great books getting into the hands of great readers, I’m happy.

Then in December 2010, I couldn’t resist trying my luck to get into the Baker’s Dozen Agent Auction.
My email went through and then—so exciting!—Authoress chose my piece. I was so excited to watch
the bids on the manuscript and see the positive feedback. I was starting to really feel like book #2 might
be “the one”.

But it still needed a lot of work. In January, the agent asked me to do a rewrite. At the same time
another agent asked for the same. So until April, I reworked the novel and polished it up. I knew the
book was better.

And you know what? Both agents passed. My jaw hit the proverbial floor. Talk about a lesson in

But I knew the book—and I—were more experienced and stronger for it. I kept querying.

And then my manager at Harlequin TEEN let me in on a secret. She’d read my manuscript as a friend,
and sent it down stealth-like to the NY editors. And they loved the revisions! They wanted to make an
offer, but I didn’t have an agent.

Enter Melissa Jeglinski from The Knight Agency. I was in love with her long before I started on book #2. In fact I’d queried her in the past with book #1. And then she wrote me an amazing email, where she
asked if I was serious about representation.


She was away at a conference so I had to wait until she got back, and then I got The Call!! We had an
awesome chat and got to know each other, and when we saw the match was fantastic, she popped the
publishing question.

Then, in August 2011, this, announced in Publisher’s Lunch!

Amanda Sun's debut INK, in which a sixteen-year-old orphan is uprooted to Japan and crosses paths with her school's arrogant kendo star whose drawings come to life in dangerous ways, pushing them both into Japan's paranormal underworld.

(Two-thirds of that sentence is the logline I developed for the Baker’s Dozen, by the way.)

INK is going to be published in Feb 2013 and I’m excited to share it with all of you. Miss Snark’s First
Victim was a best friend along the way, a fantastic community of encouraging writers and great advice.
Thank you Authoress, and all of you, and I can’t wait until I can congratulate you all on your success

~Amanda Sun


  1. Oh. My. Gosh. I didn't know this book found rep! I've seen INK around (as you do when querying the same genre) and always really loved the premise. I am SO STOKED that it it found both representation and publication! Can't wait to read it.

  2. I'm so excited to read this book. It sounds like something I would absolutely love. Yay!

  3. What a great story. Congratulations, Amanda!!

  4. I LOVE these success stories. They make my day knowing everyday people like - ahem - myself have a chance to be published. Obviously it takes work but it's often the nudge I need to keep on trucking! Congratulations!

  5. Congratulations Amanda, INK sounds wonderful!

  6. I can't wait to see INK on the shelves, Amanda! Congratulations!

  7. I'm so excited for you. I remember reading that on the first Baker's Dozen and have wanted to read it ever since. I can't wait for 2013.

  8. Amanda, what a fantastic story. It just shows how important perserverance is! Also, your story sounds incredible! I love all things Japan and all things paranormal, so in Feb of 13, I am soooo reading INK. :)

  9. Thanks for sharing your story. It is so encouraging to hear that things can work out! Congratulations and I can't wait to get my hands on INK.

  10. Congratulations, Amanda! I'm so excited to hear about your success. INK sounds wonderful. I look forward to reading it. =)

  11. It's so great to hear the success story behind this past Baker's Dozen's expert critiquer! Just based on Amanda's great comments for all of the YA/MG entries, I'm confident that her debut will be awesome. Congrats, Amanda!

  12. Wow, what a journey! I would have died after two revisions and two rejections. So glad you persevered and it all worked out!

  13. Congratulations on your representation and publishing date. So Awesome! But even cooler is your perserverance towards breaking into the publishing world. No Guts, No Glory! You proved that. Thanks for being a role model for the rest of us.

  14. Thank you so much, everyone! I wanted to say how moved I was by all your kind comments and the fact that many of you even remember seeing my book around the blog! I'm so grateful to know all of you via this community and want to wish you all the best with your writing. Can't wait to buy your books! :D

  15. Thank you so much for this post.I found lots of interesting information here.

  16. Oooh I remember this one! I thought it sounded great at the time and I'm excited I'll be able to read it in full :-) Congratulations on both the deal and persevering with the querying journey.