In the spring of 2011, the topic at my local RWA meeting was how to use Facebook and Twitter. Although I had already accounts set up for those two social networking sites, I hadn’t done much with them.
The speakers shared with us the ins and outs of using social media. They jokingly described it this way: “LinkedIn is for people you know; Facebook is for people you used to know; and Twitter is for people you want to know.” Obviously that statement is not entirely true (I’ve met some fabulous people on Facebook), but it is darn close—especially when it comes to Twitter. As soon as I started really using Twitter, I discovered I loved it. I have Twitter friends in Canada, England, and even Australia and New Zealand. Last spring I was able to actually meet one of them face to face: I had a delightful lunch with an English author who was visiting my state to do research. I would never have met her if not for Twitter.
There are tons of writers and publishing professionals on Twitter, and often they have discussions about whether Twitter helps authors sell their books to readers. I don’t know the definitive answer to that, but I do know Twitter helped me sell my book to my publisher! It also helped me connect with my agent.
I first became aware of Jessica Alvarez and the BookEnds Literary Agency through my involvement with Romance Writers of America. I tried to schedule a pitch session with Jessica at the RWA annual conference in 2011, but unfortunately all of her pitch openings were full. I was following her on Twitter, and a few weeks later I saw her tweet that she was looking for inspirational historical romances. That same day I sent her a query letter, and I mentioned her tweet. She requested to see my manuscript. She read it and—happy day!—she wanted to take me on as a client.
Very soon afterward, Jessica tweeted that she was happy to have a new client who wrote inspirational historical romance. It turned out that Lauren Plude, an assistant editor at Grand Central Publishing, saw Jessica’s tweet. She contacted Jessica and asked to read the manuscript. Lauren loved it too, and it wasn’t long before I was accepting an offer from Grand Central. Neither Jessica nor I knew that Grand Central was in the market for an inspirational romance, but thanks to Twitter, we were all able to connect. I believe Grand Central loved my book for the reasons I wrote about in yesterday’s post—I was striving to write a book with sound Christian themes, a strong plot, and a deep, rich romance.
The interesting thing about this sale is that it represented a whole series of “firsts”: it was my first sale, it was my agent’s first sale, and it was my editor’s first acquisition. In the world of the theater, a “triple threat” is someone who can sing, dance, and act. I like to think of my agent, editor, and I as a kind of literary “triple threat”!
Next up: Brave New World