Writing process

Reflecting on the sale of Linesman

The domain name renewal for* arrived the other day, reminding me that it’s been twelve months since our agent started shopping the revised version of Linesman, the one that finally sold. It didn’t sell straight away, mind. It took some months more of to’ing and fro’ing, but it’s a good time to reflect on the emotional ups and downs of selling a book.

When the “Good news … ” letter from Caitlin arrived we read it, and re-read it and finally absorbed it.

“How do you feel?” Sherylyn asked.

How did I feel? Numb, shaky, nervous even. But the overall emotion?

“Relieved,” I said, and I still felt relieved, days later.

There was none of that instant euphoria that had come when Caitlin had finally agreed to be our agent. No frantic high like those that had come as we’d had to scramble to create synopses for future books.

Just relief.

I think we had both been trying to convince ourselves that no matter how much we loved Linesman, we were unlikely to sell it.

We’d started a new book outside the Linesman universe. Self-doubt was beginning to creep in. The new book we were writing—would Caitlin even like it, let alone want to sell it? Would it be good enough for her to sell? Were we trying too hard to be funny/world build/give depth to our characters?

We still get those book highs, and sometimes they’re over the weirdest things. Like the time our agent said she needed a copy of the revisions we were making, because once it gets into PW or Locus the agency may get foreign rights enquiries and she needs the latest copy for that. The first time you see your book cover. When someone gives you a quote for your book. The first time you google your author’s name and find, high on the search list, a link to a page on

It’s been a while now, and we’re deep into book two, so it’s become part of life. But for both of us, those first few days after learning the book(s) had sold, the predominant feeling was relief.

* Why did we wait so long to purchase the domain name? It should be the first thing an author does. And we had, except that we planned on using a pseudonym. It was only after discussions with our agent, and the editor who finally bought the book, that we decided to use our own name.

fyi. We’re going through our old blog posts now, checking for broken links (or links we’re about to break). Once we’ve fixed these, we’ll move the whole A Novel Idea blog ( across to

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