Weekend Roadside Cafe

The road to publication can be exhausting sometimes. Here’s a Roadside Cafe serving all things writing/publishing to relieve you: information sodas, entertainment burgers, amusement chips… we’ve got it. It’s alright to take a break; check out the menu!

Today’s Roadside Cafe will be slightly different as we’ll be sharing links to the publication journeys of some of the biggest names in the book world these days. Lucia has a love for following these journeys because they constantly inspire her to keep going on her own path. Hopefully they inspire you too!


Leigh Bardugo: You probably didn’t know that Leigh went from querying to book auction to three book deal in only 37 days! This is a fascinating recount you should read!

Sarah J Maas: Sarah’s publication journey was much longer, going from querying to one book deal in 2 years. There was also a ton of work involved that’s highly motivating! The huge difference between Sarah and Leigh’s (two mega-successful authors) start-up journeys is fascinating. You might find it so too!

Stephanie Garber: Stephanie’s story is pretty emotional and highly inspiring. From getting rejected by agents for years with over 5 manuscripts written, having an agent drop her after her second book didn’t sell to editors, to having her 6th book get 8 offers of representation, and going to auction shortly after submissions!

Chloe Gong: Chloe’s journey to publication shows that not every publication journey is going to be rough. She went from querying to book deal within a year, with multiple offers of rep and a book auction. For some like Chloe and Leigh, the path is really smooth. So the publication journey is not all heartache and dread!

Kristin Cashore: Introverts especially will love Kristin’s story. There’s so much to take home from this!


A great resource to find more of these stories and hear inspiring publication journeys from these author’s themselves is 88 Cups Of Tea. (Another favorite of Lucia’s!). If you do give it a listen she’s totally available to gush over the author’s podcasts with you!

She recommends:

Tweet Chips 🍟:

Writing Community Tweets we think might interest you!

Agents Open To Queries & Their Wishlist:

Relatable/Funny Writer Tweets

Informative Tweet


Got any awesome writerly links to share with us? Any Twitter thread you think everyone should see? Leave in the comments and we’ll add it next time!

Published by path2pub

From The Trenches To The Shelves

24 thoughts on “Weekend Roadside Cafe

  1. Ooh this is very intriguing and perfect for a Saturday because I have enough time to check out all the links. Can’t wait to delve in!

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  2. Some of these publication journeys are so old, howww did you fish them out?? Wow. It’s AMAZING to see. Somehow I never thought these big authors also had trying journeys of their own but they’re so, well, big. I’m definitely fascinated by the gap in Sarah and Leigh’s journeys, and yet both still made it big time.

    I’ll be listening to the podcasts through the week, I’m definitely curious about these author’s stories! This roadside Cafe is packed. Thanks Lucia for sharing it! It’s full of motivation 🙂

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    1. I ran into SJM’s first some months ago, and it was then it occurred to me that many of these big authors *should* have publication journeys online. So I sometimes searched for/bumped into more of them. I found them so inspiring that I knew I HAD to bring them back.

      I hope you enjoy the podcasts! Thanks!

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  3. I’ll check out the other author’s link later—this is definitely information enough to occupy my weekend—but I just had to click on Stephanie’s link after reading that blurb. Oh my 🥺 it’s hella inspiring and I can’t wait to listen to her podcast.

    Over 200 rejections? When she said querying was the hardest part of getting published, I relate 100% lol. And the fact that after all those years it sold fast with 8 publishers bidding at auction is wonderful.

    Thank you for taking the time to put this together and share it. I can’t wait to dive into the rest of the cafe, both podcasts and Tweet Chips (that’s so cute). I love Path2pub and will be telling all my friends about it. 🙂

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  4. It’s always great to know what inspires other writers when the journey gets tough and seeing that you get yours from other author’s publication journeys is nice. 🙂 I look forward to checking all of it out, though I’ve already snuck a peek at Chloe Gong and am eager to read the whole thing

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  5. I’ve been cackling over these tweets. The kid pranking his mum like that is so cruel, and the one where the agent asked the writer to work on those things she’d already worked on 😂 It’s sad… but also pretty funny. Loving this segment of Roadside Cafe, especially since somehow I’ve never come across these tweets myself 👍

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  6. Oh thank you for listing out agents open to queries. That’s very helpful, as well as every link in the informative tweet. I don’t know just how in heck you gathered all these numerous details in one place but it’s awesome. And I feel like I’m being pampered, haha. Thanks for all the efforts you ladies put into this site!

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  7. Awesome links all around! Love it.
    Here’s a Twitter link of a thread with photos of writing desks/areas:

    I think it might be inspiring to see where writers work!

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  8. I second Nino that Roadside Cafe is *packed*, and with good stuff! I had no idea about these authors publication journeys. I’ve been going through all of them save the last and they’re all inspiring. It’s eye-opening to learn of the challenges SJM went through with Throne of Glass, but it also just shows her determination which is very inspiring. Stephanie Garber’s too. But it’s also nice to see Chloe Gong and Leigh’s stories that show that the publication dream can be achieved without too much hassle, if you get what I mean.

    I’m not a fan of podcasts, but I’ll definitely be listening to all of those recommended. Good job with this!

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    1. Yeah, I *totally* understand what you mean! That’s the good thing about people sharing their experiences; it provides so many different journeys that someone/anyone out there can relate to. And I thought it great to combine these journeys for this purpose 🙂

      You’ll love the podcast—it’s the only one I listen to. The host is just awesome!

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  9. Hi! I clicked on the Valentine’s Day Special link and it said the page didn’t exist—I’m curious about Path2pub Valentine 😄
    How generous of you to include the info on getting a 55% response rate from agents, it’s very helpful and that writer is very meticulous. I’ve definitely realized a thing or two from it.

    I think of all the publication journeys here, I enjoyed Chloe Gong’s, because she had the space to learn things from experience but also didn’t have to struggle too hard to get a book deal. That’s the kind of journey I hope for for myself. I feel like if I had Leigh’s I might grow a big head and not appreciate the process. And I definitely don’t know if I have the mettle for Stephanie’s!

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    1. Ooh, the Valentine’s Day post will go live on Valentine’s Day; We’re still working on it! Yes, Chloe’s journey was ideal in that sense.

      I agree I also am better off not having a super-quick journey as Leigh did, because a longer process is helping me learn so much and meet more, awesome people😊 Love your POV

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  10. Love that thread to Ask Agent Anything 🖤🖤 It’s filled with so much nuggets. I hope agents make more thread like these

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  11. I saw this on Twitter and had to come see… Someone declined an offer of representation????? It’s so wild in these streets! I wish she’d left a clear reason

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