Monday Inspiration: First Sale Tales!

Last week, I got to participate vicariously in something wonderful and exciting: Twitter friend Jenny Torres Sanchez (@jetchez) on Twitter sold her first book! I read her announcement on Twitter and her blog recounting her initial reaction, and I basked in the shared joy.


On the road to selling a novel, “wins” can be few and far between. It takes a loooong time to write a book, and even longer to learn the craft required to write a good book. What keeps you going along the way? Jenny’s recent book sale reminded me that sharing other writers’ successes is a great way to stay energized and motivated, so I thought I’d collect tales of writers’ book sales here, stories of celebration for inspiration and encouragement.


Jenny Torres Sanchez: (from the PW announcement) Jenny Torres Sanchez’s debut GOODBYE, CHARLIE, pitched as John Green’s Paper Towns meets Sasha Paley’s Huge about a former fatboy’s struggles with food, an unattainable girl, and a falling-apart family, to Marlo Scrimizzi at Running Press Teens, by Kerry Sparks at Levine Greenberg Literary Agency(World). Read her initial reaction in her blog post “Good News”.

preachers brideJody Hedlund: Author of The Preacher’s Wife, from Bethany House Publishers. The title of her announcement post says it all “I GOT A BOOK CONTRACT!!!!!”

Jordan DaneJordan Dane: Author of No One Heard Her Scream shares how she sacrificed a body part for her first sale.

These stories were harder to locate than I expected. If you know of others, please let me know—I’ll add them to the list!

*Balloon photo courtesy of alibree on Flickr Commons.

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You’ve probably read the same tips I have: Have a smart phone? Check Facebook while standing in line at the post office! Respond to Twitter messages while waiting for your dentist! Catch up on your news feed while sitting on the pot! For years, I thought the path to increased productivity was to squeeze in MORE–more […]


  1. Loree Huebner says

    I love reading the success stories of other writers. I love it because we all know how hard it is to write a novel. Their success is also our success.

  2. Julie Musil says

    Yay for Jenny! What exciting news. I also love hearing about other writer successes. It proves they DO happen, and the writing and blogging community are so great about celebrating these happy times.

  3. Cheryl Reif says

    Hi Loree and Julie! You're right, this community is fabulous about cheering each other's victories. I love reading success stories, too.

  4. Jenny Torres Sanchez says


    How super sweet of you to post this on your blog! I continue to be astounded by the support of other writers.

    You are so right about how success stories keep you motivated. I used to read and reread an old post on John Green's blog from before he got his first book deal (I don't know if it's still there). It alluded to making it one day and being able to write for a living. That post, written before he knew what was in store for him but read by me after his huge success, definitely kept me going when I doubted myself.

    Thanks, again, Cheryl for the link, the support, and sharing in my happiness!

  5. Cheryl Reif says

    Hi Jenny :) You really did make my whole day with your good news, so thank you, too! I suppose if I was more social media-savvy I would have told you I was posting this :P, but I'm so glad you found it. Others' successes definitely help keep us going….

  6. Cheryl Reif says

    (and that deleted comment was me, accidentally signing in as my dh….)

  7. PW.Creighton says

    Success stories are excellent motivation. While so many are saying how difficult the journey is to publishing it can become very disheartening. Hearing from others as they break through that barrier helps breathe life back into you. There is that destination out there and you can reach it.

  8. Cheryl Reif says

    I agree!