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My First Sale by Jackie Barbosa

jackie barbosaWelcome to the My First Sale series. Each Monday, Dear Author posts the first sale letter of bestselling authors, debut authors, and authors in between. Jackie Barbosa is one of those new crop of historical authors that are making the future of historical bright and shiny. Her first print collection, Beyond the Red Door, is officially out tomorrow but may be in stores for purchase right now.


Well, it’s really a tale of two sales, not one.

The first manuscript I ever sold was a short story called Carnally Ever After. I originally wrote it for an Ellora’s Cave call for submissions in early 2007. (Ann Aguirre must take partial credit for my ever having written it, since it was through her blog I found out about the call.) Ellora’s Cave didn’t contract the manuscript, and because it was less than 15,000 words long, there were only a limited number of other publishers I could submit it to. When I did receive a contract offer, it was from Cobblestone Press, and that offer came within eight hours of submission. (The acquiring editor said the title caught her eye and pushed it to the top of the slush pile, so don’t let anyone tell you titles don’t matter!)

book review I have to admit, however, that as thrilled as I was to have found a home for my manuscript, I didn’t really think of that contract as my first sale. The story was so short, it just didn’t ‘count’ in my mind. But it did set me on the road to the contract offer that I do think of as my first sale, because when I wrote Carnally, the idea for a sequel started to form in my mind. That sequel, a novella titled Wickedly Ever After, was the manuscript I submitted to my editor at Kensington Books.

I didn’t have a lot of hope when I submitted that manuscript that I’d make a sale, though. Novellas are a hard sell in New York from what I hear. But I had outlines for two more sequels, and I knew the Aphrodisia line wasn’t averse to putting out single-author anthologies. So after I sent the full, I sat back on my heels, bit my nails, and waited not-so-patiently for the rejection letter.

The actual ‘call’ came at 4:00 in the afternoon, quite a surprise since I live on the west coast and it’s well after business hours in New York by then. I knew the second the editor identified himself by name that I’d made a sale, and I honestly don’t remember much after that. The details of the offer pretty much flew over my head, because all I could think at that moment was that a) I’d sold and b) I needed an agent–like yesterday! Fortunately, I wound up with the lovely Kevan Lyon to represent me.

The resulting book, Behind the Red Door, officially comes out tomorrow (though I hear rumors the online retails began shipping it last week).

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She self publishes NA and contemporaries (and publishes with Berkley and Montlake) and spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com


  1. Kris Eton
    May 25, 2009 @ 08:04:18

    I’m a mega-fan of historical romance, and I’ve had the pleasure of knowing Jackie over the last year or so. She even gave me a sneak read of one of the three stories in this anthology…and it was SO SO good. I mean, fabulous. Her writing style is just up my alley…rich in detail, clever, and very very hot.

    If you think of any of the big historical romance authors that you love, Jackie Barbosa fits right in there.

    An undiscovered gem. Don’t miss this book!

    Congratulations, Jackie! You deserve it. :-)

  2. anon
    May 25, 2009 @ 08:09:24

    Congrats, Jackie! Love the title BEHIND THE RED DOOR!

  3. Karen Erickson
    May 25, 2009 @ 09:11:10

    Congrats Jackie! I’m so happy for you. My copy is winging its way to me as I type, can’t wait to read it!!

  4. Janine
    May 25, 2009 @ 11:39:28

    Thanks for sharing your first sale story!

  5. Raine
    May 25, 2009 @ 16:37:07

    Just wanted to congratulate you on the release, Jackie!
    Wishing you many sales. :)

  6. Eve Boston
    May 25, 2009 @ 21:49:52

    Hi Jackie! Can’t wait to read it. Congratulations!

  7. Jessa Slade
    May 25, 2009 @ 22:19:15

    Eight hours from submission to acceptance?! That has to be a record. Best time on a rejection — not mine, but a friend’s — was a minute thirty. Happy release day!

  8. Lynda
    May 26, 2009 @ 00:34:21

    Congrats on the new release! I following you around the blog and really looking forward to your book!

  9. Kate Pearce
    May 26, 2009 @ 11:31:52

    And it’s a great book-I got to salivate over it, I mean ‘read’ it recently and I really enjoyed it!

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