The ROR authors are going to do a series of posts on First Book Sales and later, Career Planning.
I thought I'd get the ball rolling with my First Book Sale. It was a children's book, sold to Scholastic from the slush pile. How did this happen?
I saw a children's short story competition and was inspired to write a story and enter it. The story didn't win, didn't even place, but I liked it. Shortly after this, my children's school hosted a Book Week. I went along and looked over the books. Among them, I found one that was published by Scholastic, aimed at the same age group as my story. I did a quick word count on one page and calculated the number of words per chapter plus the number of words in the whole book.
Then I went home and expanded the story, incorporating a whole new twist and sent it off to Scholastic. I had no idea how hard it was to sell from the slush pile. Luckily, I had chosen a topical game that lots of kids were playing and the writing style was 'fresh and accessible' as a multi published writer later told me.
Scholastic accepted the book, changed the title to 'Capped' and that was my first sale!
The moral of the story? Persistence pays off. Be ready to learn your craft and keep working on your story or book. Do your research and aim for a particular market.