Right off the bat, my acquisitions editor expressed concern that the genre was too Young Adult. I hadn't set out to write a YA novel. Rather, my protagonist just so happened to be a sixteen-year-old girl, one that my readers had already been introduced to. What I had done was write not a sequel but a spinoff of She Has Your Eyes.
After passing on Love, Wylie (yes, I'm finally ready to reveal the title!) to another imprint* who rejected it, my acquisitions editor also decided to pass on it.
Here's where I say, "Thems the business, kid."
And it is. None of the editors who read it had anything to say against the writing or the story. In fact, they liked both very much. However, neither believed the novel was "a good fit" for the imprint.
This frequently happens in publishing. I can't tell you how many agents/editors said the same thing about Faking It when I'd first submitted that manuscript. I finally got to the point where I thought, "Well heck, it fits with me-- I can sell it!" And I did. Doing so led me to my current publisher (with whom it fit very well), and here we are today, over 100,000 sold ebook units later.
I'm not going to lie--this rejection stung like hell. I really, really wanted the support of my publisher for this one. In terms of craft, I believe in the story. Furthermore, I believed, from a business standpoint, that Love, Wylie would capitalize on my previous best-selling books. I still do. I was massively disappointed to get the news, especially after months of waiting.**
But as I recently mentioned to a good friend and fellow author, we didn't get where we are because we settled on one way of doing things.
And in the same way I believed in Faking It's potential over five years ago, I believe in the potential of this novel. And so, once again, like I did with Faking It, Ordinary World, and more recently, Friends of Mine, I'm independently publishing Love, Wylie, solidifying my status as a "hybrid" author.
If all goes well, I'm planning a late winter-early spring release. I'm excited to work with my developmental editor after I relocate to New York in the fall. And I'll be calling on you -- my kickass readers -- to get out the word when the time comes.
So here's to Love Wylie--may she follow in her parent novels' footsteps!
* An imprint, in this case, is a named division of the same company that typically targets a specific genre. For example, I'm published with Amazon Publishing's imprint, Lake Union. They also have imprints Montlake for Romance, 47 North for Science Fiction, Skyscape for YA, and so on.
**Please don't take this as a slight against my publisher. I still have a terrific relationship with the entire team at Lake Union, and am grateful for all they've done for me -- namely, allowing me to be able to do what I love full time. I'm looking forward to working together on future novels.