Crossed is the sequel to Matched, Ally Condie's awesome new dystopia trilogy, and it just came out on Tuesday! I sincerely hope you all get the chance to pick it up! You can click here to read my review of Matched, and here to read my review of Crossed.
Today, I have Ally here on the blog to talk about her publishing process, and I'll be giving away a Crossed prize pack!
Journey to Publication, Part 2
To read the first part of the journey, click here.
I worked on Matched from the fall of 2008 to the summer of 2009. When I finished it, I knew it wasn’t a good fit for the regional publisher who had published my first five books. So I took a deep breath and started looking for an agent, hoping I’d meet with more success than my initial attempt five years earlier.
I decided to pace myself. I sent out 5-10 queries each week. They were cold queries, which means I had no connections and they went into the slush pile with everyone else. I found that my earlier books had no bearing on what agents thought of my current work—they saw my previous publications as neither an asset nor a liability. I believe I sent out about 50 queries total, with my fastest rejection arriving via e-mail within half an hour and my slowest…well, let’s just say that some of the rejection letters still haven’t arrived. But after two months of querying, an agent offered representation. When I let the other agents know that had happened, suddenly my book was moved to the front burner and people were reading it more quickly. Eventually I had seven offers of representation. I couldn’t believe it. I remember the flurry of setting up phone calls and the unreal feeling that I might make it farther than I ever had on the national scene—I might actually get an agent.
When I spoke with Jodi Reamer at Writers House, it was clear to me immediately that she was exactly as awesome, smart, savvy, and personable as her reputation indicated. I was thrilled when Jodi offered representation and knew she was the right person to advocate for me and for Matched. After about a month of revisions, Jodi took the book to auction. Six publishing houses came back with offers, and ultimately I was blessed enough to end up with Julie Strauss-Gabel at Dutton/Penguin. It was my dream to work with Julie, as I knew and respected her work with other authors, and it has been even more wonderful than I thought it would be.
To those who don’t know the whole story, my journey to publication appears rather fast—begin writing a book in 2008, sell it in 2009, have it released in 2010—but it was all those years and all those books before that made something like this possible. I could never have written Matched when I first set out. The early rejections made success that much sweeter.
And now, the sequel to Matched is almost out in the world! Writing Crossed was another dream come true, and I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.
Ally Condie is the author of the international bestseller Matched, and its newly-released sequel, Crossed. Matched was chosen as one of YALSA’s 2011 Teens’ Top Ten, named as one of Publishers Weekly’s Best Children’s Books of 2010, selected as the #1 Pick on the Winter Kid’s Indie Next List, and received starred reviews from Kirkus and Publishers Weekly. In a starred review for the sequel, Crossed, Kirkus called the Matched series an “addictive, layered dystopic trilogy.”
Now...contest time! Thanks to the generosity of Penguin, I have a signed copy of Crossed, a Matched/Crossed/book 3 poster, and 3 Matched buttons to give away to one lucky winner! Just fill out the form below to enter!