First Cup of Coffee with Jeffe Kennedy

First Cup of Coffee - September 11, 2023

September 11, 2023 Jeffe Kennedy Season 6 Episode 75
First Cup of Coffee with Jeffe Kennedy
First Cup of Coffee - September 11, 2023
Show Notes Transcript

Update on my super-exciting news! I'm still having to be circumspect, but I'm sharing broad strokes, what this means to me, how utterly thrilled I am, and what it means to persist and not set a deadline on goals.

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Thanks for listening!

Good morning, everyone! This is Jeffe Kennedy author of epic fantasy romance I'm here with my first cup of coffee.

Delicious today is Monday September Eleventh twenty twenty three um yeah here we are so ah, thank you for all of you who. Tagged me over the weekend. Um, starting on Friday afternoon wanting to know about my mysterious meeting so I still can't give you full details and for that I apologize. But so these things go um.

Because we still have to like ink the contract and everything but the exciting news is is that I Sold Oneira Ah yes, the book that I wasn't supposed to be writing turns out that I have gotten my best deal Ever. A 6 figure deal to an amazing publisher an amazing editor and yeah I am just I am so over the Moon. My first six figure deal and um.

Um, I'm just amazed and and that doesn't include well I won't go into those details I probably shouldn't do that. But um, it's it's just really so exciting. It was on a preempt which means and I know I have to explain this for many people. Ah, there were several publishers interested in the book. Um, and the editor that I met with on Friday along with my agent. Ah, she offered enough money saying. Um. If we offer this is that enough money for you to take it off the table can we just buy it today and gave us the deal memo. So the deal memo is like not the contract but it's it's the initial terms and and yeah, it's a done deal. We. Accepted the preempt. Um and I was it was done by like four thirty um or maybe even earlier on Friday afternoon so join me on the happy chair dance woo. Um.

It's really started to sink in more over the weekend. Um, those of you who've listened for a long time know that for me to have a deeper financial bench now. Is. It just feels miraculous I just can't even tell you all? Yeah I'm getting. Sun dappling. it's a it's a rainy morning. It's not raining right now but the clouds are kind of coming and going might have to move over here. There. That's a little better. um so yeah this the sense of relief is just immense and you know this is um this is something I've been working towards for I was figuring it out probably 16 years since 2007 I had started sending out the novel that I'd written then and whenever people ask me I'm I'm sure I got really annoying my friends and family they put up with so much whenever they would ask me what I wanted for my birthday or for Christmas I would say I want a lucrative multibook contract. And here it is I've gotten other book contracts since then of course but nothing this big and nothing is utterly magnificent. It's just you all the publisher that I'm gonna be working with is one I've wanted forever. Um.

It's I'm just so excited. Um, he. So thank you all for cheering along with me. So now you will get to read Onira but not till 2025. It's in the publication lineup for them. The great news is is that it should be a really beautiful volume I'm hoping we talked about what I wanted for it and I was showing pictures and sort of giving my my ideal my dream for it and you never know what you will get. Along the way but they're paying enough money that I think they will really really do their best by this book and so I'm thrilled about that. Ah I love my new editor. She we had this. Like I said this video call with her and agent Sarah and she spent like the first half an hour she said I want to tell you about my reading experience and she went through everything she loved about the book. Um, but it was just. Amazing and she apologized for using the words love and really cool too often. She's like I've used up my quota for the week and I'm like well it's Friday afternoon so you know and you all have heard me talk about that before that. The.

That our language of praise is limited right? Our language of criticism is so nuanced and varied and our language of praise tends to be limited to a few phrases so she told me all the things she loved and all the things she thought were really cool about the book. She said it made her ugly cry. In it in public transportation and I love that about it. She also told me what kind of um, editorial input. She would have which is very very minor. So it's gonna be amazing. Ah, she said she would circle back tomorrow and we would start talking timelines and everything but I don't think that the editing will take me very long given what she's asked for and everything she asked for makes a lot of sense. 1 thing that I hadn't thought of at all which I think. Will be a really interesting addition to the world building. So you know that's the best part about working with a professional editor. She's been there for 10 years She's an executive editor I'll drop that nugget and I'm just. So excited to get to work with her. Um I get one third of the advance on signing and then on delivery and acceptance of the book which shouldn't be too long from now I get.

Ah, another third for that book so though and it's it's a 2 book deal I could say that it's a 2 book deal. So that's how they're dividing it up which is great because a lot of publishers are splicing it out I've talked about this. More and more little pieces and they're not doing that to me and it's it's going to be amazing I'm just thrilled and I've been thinking so much you know back to around 2007 and 2008 when I was trying so hard. Um, trying to shop that first book the one that became rogue's pawn. Um, and you know having such high hopes in the beginning that then I mean I did I've done well I've done well compared to other people. But not where I wanted to be and this is finally what I wanted but I remember back in those days I had 2 friends um who I should give fake names to so let's say sue. And Maryland okay Sue and Maryland were two good friends we had met because we were all querying our novels and we shared rooms together at conferences and we were all like pitching editors and agents at the same time we were all writing in that same.

Genre um Sue's was a little bit more like paranormal romance Maryland's was more like urban fantasy and then of course mine was this thing that wasn't either of those things and romanticy or fantasy romance didn't really exist then so I didn't even know how to. Pitch it effectively. But and I can't remember the exact order of these thing of how it went because that's long enough ago. But Marilyn her book won a contest and she had several agents. Offering her representation that blood in the water thing. We love that she picked an agent she they sold the book to a very high profile publisher and she got a 3 book deal for $30000 which just sounded amazing to me then um, was it the 6 figure deal. But sorry I'm just so so happy. So happy about this people. Ah so she? um.

