On taking chances (and some good news)

The best things in life happen when we take chances.

We all know it, and yet it’s still scary to leap into the unknown. During the last two years, I’ve taken a lot of chances. I left a reporting job I loved. I traveled alone in Africa. And I put off full-time employment to write a book. Each time, I was scared. Was I making a mistake? Would I find my way on my own? Was it worthwhile to spend a year on a book without knowing whether a publisher would put it on store shelves?

Now someone’s taking a chance on me. I’ve signed with a literary agent! I’m so excited about working with Rachelle Gardner at WordServe Literary Group. So excited! (I’ll share more about the query process in later posts.)

Since some non-writers read this blog, I should offer a little background here. A literary agent works on the author’s behalf to sell the book to a publisher. Most authors use agents rather than contact publishers themselves because agents 1. have contacts at publishing houses 2. know how to approach those publishers and market the book and 3. have the skills and knowledge to negotiate the best possible book deal. In return, they get 15 percent of what the book makes.

Some agents also play an editorial role, helping authors edit the manuscript and proposal before submitting to publishers. Part of the reason I’m so psyched to work with Rachelle is because she’s dedicated to helping me improve what I’ve written so far. She’ll also support me in my writing career going forward, representing me not only for this book, but for other books I write in the future.

If you follow Rachelle’s blog and Twitter feed, you know she represents books with a Christian slant and makes a lot of sales to Christian publishers. Wait… Did I forget to mention that my travel memoir is about finding God? Kidding! My manuscript touches on spirituality and religion, but on the whole, it’s about as secular as books get. Lucky for me, Rachelle is expanding her client list to include authors who write mainstream books.

Up next: polishing the manuscript. When it’s ready, we’ll submit to publishers. And while I have faith in Rachelle’s ability to sell my book, I know I’ll probably face my share of challenges and rejection before this book hits shelves.

[tweetmeme source=โ€alexisgrantโ€]

That’s a risk I’m willing to take. Because we all know the best things in life happen when we take chances.

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31 Responses

  1. Alexis,

    Thank you for sharing your AWESOME news!!. Being represented by Rachel Gardner is such an honor . You have been persistent and courageous and I am thrilled to congratulate you on your well-deserved achievement. I appreciate how you are sharing the process with all of us as we can all learn from one another. I will look forward to hearing about your journey from here. Can’t wait to read your book!

    Write On!

    Kathy Pooler

  2. Congratulations Alexis! This is great news and I’m really happy to see that all of your hard work (and fun) is starting to pay off. Looking forward to hearing about the next steps in the submission process.


  3. Alexis,

    I’ve recently started following your blog – I found a link somewhere because I’m also writing a travel memoir. Congratulations on signing with Rachelle Gardner – that’s fantastic news! It sounds like all your taking chances is paying off. ๐Ÿ™‚


  4. Alexis, congratulations! That’s wonderful news. I’m delighted that all your hard work is bearing fruit, and i have no doubt that Rachelle will find the perfect home for the book.

    You go!

  5. Oh Alexis! I’m so happy for you! That’s just fabulous. Rachel seems like a wonderful person to work with. (So do you!) I’m crossing my fingers for you on the next part of the journey!

    Congratulations, Alexis!

  6. Congratulations!

  7. Big congrats to you Alexis!!!

  8. Congratulations! I’ve been following your journey for a while now, and I’m so happy to see things moving forward. I know you will hold that book in your hand one day.

  9. YO YO YO, work it girl, WORK IT

  10. Is it impolite to say, “I told you so!?!”
    We love you! And we are thrilled for you. Proud too! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  11. Congratulations, Lexi! So excited for you!!!

  12. Again, Congratulations! I don’t think a writer could ask for a nicer agent. I hope it sells quickly for you.

  13. This is awesome news! I’m so excited for you!! Risks are worth it. ๐Ÿ™‚

  14. Alexis…that was fabulous news and I’m so thankful that you could share that with me…you’re on your way!

  15. Congrats, Alexis! So excited for you…I read Rachelle’s blog and she seems so talented, dedicated and savvy. I can’t wait to read your book!

  16. Congrats! I couldn’t agree more that taking risks pays off. Maybe that’s why I’m living in Europe now. Can’t wait to follow the process as you go from agent to published book!

  17. Alexis, congratulations!!!! This is such wonderful news, and I’m excited for you!

  18. Alexis, I am so so happy for you. I think I already told you that since I saw your news on Twitter. But just want you to know that as a fellow BBT classmate, it is so rewarding to have been in on the beginning of your journey and to see you reach this amazing milestone. Although, I had no doubts you would get there.

  19. Congrats Lexi! Since you like traveling so much, be prepared for one amazing journey!

  20. Congrats to you. This all sounds very exciting!

  21. This is the raddest thing I will read all day. You rock, Alexis. Congrats.

  22. So fun to see some new names here! Thanks for the support, everybody.

  23. Alexis, congrats on signing with Rachelle! She really knows her stuff.

    I wish you well as you work on your book and get it ready for submission.

  24. Just wanted to say again, congratulations! Good luck with getting ready for the next step– publication! ๐Ÿ™‚ You’re an inspiration to all of us fellow travel writers.

  25. YES, Lexi! This is incredible news. You’re a total inspiration.

  26. That’s wonderful news. I’m so excited for you!! I can’t wait to hear about the process as you move toward finding a publisher and all of that. ๐Ÿ™‚ Congrats!

  27. Congrats, Lexi! I am SO happy for you!

    Keep chasing those dreams, girl!

  28. […] Here’s yet another reason you should use Twitter: that’s how I connected with my agent. […]

  29. […] Posted on May 14, 2010 by Alexis Grant Thanks to all of you who left encouraging notes on my good-news post this week. I feel your […]

  30. […] into another revision of my travel memoir. One of the elements I’m focusing on is my voice. Rachelle says my voice is still too journalistic, not memoir-y enough. I know she’s right. This is […]

  31. […] But then — through luck and (admittedly inadvertent) networking — I got in touch with Rachelle Gardner. Her background is in a different area: Christian publishing. But she’s looking to expand to […]

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