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by Annie Bailey

This is me on June 24, 2019, in the Tetons, mountain biking with my husband. Afterwards, we had lunch at a charming café situated next to the runway of the town’s small airport where we could watch the propeller planes land and take off.

It was a perfect day, and our ride on the mountain trails had given me a lot of time to think. On the drive home, I turned to my husband and said something I never thought I’d say.

“It’s okay if I never get published.”

I’d been pouring my heart into my writing for years—starting just after my first son was born in 2003. In 2016, I signed with my agent. Since then, we’d worked together for THREE YEARS and hadn’t sold a thing. Two weeks before that day in the mountains, my agent and I had a very honest conversation about how things were going. We were both frustrated. But at the end of the discussion, I told her, “If you’re still all in, I am too.” And we both were.

But as I told my husband on the car ride home, it was time to let go of things I couldn’t control. Getting published was one of those things. I could write a story to the best of my ability, but I couldn’t control if an editor would want to publish it. I couldn’t control the state of the economy and how it influenced acquisitions, or the political climate, or if an editor had too much of this or that on her list. I would still write, of course. But I was no longer going to put pressure on myself to achieve results that I had no say in. I felt a lot of relief and peace when I came to that conclusion.

We had only been home a short while when my phone rang.

“You have an offer,” my agent said. For not just one book, but two. A series.

I’m so pleased to share the cover of my very first book in that series, an idea from my 2013 PiBoIdMo (now Storystorm) list.

10 LITTLE TRACTORS releases November 2nd, 2021 from Doubleday Books for Young Readers and is now available for pre-order.

The second title, 10 LITTLE EXCAVATORS, releases February 2nd, 2022.

Boy has it been a crazy year. But I’m still all in, doing my best to focus on what I can control in my writing journey. I hope you are still all in, too.

Thanks for sharing your success story, Annie! What incredible timing!

Blog readers, you can win a copy of 10 LITTLE TRACTORS, which you’ll receive after publication in November.

Comment once to enter. A random winner will be selected soon!

Good luck!

Annie Bailey is a children’s author, songwriter, and mom to four boys. She loves laughing, reading, playing the piano, soccer, biking and baking. Doubleday Books for Young Readers will release Annie’s first board books, 10 LITTLE TRACTORS and 10 LITTLE EXCAVATORS, in Fall 2021 and Spring 2022. Abrams Appleseed will release her first picture book, MUD!, in Spring 2022. She has also released a children’s album titled THERE IS JOY. Annie served on the 2015 and 2016 Best in Rhyme Award committee and currently enjoys serving as the Regional Advisor for the SCBWI Utah/Southern Idaho region. Annie lives in rural Idaho in a renovated farmhouse complete with her very own train car. (Which, of course, has time traveling capabilities.) Visit Annie at or on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram @byanniebailey.

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