Publishing Breakthrough: What it Feels Like to be Finally Accepted by a Publisher

"Cupcake" by Nina Fazzi It was a Thursday like any other—eight hours in the office, dinner with the family at home, and a treadmill workout, while I watched Brad Pitt’s “Killing Them Softly” on DVD. The movie was abysmal, but Brad looked good, and I burned some calories. What happened next, however, was what made April 10, 2014, one of the best days of my life.

Acceptance from Lyrical Press

I checked my inbox. There was an email from an acquiring editor at Lyrical Press. It was a reply to my email four days before—a resubmission of my romance novella, “In His Corner,” after I revised it based on the editor’s suggestion.

I don’t have a literary agent and I submitted my manuscript directly to Lyrical. I wrote a novella because my other manuscripts (full-length novels) remain unpublished. At one point, I had a literary agent, but she failed to sell my manuscript and we parted ways. All these years, I’ve been writing historical novels and women’s fiction. These are the types of books I read. But last year, I started reading contemporary romance novels and enjoyed them so much. In a complete detour, I wrote a romance novella.

Going back to the email on that momentous Thursday night—after years of rejection, I thought it was another “no.” But I didn’t let the grim thought grow. I clicked on the email, and there it was: an acceptance!

The editor said she enjoyed reading my revision and that “there were a few things that could still do with some tweaking,” but she was going to ask Kensington Publishing Corp., the parent company of Lyrical Press, to send me a contract.

No Tears, Just a Sigh of Relief

Surprisingly, the acceptance felt normal. After reading the email, I showed it to my husband. We discussed quickly what my response should be. Then I replied to the editor, confirming my interest in working with her and Lyrical Press.

I thought I’d be crying and jumping up and down with joy—I didn’t. I felt grounded. I had spent 11 grueling weeks revising my manuscript, while juggling a full-time job and family responsibilities. When Lyrical’s acceptance finally came, I was still in that space. Mind you, it was a great place to be in.

I didn’t feel euphoric. No tears, just a huge sigh of relief. I was filled with a solid feeling of accomplishment. My husband and I did have a glass of wine to celebrate.

On May 9, almost one month after that initial acceptance, I finally signed a contract with Kensington. And now I’ll always remember that abysmal Brad Pitt movie fondly!

To learn more about Kensington Publishing and Lyrical Press, click here.

“Cupcake” by Nina Fazzi. Copyright © 2014 by Nina Fazzi. All Rights Reserved.