If at first you don’t succeed…

Today is a very important anniversary for me, because three years ago today I signed my first publishing contract.

Content warning for really quite un-British gushing, and something that ended up sounding like an Oscar speech πŸ˜‰ There is a giveaway at the bottom to make up for it.


Let me tell you how I got started with writing as a career, and why today is a day I will always celebrate.

I took the plunge into writing original fiction during Nanowrimo 2012, and drafted The Little Things in a hyperfocused blur. When it was finished, I submitted it to Samhain and wrote Nothing Serious while I was waiting to hear back from them. I subsequently submitted Nothing Serious to Carina UK (while still waiting to hear from Samhain).

In the middle of March 2013 I got rejections for both books in the space of a week.

As you can imagine, at that point I was feeling pretty awful. But figuring I had nothing to lose, other than what was left of my pride, I submitted both titles to Dreamspinner Press. Incidentally, the only reason I hadn’t subbed to DSP as a first choice was because of their insistence on using US spelling conventions, which felt all wrong for my very British stories.

March/April 2013 was a very low point for me. I was depressed and directionless. My inner critic was shouting loud and clear, drowning out my creativity entirely. I shelved the project I’d started (which later became The Law of Attraction) deciding that it was crap, I was crap and I should probably give up trying to be an author.

But then on the 12th of May, 2013. I woke to an email from Elizabeth North with the subject line:
Contract Offer: The Little Things
Of course, I accepted it. And at that point, everything changed. Excited, validated, I started to believe in myself again. I was still riding that high, when I got the contract offer for Nothing Serious a week later. Around about that time I started writing Not Just Friends.

I wish I could say that everything’s been peachy since then, but of course it hasn’t all been plain sailing. Publishing, like life, has its ups and downs. The highs are wonderful and the lows suck sweaty donkey balls. But I’m still here, I’m still doing it (now full-time), I’ve made some amazing friends along the way, and I wouldn’t trade this job for anything. So….

<3 Thank you, Dreamspinner Press, for taking a chance on a new author. I will be forever grateful to you.

<3 Thank you, readers, for taking a chance on my stories. For buying my books, for reading my books, for caring about my words, for connecting with me online and making me smile every day.

<3 Thank you, author friends and colleagues for welcoming me to the genre, and for your endless support and awesome banter.

<3 Thank you, bloggers and reviewers for the way you help to promote books and support authors like me in chasing our dreams.


Please comment below to be entered in a draw to win an ebook of your choice from my backlist (including my recent release Imperfect Harmony).

Giveaway ends at midnight on Thursday 19th of May


About Jay Northcote

Author of LGBT romance. Trans (he/him), Parent, cat herder, professional procrastinator.
This entry was posted in giveaway, my stories, publishing and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

43 Responses to If at first you don’t succeed…

  1. susana says:

    Congratulations Jay! It does seem like a life changing turning point. I’m so glad you were offered a publishing contract, and so we readers can have your chaming stories. We all won!!! πŸ˜‰

  2. Thank you for sharing your experience, Writing is something that I dream of doing,

  3. Sarah says:

    That’s so cool, hooray DS press. πŸ™‚

  4. Jen Reilley says:

    Congrats. Love reading your books

  5. aochika says:

    I’m so proud of you for taking that extra step and not giving up. I’m still trying ti decide whether to self pup or to submit to a press.
    Your books are amazing by the way!

  6. Karen M says:

    Feliz aniversario escritora… Thank you for sharing your stories with us, even when is hard to do it. πŸ™‚

  7. Amy Casey says:

    Congratulations Jay!! I can’t imagine anyone turning down those two stories!!! DS really know great stories when they read them!! You are an amazing writer!! Thank you for sharing all the men in your head with us, we are very grateful for your stories! Thanks for the giveaway and thanks for sharing your personal story!

  8. lennanadams says:

    Yay! I love when Brits *gush*, lol. I am so thrilled for you, and love this story soooo much. You are a huge inspiration to me (I say in my very gushy American way!). I’m so glad you didn’t give up.

  9. oorjanie says:

    Congrats Jay. That was interesting to read about all thats happened. Thanks for chance.

  10. Sarah says:

    Congratulations! I am relatively new to m/m romance, but you have become one of my favorite authors and LIKE A LOVER is one of my favorite books. I love the British flavor!

  11. Jennie LovesBooks says:

    Congratulations!!! I love your books & look forward to more. πŸ™‚

  12. Congratulations Jay! I think it’s great that you shared your experience with us. Hooray for DSP I knew there was a reason I bought so many of their book *smiles*.

  13. Reblogged this on Crazy Book Fanatic.

  14. Erin Lazzarini says:

    Congrats Jay!

  15. Eric says:

    Congratulations Jay!!! (And thank you DSP!!!) I have loved every one of your books and can’t wait for the next one to come out. And tell DSP to leave you alone about the British spelling conventions. I like the extra “u” in certain words and the British word choices and phrasing. As we all know, British works of literature have more “class” and this is what adds to it! πŸ˜‰

  16. Dale Lowry says:

    Congratulations, Jay! (And it wasn’t too Oscar-y.) πŸ™‚

  17. Jen CW says:

    Congratulations! I am so glad that you are writing and published; I love your stories! Thank you for sharing how it all happened forhappened for you.

  18. Ann B says:

    So glad you kept shopping your books around! (And I love Dreamspinner!)

  19. Congratulations. See – you should never give up your dreams.

  20. Angel says:

    Congrats on three years. I am so happy DS got you because I love your books and it would be a shame that you did not get the chance to share you stories.

  21. Susan Horn says:

    Happy Publishiversary!!! <3

  22. cheekyminx78 says:

    Congratulations you are an amazing writer I love your books xx keep writing and I’ll keep reading

  23. Shirley Ann Speakman says:

    Congratulations on your 3rd publishing Anniversary Jay and it’s great that Dreamspinner Press published your first book.

  24. Jessica kennedy says:

    Congrats on all your success lovey! I adore your workβ™‘

  25. k13 says:

    Congratulations, Jay! You are an amazing writer. Happy anniversary! Thank you for the giveaway. <3

  26. emareads says:

    Congratulations! Love your stories β™‘

  27. teecee says:

    You are a successful author and we are grateful to read your work. Thanks for the giveaway. :*

  28. Carra says:

    Congratulations on the contract signing anniversary! I for one am very glad it all worked out for you πŸ™‚

  29. Rosa Issa says:

    I am a new fan and love your style of writing. Passing Through helped me with the residual grief after my mother’s death. Thank you and I can’t wait to read all of your work.

    • Thank you Rosa, I’m so sorry for your loss but I’m glad my story helped you a little. I wrote Passing Through for my dad, the process of writing it was very cathartic for me. Much love to you, and thanks for reading!

  30. Enrique Cruz says:

    What an uplifting story. So glad you were published and continue to write.

  31. Great story Jay! I feel your pain… Glad you got that first YES!, as it’s led to some fab books I’ve really enjoyed.

  32. Amra Miokovic says:

    Every beginning is hard, and I’m glad you got the contract, because I love your books!

  33. Donna Fisk says:

    I’m so glad you stuck with it!

  34. waxapplelover says:

    Congrats! You’ve worked hard and it shows. Good luck with everything in the future.

  35. Babybarlow says:

    Ty so much for being so wonderful to all your readers and to write those cool stories that make me sigh. Ty for the chance and Happy anniversary from Spain!

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