Monday, June 7, 2010

The Long and Dusty Road to Publication - By Amanda Berry

Thank you, Angela, for having me on your blog. I’ve talked on other blogs about entering contests and the call, but I haven’t discussed what happens after the call.

I got the call right before Labor Day weekend last year. I spent the weekend in a daze and by Wednesday had an agent, Becca Stumpf, and by Thursday an editor, Patience Smith.

By the end of September I had an e-mail listing the revisions Patience thought the story needed. The first revision letter is scary. I talked to my mentor, Megan Kelly, about it. I talked to my agent about it. I reread the whole thing and finally called and talked to my editor about it.

What she called minor changes looked huge to me. Of course, now that I have the revision notes from my second book, I know they weren’t as extensive. But at the time, I worried. After the grief cycle took its course, I got busy with writing up my revisions. I sent them in mid-October and at the same time got a request to fill out the Art Department form online.

I got to choose three different scenes that I thought would make good covers (none of which were chosen). I went through menus of what the hero looked like, what the heroine looked like, where the story took place, what style of story it was. It was a neat process, but took some time.
I also had to rename the story, which I was desperate to do. I slapped on the title of Catch a Star just so it would have a title. I sent over a long list of choices. Two of the twelve stood out Lights, Camera, Love and L.A. Cinderella. I sent eleven more, but ultimately they went with L.A. Cinderella.

I remember Patience calling me to tell me they decided to release L.A. Cinderella in June 2010 as part of a bridal-themed month. In March I got my gorgeous cover. I received my author copies at the beginning of May, and the copies hit the bookshelves the last week of May.

It’s been a whirlwind of a year. If you’d like to read an excerpt of L.A. Cinderella, you can visit my website and it’s on the books page. Thanks again for having me.

L.A. Cinderella
Career-driven accountant Natalie Collins wasn't the type to wish for a Hollywood hero to rescue her. She preferred life away from celebrity glitz. Too bad the man who drove her wild was an A-list actor.

With her understated beauty and brains, Natalie was the one person Chase Booker could trust. He could see the strong, sexy woman beneath her shy exterior, and she stirred a blinding passion in him that made it easy to forget that they were from different worlds. But when she was in his arms, their worlds were dangerously close to colliding.

About Amanda Berry
After an exciting life as a CPA, Amanda Berry returned to writing when her husband swept the family off to England to live for a year. Now she’s hooked, and since returning to the states spends her writing days concocting spicy contemporary romances while her cats try in vain to pry her hands off the keyboard. Her Marlene Award–winning contemporary romance, L.A. Cinderella, debuts from Silhouette Special Edition in June 2010. One thing she requires of all her books is a happily ever after. Amanda lives in the Midwest with her husband and two children. For more information, please visit her Web site.


  1. That sounds like fun to me. I hope I get to experience the "after the call" soon!

    You said the first revisions were overwhelming. Can you give us an example? Whole scenes? Line editing? Rephrasing things? I'm curious.

  2. The first set of revisions were in note form. Some of them were just brainstorming ideas for something that didn't work for the editor. The key was to recognize what wasn't working and fix it the way I thought worked for the story best. One comment was about my hero and heroine becoming too lovey-dovey after they get together at first. It took some chin scratching but eventually I got through all the revision notes with my hair intact.

  3. The story sounds great, Amanda!

  4. It is an excellent read! I read it in just over 2 hours. I might be a little biased but I loved the story. :-D

  5. Thanks, Jerri.

    Great, Angela. I love to hear good things about my story.

  6. Thank you for this! I can't wait to go through the same exciting, albeit nail-biting, process. I'm sending off partials today!

    Congrats on your success and your cover is beautiful. Also, very cool that you wrote this during NaNo. It CAN be done!

  7. Amanda, going out today to pick up a copy of your book. Loved the excerpt. I sent good wishes early on, but congratulations and much luck! You did it!

  8. Thank you, Beth and Carol. The nail-biting never ends. :)

  9. Wow--you got an agent one day and she sold the book the next? Yeesh! That's a happily ever after story, isn't it :-)