Wednesday, January 19, 2011

In the end, there are only two words

In the beginning, there were 80,000 words.

At the time, I thought it was the end. The end of the novel--not my first novel, but my best one.

But really, that was only the beginning.

So, in the beginning, there were 80,000 words.

And then there was an agent (whom I adore) and an editor (ditto) and a publishing house (which was all beyond my brightest dreams). And then there were 10,000 more words added to the manuscript.

And three new ones: a title--ACROSS THE UNIVERSE.

And I loved all 90,003 of those words.

Today--today I heard four words I didn't dare dream that I would hear: NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER.

And a number: 7.

When I worried about my book doing well enough, living up to the expectation and making my editor and agent proud, my husband would say: is there anything you can do about it? And the answer was simple: no. I'd already written my 90,000 words, and I had to hope they were enough. And my publisher--my brilliant, wonderful, better-than-I-ever-dreamed-of publisher had marketed their hearts out to promote it. There was nothing else I could do; there was nothing else they could do.

This was all YOU.

YOU, the ones who believed in me from the start. The ones who ordered my book. The ones who read it--and re-read it, and told me how you cried when X happened, or how you thought Y was funny, or how when you got to the end, you started over again to find the clues I'd hidden.

This was all you.

And so, in the end, I don't really have 90,000 words, or three, or four. I only have two:

101 comments:

Sara McClung ♥ said...

aw <3 <3 <3 congratulations Beth!!! What an exciting day :)

Jeremy West said...

Don't thank us! THANK YOU! :D LOVE Across the Universe!

Melissa said...

No, thank you! AtU is a GREAT book! Congratulations!!!!!

Kendra said...

Congratulations! AtU is an amazing book, and you deserve every bit of this success. I can't wait to read the next one!

Su said...

Wow, congratulations!

Danielle (Overflowing Shelf) said...

CONGRATULATIONS!! And THANK YOU!! Your the one who did all the work and wrote such a wonderful book!!

DJ's Life in Fiction said...

Congratulations! You deserve this and more! :-D

Kristin said...

Congrats, Beth!

Stephanie said...

Congratulations, Beth! Across the Universe was a fantastic read and I look forward to more of your writing.

Flippin' Fabulous said...

YOU deserve it Beth, we are just lucky enough to have been able to read this story! You opened a whole new world up in the YA universe and you did it was success!

I can't wait for the next one! Really, I can't. But you learned this on twitter!

Jessi E. (The Elliott Review) said...

Thanks for writing an awesome book... Congrats on your amazing milestone!

Kat O'Keeffe said...

CONGRATS BETH!!!!

Maria said...

You deserve it all, Beth! It's a fabulous, FABULOUS book!

Frankie Diane Mallis said...

Congratulatiosn, Beth!!!!!!!!!!!!

Lisa and Laura said...

This post just gave me chills. We are so thrilled for you, Beth!!!!

C.A. Marshall said...

Congratulations! <3

Lisa and Laura said...

Oh this is so deserved! This post made me cry.

Emy Shin said...

Oh, that's really, really amazing. Congratulations!

Angie Smibert said...

Congrats! You are a rock star!

Vampires and Tofu said...

Congrats Beth!!! I started reading it last night and am loving it so far. You know, I have enough free books I have received to keep me reading for at least a year.

I bought yours. And all the others can wait =)

Brit said...

Sooo happy for you!!! I've read it, listened to it, and am re-reading it (and I'm sure it won't be the last time!) congrats congrats congrats!
-Britne

Martinelli Gold said...

All I can say is...I'm not surprised :)

Kathryn said...

Congratulations! It's a great book! :)

Elana Johnson said...

Beautiful post.

Aleetha said...

Marvelous.
Congratulations Beth.

The Amateur said...

I'm new here and no I have not read your book. But this is just so awesome I had to comment! Woot! I think everyone dreams of this day. I know I have. Everyone is raving about your book, methinks I'll pick it up. Yep. That's what I'm gonna do. Congrats!

Michelle said...

Aw, congratulations! I just finished AtU and posted a review on my blog. I really enjoyed it. :)

Kathryn Packer Roberts said...

That is so great! I can't wait to read this book! I am dying to read it. And am living vicariously through you. Keep up the good work.

Tracey Neithercott said...

A million congrats!!

Karen Kincy said...

Congratulations! I had a feeling I'd be seeing your book on the list. :)

Corinne O'Flynn said...

I don't even know you and your post made me cry. You're living the dream... and it is such an amazing thing to see.

Enjoy every freaking minute of it!!

Congratulations Beth.
Rock on!

Anonymous said...

Crying happy tears here for you.

#7 couldn't have happened to a more deserving, hard-working girl.

