Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Yessiree, Another Baker's Dozen Success Story!

In the author's own words:

Sorry, Authoress, for making you wait so long for my success story! But my How-I-Got-My-Agent story was all tangled up with another story that I wasn’t allowed to discuss until now: my How-I-Sold-My-Book story.


I still can’t quite believe it.

I started writing in February of 2011 with a YA fantasy. Once I finished it, I wanted someone to read it and stumbled upon Critters.org. On Critters, you can submit a portion of your story to be critiqued, and, in return, you critique other people’s stories. I got lucky and met a group of awesome, patient, and knowledgeable folks--I cannot tell you how much I learned from them!

I decided to test all this new knowledge on a fresh slate. So in the beginning of May I wrote my second novel, Cracked. It took about 8 weeks to write—then I put it through Critters and revised like crazy.

When Authoress held her  August Secret Agent Contest, I decided to enter. I was one of the  winners (woot!). Danielle ended up passing, but her comments were great. I revised just in time to submit to the  Bakers Dozen Auction.  The end result was that both Victoria Marini and Michelle Wolfson “won” my full, and a few other agents requested it shortly after.

Within a week, Victoria emailed said she loved Cracked, but thought it had some flaws, so suggested a revise and resubmit. I sent her, and the other agents who had my full, the revised version a couple months later.

Then in April, a critique partner from Critters.org messaged me out of the blue. He had offered to read my roughest draft of Cracked back in July, but had a family emergency and couldn’t. In April, he offered to make it up to me by passing Cracked along to a friend of his in publishing so I could have a professional’s opinion. I told him that he didn’t even need to apologize, let alone do me any favors! He did anyway and the following Monday, I received an email from a commissioning editor at Penguin India named Ameya. She loved Cracked and wanted my permission to share it with the rest of her team.

Once I peeled myself off the ceiling, I said yes. I then emailed Victoria, since she’d helped me with all the revisions, to let her know what was happening. She’d actually just started reading my revisions and said she would get back to me ASAP. She also took the time to answer a lot of my questions about the publishing process and give me advice, since I was completely unprepared for what was happening.

Ameya emailed a week later and said the whole team loved it, but wanted it to be a series. Could I please send the synopses for the next two books so they could offer on the set?

Once I recovered, I said yes. I emailed Victoria and the other agents who had my ms and Victoria and I scheduled a call. About twenty minutes into the (awesome) call, Victoria said, “Oh, and I just realized--I never officially offered. I am.” And...I found happily plastered to the ceiling once more.

I emailed the other agents, but was very ready to accept Victoria by the time the week rolled around. I felt like we already had a good working relationship--I thought her revision suggestions on Cracked were spot-on, she'd already read my other ms, and we'd talked on the phone a few times. When this thing happened with Penguin India, she was all over it and gave me fabulous advice before she even offered. I felt like she was already in my corner, before there was a corner to be in.

This offer from Penguin India happened really quickly. Only a couple of weeks passed from the time I received the first email from Ameya to an offer. I had no idea what I was doing, and although it was really (REALLY!) exciting, I think it would have been a lot scarier had I not had Victoria to help, and I never would have met Victoria without MSFV.


~Eliza Crewe


  1. Caitlin,
    WOW!!! This is awesome and I am thrilled for you! Thanks for sharing your story, and best of luck! The contest Authoress runs are the best - not only for the winners tho. I've learned sooooo much by reading the comments, and trying to figure out what works and why, so thank you!!

  2. Really cool success story! I love hearing all these.


  3. So happy for you! Been a huge fan since I found you on Critters and thoroughly enjoyed working with you! Look for this book everybody!

  4. Wow, now THAT's a success story. But then again anyone who can write two novels in one year and one of them in 8 weeks and still have them be good enough to be published, as a series, deserves all the good things. This ain't luck, this is hard work and talent. Congratulations!

  5. That's so fabulous! Congratulations, Caitlin! I remember that entry being awesome. Here's hoping you and Victoria end up selling stateside as well!

  6. Awesome news, Caitlin! It just goes to show the hard work involved in getting your work recognized regardless of how long it takes to get it done. 8 weeks or 8 years, it's an incredible accomplishment and I'm so proud of you! You took all the necessary steps, revising and polishing and listening to constructive criticism, and you came up with a winner. Bravo! :)

  7. What a great story, Caitlin. Congratulations! On your sale and your agent. It sounds like you made a good choice. This is also a great example of how wonderful the writing community is, not only the opportunities you give writers, Authoress (thank you), but also the help you received from your critique partner. Fabulous!

  8. Your excitement is palpable. Congratulations on your success.

  9. Congratulations! I'm doing a happy dance for you!

  10. WOW!! AMAZING! Congrats!
    Soooo happy for you! Wow!

  11. What a wild and amazing story! Congratulations!

  12. Wow! What an amazing ride! So happy for you! :)

  13. CONGRATS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    All the best to you!

  14. Woo-hoo! Congratulations!!!

  15. FANTASTIC! That is wonderful. I love these stories. :)
    Congratulations, Emma!

  16. Thanks for all the warm-wishes everyone! As if I needed any more proof that the writing community is THE BEST!

  17. *LIKE* (this needs a "like" button!) Congratulations! :)