Originally Published: December 2014
A week from today, my first book comes out for the second time.
Let me explain. Last year I wrote and self published a book called Party Girl based on the years I spent as a celebrity wedding planner. If you follow my posts here on the site or follow my author page on Facebook, then you might know the story of how I wrote the book and then every single publisher in New York said they weren’t interested. At the time I was devastated because being a published author was a lifelong dream and now it wasn’t going to happen. After the last publisher declined I sat down in my bathroom floor and bawled like a baby, then I stood up walked right to my computer and googled “how to self publish a book”. In February of 2014 I published Party Girl and the first weekend 78 copies were sold… so basically my family members and a bunch of loyal Chic readers did me a solid and paid the $5 to read my work. I watched the sales chart obsessively for a week and then I realized it was only making me crazy and there weren’t that many sells so it was better not to focus on it. At the end of the month I checked again… I’d sold 301 books. My heart leapt in my chest and I was so excited I thought I might puke… total strangers were buying my book!! The next month went by and then another and every single month the book sells would double. I had no idea (and still don’t know) how people heard about my work but the sales kept climbing and the reviews were great and I was ecstatic. All I ever cared about was that people might read and enjoy a book I wrote and I was getting to watch that happen in real time, it was literally a dream come true.
Then in May I got an email from an editor who’d discovered my book and wanted to know if I had interest in selling it. As long as I live I’ll never forget getting that email. I read it so fast my brain couldn’t keep up with my eyes. Then I read it again and again to make sure I wasn’t hallucinating. Some people might have seen that email as opportunity or the chance to make a lot of money, I saw that email as one thing, validation. Every publisher in New York told me that my book wouldn’t sell. It was chick lit they said, and nobody reads chick lit anymore. It was too clean they said, in the aftermath of Fifty Shades of Gray any book with a love story needed a whole truckload of sexy to go along with it. The main character was too good they said, sure she struggles in life but nobody likes to read about someone so bright eyed and optimistic. So when I got the email from a publisher saying they’d like to buy Party Girl, heck yes I was validated! Someone wanted to buy my unsellable book based on how well it was SELLING!
So here we are, ten months later and about to release my book for the second time. The new version has an updated cover and a proper copy edit but the story is still the same. A small town girl moves to Los Angeles to follow her dreams and wont take no for an answer no matter how hard it is or what stands in her way. I told you the story is based on my own life, and its a narrative that keeps playing out over and over. Because here’s the truth, if I’m an expert on anything in life it’s being told no. No, you can’t run a business you’re too young. No, you can’t go after that client you don’t have enough experience. No, you can’t write a book nobody will buy it. Here’s the great thing about dreams though, nobody is allowed to tell you how big yours can be. If I had listened when people told me no over the years I wouldn’t have a company, this website or even my marriage (more on that in another post ;). If I had listened when publishers told me no, my book would still be sitting on my computer.
But it’s not sitting on my computer. It comes out next week and is totally sweet and funny and romantic… but more than that, it’s a story about following your dreams. I hope you’ll consider it for your next book purchase but even if you don’t, please let this story serve as a reminder, NO is only an obstacle if you let it be. ~Rachel
Pre-Order Your Copy of Party Girl HERE