-Susan

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

Woo-hoo!!!!
And thank you. For all the inspiration and for a great book. Keep on flying, Beth!

Casey McCormick said...

Soooo happy for you, but I'm not surprised at all. Congrats!! XOXO

Andrea said...

Congratulations, that's amazing! I loved Across the Universe, and you deserve it! Also, I just wanted to say that I found the secret page and...I felt like a genius. Anyway, congratulations! :)

Shannon said...

Congratulations, Beth! You deserve everything fab that happened today and many more wonderful days to come. =) Enjoy it!

Miriam S. Forster said...

*hugs*

Carolina Valdez Miller said...

What an amazing moment, Beth!! Mega congratulations! You've earned every bit of your succeed. So THANK YOU for working so hard and for being an inspiration to all of us.

Pisinat said...

Congrats Beth! I'm currently reading your book, it (you!!) totally deserves it!

Matthew Rush said...

It is we who owe you thanks Beth.

Not only for telling us this story, but for being one of the kindest, most helpful, most giving writers in the community. You freaking rock. That is all.

Natalie Aguirre said...

Congrats Beth! I'm so happy for you.

Mim said...

Congrats! It's an awesome book and deserves to be on the list. Looking forward to the next in the series!

Kay McGriff said...

Conagratulations! I read it over the weekend (WOW) and then shared it with my students on Monday. Now there are 8th graders fighting over who gets it next--once my daughter releases it back into the wild of my classroom. I'll try to keep them from coming to blows!

Nicole said...

CONGRATS! I just finished Across the Universe and thought it was fantastic! Thank you for writing it!

Liza said...

It has been such fun, watching all this progress for you. Congratulations!!!

Kelly Lyman said...

Congratulations Beth! What a wonderful day for you! Enjoy this to the fullest!

Jonathon Arntson said...

That made me feel all happy inside!

Pam Harris said...

Congrats!!! Just started reading your book last night and I'm already in love. :)

Jen Daiker said...

WOOHOO!!!! I'm so proud of you Beth! Congratulations!!! How flipping exciting!!!

Stephanie M. Lorée said...

My three copies finally arrived! It's brilliant, Beth, and it's all you! Your dedication and hard work. Your marketing strategy and generosity with your time. Your persistance in writing one of the best YA's I've ever read. Ever. You're story is inspirational, and I'm not just talking about the one in the book. Congratulations. You deserve it.

Anonymous said...

I could cry, I'm so happy for you. (I'm just blasting this everywhere, whatevs)

The book is INCREDIBLE. AMAZING. Everyone I shared my copy with came back saying, "HOLY OMG SMOKES!"

I admire you so, so much, Beth. And I am beyond ecstatic to see you reach this. <3

Amparo Ortiz said...

This is BEYOND AWESOME, Beth!!! *fist pump* Congrats!!

Kelly Bryson said...

Congrats, Beth. I've heard so many people excited about this book- from Elana Johnson to the ARC blog tour group I'm part of. It's so encouraging to see you rocking the country with a scifi book! It just goes to show that people will still buy good books. :)

Amanda J. said...

It's an amazing book, and you are a WONDERFUL author. You deserve to be a NYT Bestseller! Thank YOU for such a fantastic book!! :D And CONGRATULATIONS!!!!

Jamie Grey said...

Getting all misty eyed here! Congrats, Beth! You totally deserve it. AtU is my new favorite book - just fantastic! I'm so happy that everyone else thinks so too!

Courtney Barr - The Southern Princess said...

I don't know if I have ever cried over those two words before, but I did today! Beth you are amazing! Your book is amazing! Congratulations!

THANK YOU for the amazing book!

Visit My Kingdom Anytime

Misty Waters said...

So effin awesome! Or frexing awesome? LOL. (Totally a new word in my house.) Congrats!!

Lisa Potts said...

Congrats, beautiful lady! You deserve it!

Claire Dawn said...

Congrats Beth! I loved it. And I don't even read sci-fi!

(ooo, you should so have them music- JT singing 'I'm bringing sci-fi back' :)

Shari said...

Congratulations!

Nikki said...

Congratulations Beth!!! I loved the book and you so deserve it :)

Shannon O'Donnell said...

Just wait til it hits #4 or #2 or #1!! It's that good, Beth - and so. are. you! :-)

Eric said...

Congratulations, Beth. You have done an amazing job and I am so happy you are seeing an awesome level of success with AtU. Do 10 million happy dances for us!

nutschell said...

Congratulations! What wonderful news! I won't be surprised to see climb up to #1 one of these days. :)

Katrina L. Lantz said...

You are made of awesome, Beth! Congratulations! Soak in the success like sunshine. You deserve it. I read your book in two days and thought about it when I wasn't able to read it.

