An Open Letter to EgmontUSA authors from a former publishing orphan

Dear Egmont Authors,

First of all, I am so sorry!

What you are going through sucks. There is no other word I can use... well, there are, but most of them would require a 5 second delay from the FCC.

Last June, I was sitting in the same shell shocked place you are now. Within minutes of my agent breaking the news that my first publisher was closing, my head was in a whirlwind. 2014 was supposed to be my debut year. I was supposed to oogle over my cover, drool when my 1st pass pages dropped into my inbox and coo when I sliced open the box of my real life book the minute the delivery guy dropped them off. None of that happened. Instead, I felt like my book and, by extention, I wasn't good enough to convince the publisher to stick it out a few more months.

The truth is, it's not personal. And having glanced through the list of titles from Egmont, I know you are going to land on your feet. How do I know that? First of all, many of you are some of my favorite authors who have penned my favorite books. Others are authors that have been added to my TBR list. And there are a couple of you who have to get those second books out because I fear for the world if my 8th grade girls don't get their hands on them SOON!

Please, please, please don't be discouraged! Yes, this is a set back. Yes, it sucks. (And you can say that as many times as you want!) But, even though it may not help to say, this is a bump on the road.

I am a writer who likes lists. So I'm going to give you my top four tips for surviving the next few weeks.

1. Be Gracious (especially in public)! Publishing is a small community and people remember things! Throughout the day I have seen such grace and class from so many authors affected by this news. What you say now and in the days ahead will show future editors just how amazing you will be to work with.

2. Remember that small community I was talking about? Get ready because they are going to carry you through the next few weeks. I think the most amazing thing about going through this same thing last year was waking up to the tons of emails and tweets filled with concern and support. I have never felt more like a part of the global writing brotherhood than at that moment. Oh, and do not search Twitter for tweets that might give you some insight as to what happened. That goes for Google, too. It won't help and the answers you're looking for won't be there.

3. Don't let the "wait and see" approach freak you out! It may take time to get your rights back. Things may not move as fast as you want them. This is the time when your agents will start looking for a new home (and, if you're anything like me, pep talk you out of the fetal postition and back to the land of the upright) for your book. This could be instant for those of you with a debut that has yet to come out. It could take longer if you are mid-series or have a book with them. But it will sort itself out.

4. Breathe. Have faith. I'm not going to lie, both of these can be difficult from time to time, but you got this! Back in June, I didn't know if I would ever get It's A Wonderful Death out. By September, I was signing with a new publisher. You will find the right place for your work. I have fellow orphans who went the self-publishing route and are thrilled with it. Others found a place in a traditional press and are equally happy. There are so many options ahead of you.

Bottom line is, I promise, promise that you will get through this and you can bet I, and the rest of the literary world will be cheering you on. In the meantime, you can always crack open a bottle of your favorite beverage and veg out for a little bit. Not gonna lie... we went through a couple (dozen) bottles of wine during a six week period. But then I did what writers do... I started writing.

Good luck to all of you! I can't wait to see where you end up!

Sarah

#EgmontUSA #publishingorphan #sosorry

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© 2018 by Sarah J. Schmitt.