Thursday, October 4, 2012

Second Time Around: Meredith Schorr

As the air becomes crisp and cool (at least in Toronto!), and the leaves start to fall, I always feel like I'm starting fresh. To celebrate new beginnings, I'm running a fall blog series with guest posts from some incredible authors. They'll be here in October and November talking about their second novels. As I work on my second novel, Everything But, I appreciate their words of wisdom. Welcome to the  Second Time Around!

I'm so excited to launch this series with the amazingly talented Meredith Schorr. Meredith's first novel, Just Friends With Benefits, is equally as fantastic as her second, A State of Jane, and both are definite favorites of mine. Welcome, Meredith and thanks for joining us.

I absolutely devoured Finding Lucas so when Samantha asked me to write a guest post for her blog about my experience publishing a second novel, all I could think was, “When is your second book coming out?  I want to read it NOW!”  But I digress…

My second novel, A State of Jane, was released on September 17th, almost exactly two years after the release of my debut novel, Just Friends with Benefits.  My experience both writing and publishing my second novel varied greatly from my first.  For one thing, I knew nothing about the publishing industry when I first started writing Just Friends with Benefits.  All I knew was that the book could be described as “chick lit.”  Most of what I read was also chick lit and some of those books were fantastic, others were pretty horrible and some of them just were.  I was very excited because I truly believed Just Friends with Benefits was just as good as many of the published novels I had read in the genre and it was not a knock-off of anything that had been done before – it was original.  Therefore, I just assumed it would be published like so many other awesome, awful and mediocre chick lit novels before it. 

Imagine my surprise when after sending out upwards of 50 query letters to agents only to be rejected before they even read the first five pages, I learned that “chick lit” was dead and that very few agents were offering representation to unknown authors unless they had an established fan base because they couldn’t sell it to New York City editors. That’s another thing - I had no idea that there were so many different ways to publish.  I kept hearing the phrase “New York isn’t publishing chick lit.”  At the time, I did not know there were so many tiers in publishing.  Big 6?  Traditional? Epublishing? Small Press?  The only distinction of which I was aware was between using a publisher and self publishing.  As much as I dreamed of being the next Sophie Kinsella (and still do), I just wanted to get my books into the hands of readers.  I wasn’t looking to be rich and famous and decided that if chick lit was really dead, by the time I actually secured an agent who was able to sell Just Friends with Benefits to “New York”, I would be on my death bed too! 

So after extensive research and a lot of soul searching, I decided to put a halt on my agent search and send out my manuscript to publishers who did not require agents. The day I received my contract from Wings ePress for Just Friends with Benefits was one of the happiest days of my life.  To this day, I am so thankful they believed in my book enough to invest their editors, cover artists etc. into publishing it.

Writing and publishing A State of Jane was different in so many ways.  I didn’t spend nearly as much time sending out query letters to agents.  While I felt I owed it to myself to at least try to get a big publishing deal, I knew I had other options. I had learned about the importance of having a back list in building a fan base and did not want to waste another five years before releasing my second novel. I was also extremely confident going in because Just Friends with Benefits had received such good feedback and several people who had read both told me that A State of Jane was even better and that my writing skills had greatly improved.  Additionally, after Just Friends with Benefits came out, I was surprised to learn that the hardest part of publishing is not writing the book; it is what comes next, namely, marketing and promotion.  It’s not that I thought the book would just sell itself, but I didn’t give the marketing much thought at all and just assumed that my publisher would take care of that end.  Well, you know what they say about those who assume?  Yeah.   With this knowledge, I was drawn to Booktrope Publishing because providing marketing support is something they consider part of their role as publisher and they promised it would not solely rest in my hands.  I loved the idea of having some help, and the company’s “team publishing” philosophy appealed to me in general.  For so many reasons, I just knew I wanted to publish A State of Jane with Booktrope and so the day they sent me a contract was also one of the best of my life! 

I could go on and on (and on) about everything I’ve learned as a result of publishing my two novels but I don’t think Samantha had a novella in mind when she asked me to write a post for her blog.  That being said, anyone who has questions should feel free to email me.  I would love to hear from you!  I have a feeling, I will be able to write a sequel to this post by the time my third novel is finished.  The learning processing is an ongoing one and I look forward to expanding my knowledge. J!


Jane Frank is ready to fall in love. It's been a year since her long term relationship ended and far too long since the last time she was kissed. With the LSAT coming up she needs to find a long term boyfriend (or husband) before acing law school and becoming a partner at her father's law firm. There's just one problem: all the guys in New York City are flakes. They seemingly drop off the face of the earth with no warning and no explanation. Should she join her best friend Marissa in singlehood, making cupcakes and watching True Blood? Or should she follow her co-worker Andrew's advice and turn the game back on those who scorned her? As Jane attempts to juggle her own responsibilities and put up with the problems of everyone around her, she starts to realize that the dating life isn't as easy as she originally thought.

Connect with Meredith!

Twitter: @meredithschorr

Buy the Book!

Amazon UK
Barnes and Noble



  1. Thanks for hosting me on your blog Samantha :) And please finish "Everything But" soon!

  2. Samantha, I love the title "Everything But!" I can't wait to hear more about your next book!

    Meredith, I can so relate to your story as I went through almost the same thing with my books. This line made me laugh:

    "I wasn’t looking to be rich and famous and decided that if chick lit was really dead, by the time I actually secured an agent who was able to sell Just Friends with Benefits to “New York”, I would be on my death bed too!"

    Your success as an author is a testament to your perseverance and fortitude! Congrats on the second book!

  3. Great post! Meredith - congrats on your second book! I loved "A State of Jane" so much! What's in the works for #3?

  4. Great post, ladies! Looking forward to checking out your books, Meredith.

  5. Love the title of your second novel, Samantha!! (Have I mentioned how excited I am to read it!?)
    Great post, Meredith!! A State of Jane sounds like such a fun read! :)
    Looking forward to more posts in this series!

  6. Great post! As a reader, it is interesting to hear what it took for you to put such a fabulous book in my hands.

    Samantha, cannot wait for your second novel!