Since I announced our book last week, I’ve been asked over and over, “How’d you get a book deal?” Knowing a lot of people who’ve written books, I can say with confidence that there are a million different ways to get a book deal. Writing a book is something Mike and I have kicked around for a while, but the timing has never been right. But there’s rarely a good time to take on a 50,000 word project, so when the opportunity to write this one presented itself, we jumped!
Way back in January of last year, Mike got an email from one of his colleagues at BuzzFeed. She’d recently written a book, and her editor was accepting new pitches. Mike and I fleshed out a few ideas and sent them over via email…and then, I forgot about it. I figured the editor, Thom, would be inundated with pitches, and I was consumed with thoughts about Annie’s birthday and Rigby’s cancer.
But…we got an email back from Thom a few days later telling us he liked our idea for The Toddler Survival Guide and wanted to get us on a call. On the phone, we fleshed out our idea a bit more, and then he asked us to write a longer pitch that he could present at his next editors’ meeting. Mike and I called in for backup to help with the kids (my parents) and cleared our weekend to craft the perfect pitch.
We woke up nervous on the day of the editors’ meeting. I think Mike checked his email 1,000 times before 9am! Later in the day, we got an email back saying that the editors liked our pitch, but they wanted some sample chapters. Okay!
So, we cleared out another weekend and called in my parents, and we pretty much wrote from Friday night to Sunday evening. We got the sample to the editor in time for his next meeting. But when the day of the meeting came and went and we didn’t hear anything, we figured that they’d decided to pass. But then… the next day we got an email from Thom letting us know that the meeting had been postponed for two days. Phew! It was an emotional rollercoaster.
Right after the postponed meeting was held, we received another email stating that the editors had liked our sample buuuuut “could we please write another one?” At this point I was like, “WE ARE NOT GOiNG TO WRITE THE WHOLE BOOK FIRST I WILL LOSE MY MIND!” (I was maybe a little sleep deprived.) But of course we said yes, cleared out YET ANOTHER weekend, called in my parents, and wrote another chapter of the book in just three days.
And then we waited…and waited…and waited…until finally, I opened my inbox to see this:
We were super excited…and then we realized that we were going to have to write AN ENTIRE BOOK. But I’ll save that story for another day!