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I Signed My First Book Contract

I did it! I signed my first book contract! I can still hardly believe it. Who would have thought it would have been this hard? I never knew the odds, and it’s probably better off I didn’t. The statistics are staggering and not in the favor of a writer. Out of the manuscripts queried, only 1-2% get traditionally published. I want you to know how hard it was because we see success stories of big names and big deals, including movies. But most writers started in the same place. And I’ve listened to enough podcasts to know it wasn’t an easy journey for most.

 I Signed My First Book Contract. Jennifer O'Brien House in Bloom.
 I Signed My First Book Contract. Jennifer O'Brien House in Bloom. I wrote this goal on a bottle of champagne.

There were a lot of rejections along the way. Yes, I did cry a lot. And question my abilities, but with every rejection came growth. I grew as a writer and observer of life. And I didn’t give up. Even when I probably should have. It’s just not in my nature. I read a few articles along the way, and they all said the same thing. That the ones who get published eventually are the ones who didn’t give up. It’s the ones who keep taking writing classes, keep writing, and get to work on another book. So when you see a book on the shelves of a bookstore, library, or online on your favorite sites, know there were many difficult mountains climbed, along with bruised & battered knees to get it there.

 I Signed My First Book Contract. Jennifer O'Brien House in Bloom. My mother's handwriting.

If you watch THIS video, you will feel the emotion behind the journey. I wanted to romanticize the moment so I could savor every minute of the process. I brought in a piece of my mother (see her handwriting above in the old Nike ad from 1985) and my sister (the flower vase once held her makeup brushes.) It was important for me to do this because they never got a second season in life; they both passed away too young. The truth is every time I wanted to give up, I thought about them and the dreams they still had. And that was enough for me to press on.

You can read more about HOUSE IN BLOOM here. It’s a combination of women’s fiction and contemporary romance. My editor said we can aim for a summer 2024 launch date, which is so exciting to think about.

 I Signed My First Book Contract. Jennifer O'Brien House in Bloom.

Ill keep you posted. Happy Friday, friends!

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  1. Congratulations Jen – How exciting!! Hard work, persistence and perseverance always pays off. I look forward to reading it next summer.

  2. I had a tear fall for this post. Such a wonderful result for your hard work. I know others out in the world feel your joy also.

  3. So….you dream it, build it, pour your heart & soul in everything you do…..While your Mama & sis watch you, guide you and believe in you….so do WE <3… Congrats..keep writing…keep shining <3 xoxoxo ~ leelee

  4. Wow! Wow! Wow! Congratulations Jenn. It sounds like a great book. What a compelling post. I could feel your mother and sister so strongly. I have no doubt that they are all cheering in heaven…your Dad included. Brava girl!

  5. Wow! I’m so happy for you. You’ve worked so hard and your perserverence has paid off. I’m looking forward to the book; put me down for a copy 🙂

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