I'm with Flippin' Fabulous who said you've opened up a whole new world to the YA universe. Well done!

Jessica Subject said...

The title of "New York Times Bestselling Author" is well-deserved. We wouldn't have read you book if it wasn't amazing. THANK YOU for taking us from our reality and giving us an escape to a brand new world. Can't wait to visit that world (ship) again! Congratulations!

Krispy said...

Congrats again!!! You totally deserve it, and I look forward to the next one!

Charity Bradford said...

Squeeee! *jumps up and down* Congratulations!

Sara B. Larson said...

You know how much I love your book, and I just have to say how well deservevd this is!! CONGRATS!!! <3

The Golden Eagle said...

Congratulations! You deserve it! :)

Penelope Lolohea said...

Congratulations (and very well said)! You totally deserve it!!

K. M. Walton said...

Congratulations to you, Beth! Be proud, be very proud.

Emily said...

You're Welcome.

Kelly H-Y said...

Beth, seriously, I'm so thrilled for you and was SO excited to see that you were on the NY TIMES BESTSELLER LIST that I practically had tears in my eyes!!!!! You are just so awesome ... yay, yay, yay, and a HUGE congrats to you!!! Couldn't have happened to a better person!

Jade said...

This post gave me goosebumps! You're an inspiration, Beth. Enjoy your moment.

Bethany said...

Congrats!
Thanks for writing an awesome book!

Keri Mikulski said...

Congratulations, Beth!!!!! :) :) :) Yay!!!!

Ann Finkelstein said...

This is marvelous!

.Ambur. said...

Awe that was the sweetest way to say Thank you ever! :D Congratulations Beth!!! :D

Anonymous said...

CONGRATS ! You soooo deserve that spot (:

kellye said...

what great news, beth! and a beautiful post. CONGRATS!! Can't wait to read your book.

Anonymous said...

That's amazing, Beth! Well done!

Michelle Davidson Argyle said...

SO exciting! Congrats!!!! :D

Simon C. Larter said...

So happy for you, Beth. Just...awesome! Congrats!

Ricki Schultz said...

Such amazing news! Congrats, Beth!!

Solvang Sherrie said...

SO FREAKING EXCITED FOR YOU!!! ATU rock and you totally deserve this. Congratulations!!!

Plamena Schmidt said...

Wow! Congratulations!

Sarah said...

Congratulations, Beth!!

Cat said...

Dear Beth, congratulations. I couldn't say how happy I am for you. I'm sooo looking forward to getting my copy of your book (it takes a while to be shipped ;-) ). Truth be told, when I first read which agent you got, I was tremendously jealous. But ever since you announced your book deal, I was just glad for you. Also, I worried when you gave up your job. I guess I couldn't have done that, but I'm glad it turned out this well. I sincerely hope that book 2 and 3 will be just as successful. Good luck, from Cat

storyqueen said...

No, there are two other words:

Well deserved.

<3 Shelley

Readergirl said...

You deserve that success. You've written an awesome book!! I just reviewed it on my blog. I absolutely loved it. :-) :-)

Lindsay (a.k.a Isabella) said...

Yay! Congratulations Beth. You deserve all the success. Here is to much, much more in the future!

Elizabeth Mueller said...

BETH! Congrats on hitting #7! You're such a wonderful lady to thank your readers. *HUGS*

♥.•*¨ Elizabeth ¨*•.♥

Anonymous said...

Congratulations! How thrilling and amazing it all is!

Elise said...

I love this post!!!!! Congrats!

Rebecca T. said...

One Word:

CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!!!!!!

Trisha Pearson said...

#7 on the New York Times Bestseller list???? Oh. My. God. That is amazing! And you deserve every bit of it. Congratulations!

I had a feeling it was going well when my local bookstore posted on Facebook that Across the Universe had just been released and they had it in the store. And 24 hours later when I went to buy it, THEY WERE SOLD OUT!

Anonymous said...

CONGRATULATIONS! I had been waiting for AtU for forever. I'm so happy it's a NYT bestseller. And thank you for the post. I loved it so much!!!

Tyhitia Green said...

Congratulations, Beth!!! You deserve it. ;-)

So happy for you!

Julie said...

YAY! Congrats Beth! I hope it gets to Number 1 :) Love Across the Universe!

A Backwards Story said...

Congratulations! My copy of your book is so shiny and in a place of honor on my shelf. :)

We're changing your corrugated at the BN I work at for another title on Tuesday, sadly, but to rectify that, I put a column of ATU at the Customer Service Desk with three other Teen titles I wanted to promote at the moment. Plus, our table is next to Mystery, which bleeds into Sci-Fi/Fantasy, so the adults pick it up on their way to their section. Bwahaha!