I mean her books met with limited success. There were several things that happened and I mentioned mainly because this does happen a lot right? especially with new books. Um.

1 thing that was on her was it took her much longer to write that second book than she anticipated which is 1 reason why for all of you newbie authors i. Highly highly recommend that you track how long it really does take you to write a book because we tend to spend years futzing with that first book. And you should I mean because there's no pressure. You might as well get it right? Um, but it takes takes us years to draft and then all of the rewrites and you know figuring out our craft and all of that and so when you get that offer when you get that. 2 or 3 book deal and they say um, can you get book 2 to us in eighteen months it sounds like all the time in the world and you're like of course um and it's not necessarily easy to do because you've never had to write a book in first of all a prescribed amount of time. And second of all a short amount of time a relatively short amount of time so she had that problem her agent ended up leaving the business for various reasons I know why? but I won't say why ah and then. She ended up like being passed off from the editor who acquired the book to a different editor who was great in some ways but really wanted her to change the book and then she ended up being orphan that editor left the publishing house as happens all the time and I think she ended up with 2 other editors.

Um, and so that's 1 reason why it's great to have a meeting like I did with this executive editor who I know personally wants to edit this book and Marilyn I don't know if they did bait and switch on her or if she didn't know to ask the right question or if her agent didn't but it was weird that this editor acquired the book and then passed it off to someone else and then asked for a pretty massive rewrite of ah a rewrite that altered what genre it was so anyway, um, you know shit gotten. The Cinderella a ticket and yet it didn't work out that great and she's she's still publishing but not a lot and not ah she hasn't had a blazing career. And some of that is she's been dealing with health issues and you know that kind of thing but you know it was easy then to be envious. Um, you know I was so excited for her and did my best to be supportive in every way you know, but I wanted what she had and.

Um, but you know it ended up not being the the a ticket it ended up being you know well not. But I learned a lot from that. Ah I learned that. You know, getting that first book deal. We think that you've made it and you know know it's just 1 step along the way and and I do ah feel like at this point in my career even as I'm so super excited about this six figure deal and looking at more deals to come. Ah, related to this the various different sub rights and so so forth the foreign rights. Um I also am thinking in terms of maximizing how I can use this money to give me some stability because there's no guarantee I'll get another deal like this right.

We don't know how it will go I don't know if I will earn out this advance I hope I will I hope it goes beautifully. But I'm also prepared for if it doesn't and boy does that make a difference. Um, so anyway back to Sue and Maryland. Sue also had not sold her book and was envious of Marilyn Steele and Sue was talking to me one day where she said um, she said how long are you giving yourself and I said what do you mean and she said. How long are you giving yourself to succeed before you quit and I might I said forever I I don't have a deadline and she said well I'm giving myself a year and I was and I said why and she's well if I haven't sold this book in a year if I haven't succeeded then. I'm not going to keep doing this I'm not going to keep trying and I I've heard many other people say this very often I hear husbands giving wives and exactly that gender spread their deadlines. Um, they're writing you know my husband says if I haven't sold my book in 2 years then I have to stop. It's like I I just don't even understand this mentality that it's tied in with success mentality. But it's also this you know like you only get so much time to realize your dreams.

Ah, starting to rain now but I don't think much is coming on my keyboard so we should be okay, fortunately the leaves are thick this time of year rain yay rain I got a 6 figure deal and there's it's raining so ah.

It was interesting because I think sue didn't understand me either. It's like you're just going to keep like yeah I'm just going to keep banging my head against the wall you know doing what it takes and that's what I've done That's what I've been doing low these 16 years is I've been putting it together and I've um. Had some good book deals and I've had some success self publishing and I have stubbornly clung to my determination that this is the career and the life I want Sue did give up being an author. Sue went on to do something else in publishing and she has been very successful with that and I hope she's happy. But I think about her often. Um, okay now I'm starting to get some rain on the keyboard here. Well it's not too bad.

Um, just wondering if I should shelter it.

No, it's okay and I'm almost done so anyway I think about her a lot over the years um and we've seen each other now and again we had a kind of a falling out over some things but we are socially friendly. I think we both have enough power in the industry that we don't want to mess with each other It's very funny to me on the rare occasions when I mention this person and say you know we used to be critique partners people are like she wrote. Almost like yeah she she wanted to be a writer at first. Um I don't know she's very good at what she's doing now and she's tremendously successful and I wish her. Well.

But I wonder and and we're not good enough friends that I can ask. But I wonder if she is ever sorry that she gave up on that. Maybe not maybe it wasn't what she wanted enough I do think that if you can give up on being a writer then you didn't want it enough because. You you have to want it. You have to love it enough to keep going even if you're not successful even if things aren't going well um, and you might have to wait sixteen years and you know at this point I have 64 published titles and. Sixteen years later I finally got my lucrative multi-book contract I've gotten decent ones but nothing like this and I'm just ah, it feels so good. Thank you all for sticking with me all this time and being part of this and celebrating with me I'm so. Glad to be able to share it with all of you and you know more details there will be. You know when that announcement hits publishers weekly publishers' lunch then I will then you'll have all the details but you already know a lot right? All right. Ah, that note I am going to get to work I'm working on twisted magic I really want to hit that publishing deadline. So but it's so nice to have a little bit of buffer on that is that I don't have to make it because.

Like all be able to pay the bills all right? Hope you all the wonderful weekend. Hope you have a fantastic week and I will talk to you all on Friday you all take care bye bye.