My Publishing Journey - Part 1

 Ahhhh. My first blog post.

My initial hope in starting this blog is to tell my publishing journey. Once I’ve done that, I will focus on much more random musings. Over the years, I have truly enjoyed (and benefited) from reading other author blogs, and learning about their trials and tribulations (does anyone use that phrase anymore?) along the way. Now that I have self-published two novels, I feel the time is right to bore inspire others with my story.

I completed the first draft of Kat Fight in December of 2009, and immediately started looking for an agent. Like many other hopeful writers with stars in their eyes, I researched ‘how to write’ a query letter, researched agents in my genre, and began to flood the market with pleas for them to represent me. Many, many rejections ensued, until I got a bite in June 2010, from a smart and lovely intern at an agency in Boston (they’re no longer my agent, so I will spare them the mention). I sent this intern a copy of the manuscript, she read it, then had the owner of the agency read it, and soon after that they expressed interest in representing me. Woohoo! I won the lottery, right? Eh, not so much. I spoke to the agent on the phone one day, who had me at “Your writing reminds me of Nora Ephron,” and she said she would send me a contract in the mail. Break out the cheap champagne! That was the best news I ever heard…that week! I had just accomplished step one of becoming the next best thing in the world of women’s fiction. Find an agent, everyone said. You need an agent, I was told. You will not achieve any success in your lifetime without an agent. You will literally implode if you don’t have representation. Okay, I’ll stop…but that’s how I felt at the time.

So, I had my agent, and about a month later she sent me a contract. As soon as I got my contract, I contacted an old classmate of mine, Rich Cohen. The reason I mention him by name is because he is a mega-super-famous-accomplished author, and hopefully my weak association with him will make me look cool and important. He was gracious enough to chat with me on the phone for about 45 minutes, and at the end of the phone call he advised me not to sign with this agent. I honestly can’t remember the specific reasons why, I think b/c this agent said it was her practice not to divulge where and to whom she’d be sending my manuscript. I was pretty crushed when he said that b/c I had ZERO other agent options. I was not a mega-super-famous-accomplished author. Far from it, and it wasn’t like I had four agent offers to choose from, I had one. So to no one’s surprise, I signed the contract. And so began my year (Aug 2010 – Aug 2011) of representation. I signed a one-year contract, and by March of 2011, was eager to get out of it.

Sometime that spring - pause to contain your jealousy - I was doing some freelance work, writing product descriptions for a housewares catalog, when I came upon an article about Amanda Hocking. No introductions necessary I’m sure. I read the article, and then promptly went and read every word on her blog. Next, at Amanda’s blog’s insistence, I went and read every word on Joe Konrath’s blog. After that, I was a changed woman. Everything I learned about it told me that it was the ideal situation for a control freak, like myself.

All my agent was ever telling me (since she wasn’t telling me where my manuscript was being sent), was that the industry was changing (true, Borders did close that year), and it was very difficult for a new writer with no platform to break into the business, especially in my genre of contemporary romance. WTF, Snooki did it! So I decided that I would not renew my contract with my agent in August, and I would self-publish. Now during that time, I had also begun writing my second novel, One Pink Line. I completed edits on OPL by the time August rolled around, and decided that that would be the first book I would publish. Why? Because OPL (in my opinion) is more of a poignant, tug-at-your-heartstrings type of story, whereas Kat Fight is true romantic comedy. At some point I deemed that OPL was my best foot forward into an ocean of readers who knew nothing about me and my non-existent platform.

I would like to say that, despite the fact that she unfriended me on FB, I parted ways amicably with my agent. And besides what I’ve just posted, I really don’t go around saying bad things about her. She took a chance on me, gave me amazing feedback on OPL, compared me to my favorite screenwriter of all time…and for that I will be ever grateful.

So, if you’re still awake, join me for part two of this fascinating journey. I’m proud to say that to date, One Pink Line, has been holding strong in the Amazon top 100 bestsellers in Contemporary Women’s fiction since April 2012. Not too bad for a girl who’s only platform is on her shoes.


  1. Hi Dina,

    I'm so glad you shared your story! It's true that so many writers think that there life begins the second they sign with an agent. But, what happens when an agent can't sell your stuff... then what?? Nobody talks about THAT! Thanks doing so... :)

  2. Great post, Dina. I'm looking forward to reading more about your publishing journey -- especially how your venture into self-pub has gone.

  3. D- it's been a long road, but you made it my
    friend! You are not only an amazing person, but a truly talented author! Love you tons!