I am positively incandescent with joy to announce I’ve signed a book deal with Worthy Publishing, part of Hachette Book Group. Hachette and its imprints make up the 3rd largest publishing house in the world, with books from folks like Malala Yousafzai, Malcolm Gladwell, Nicholas Sparks and now… me. ME?!?!?!
My debut memoir will arrive in bookstores in 2024. Yes, that’s far enough away that I could technically give birth to multiple children and probably learn to play the tuba proficiently. But that’s traditional publishing for ya!
When the offer letter popped into my inbox that Tuesday morning, I didn’t even read to the end. I instantly Facetimed Rae and read it aloud, tripping over every word. We stared at each other with our mouths open.
“This is real? This is not real. This is real?!” I promise I’m usually really good at words, you guys. I was truly stunned.
And then everything happened so quickly and it went from dangerously outrageous dream to offer letter to signed contract to now… where I get to work on this story not just because I want to, but because I have a looming deadline for my manuscript. Meeeep!
It’s cliche to say this is a dream come true, but I don’t know what else to call it. It still doesn’t feel real. Maybe it won’t until I’ve got the book in my hands! After all the ways God has shown up for me in my life, I know I shouldn’t be surprised. But again I’m just in awe at his perfect timing and provision.
What’s The Book About?
If you’ve been reading Angie Away since the beginning, you’re going to love this book because it’s all storytelling. I don’t always have that luxury when writing for a website (thanks a lot, SEO), so this is me getting back to my roots in the best possible way. It’s all the far-flung destinations you’ve read about over the years, plus all the scary, juicy, embarrassing behind-the-scenes drama that I rarely get to share on the blog.
And something different – the book is much more vulnerable and personal than the blog. Even if you’ve been reading my adventures since 2006, you are going to find out things you never knew. I always wanted my memoir to feel like hanging out with an old friend, but you know, over a couple glasses of wine so you really get into the deep stuff. This book delivers!
If I had to sum it up, I’d say it’s a little bit Bridgerton, a dash of Stranger Things, a dollop of Survivor, a pinch of Shark Week and more Chipmunk Adventure than I care to admit. (If you know, you know.)
How Did I Get a Book Deal?
I’m already getting questions about how I managed to land a book deal with a Big 5 publisher, so I’ll share a bit here with the intention of writing a more comprehensive post in the future.
Just like blogging is about more than just telling a story… landing a book deal is about so much more than having a good idea and the talent to write it. The idea is crucial, but then so is the detailed book proposal; finding a literary agent; building a platform. Each of these elements is key. I read dozens of books on the process and even took some online courses before sending out my proposal. And the proposal? It took months until I felt ready to send it out. A hastily whipped up email will not do.
And then I had to get a literary agent, which some say is harder than getting a book deal. But it’s the first step if you want to go the traditional publishing route. I was ecstatic to sign with Esther Fedorkevich at the Fedd Agency because she understood the heart behind my travels and was my champion from beginning to end.
But Covid had other ideas, ravaging the publishing industry and slowing progress. I had calls with several publishing houses as the months dragged on, but the idea of traveling abroad alone – the foundation of my story – felt so unattainable with the world under the shadow of a pandemic. So I waited and waited and waited for what felt like forever.
Now that I’ve signed on the dotted line, I can appreciate that a little less than two years is not that long to wait for a dream book deal, but I am guilty of wanting instant gratification as much as the next Millennial. (And it wasn’t just two years. I’ve been working on this particular book since 2011!) Now I’m just pinching myself that this is really happening. All the waiting had a purpose.
The good news is: I’ve written about 110,000 words. The bad news is: I only need about 60% of them. So I’m diving head first into a season of finessing what I have into the most entertaining story possible. I have a lot of darlings to kill…
I have so many more details to share… Title! Cover! Launch date! Audiobooks! Publicity tour! So keep an eye out in 2023 for more news.
What Does This Mean for Angie Away?
In the short term, nothing much will change around here. I’ll still be posting on the site, traveling for destination marketing campaigns, speaking at conferences and filming videos for The Jet Sisters. You won’t notice much of a difference in content until we get closer to launch date, at which point I will probably not talk about anything else. In the immediate future, I’ll be hunched over ye olde laptop writing writing writing!
Other than a Britney Spears dance party with Rae in Orlando, I haven’t really celebrated this momentous news. My toxic trait is that I never stop to appreciate wins (working in agency PR has had long-lasting repercussions!) so I need to commemorate this in some way.
Any suggestions? Long overdue trip to Tahiti? Jewelry? A tattoo? Eat a whole cake? Adopt another dog or teenager?
Or maybe I should just get back to writing. 😉