Starbucks has chosen Erin Morgenstern‘s The Night Circus as its first digital book Pick of the Week. The debut novel began as a National Novel Writing Month manuscript and endured 30 rejections from literary agents.
Last summer, The Wall Street Journal explored Morgenstern’s “high-six-figure advance” and her potential as a successor to J.K. Rowling in an article, but we uncovered some practical advice for aspiring authors.
Here’s more from the WSJ: “In 2005, [Morgenstern] crashed out a manuscript during National Novel Writing Month … Very little from that early draft survived, but she had an idea that excited her. She worked in bursts over the next several years, writing a sprawling, plotless series of vignettes featuring magicians, acrobats, and a pair of psychic twins. Thirty literary agents rejected her.”
Writers can learn two important lessons from this story. Your National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) manuscript is only a first draft and needs months or years of editing before publication. Most importantly, don’t give up–keep trying to find an agent who loves your kind of story.
To prepare for the novel writing marathon in November, check out our 30 NaNoWriMo tips for writers feature from last year.
Correction: An earlier version of this post erroneously identified the book as Starbuck’s first digital pick.