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Saturday, July 25, 2015

I get a publishing contract!

I learned seven years ago the struggle it takes as a new author to attempt to get published. I felt, as I am sure most new authors do, that I had written something worthy, interesting and valuable. The reviews I have posted here on my webpage for Blood on His Hands show others thought similarly. It was the inability to attract an agent to help get me published that caused me to self-publish. Once I figured it was going to take longer than the three years it took to write the book to find representation I ran out of patience and self-published.

I also didn’t expect it to take seven years for me to have the next book up and ready to go. Since I am not a full-time writer, I have to cram all my writing into hours after work and on weekends. I also engaged in loads of physical research to ensure authenticity and credibility for my readers. I was unsure whether I should start the self-publishing again or begin the tedious search for an agent all over again. Luckily somethings have changed in the publishing world over the last decade.

The major change has been the emergence of cheap self-publishing through Amazon and the emergence of a plethora of indie publishers. These smaller publishing houses allow direct contact. A writer does not need an agent to be considered for publication. Research is still necessary in order to find a like-mined company that will print your book, and so I began my research while finishing up the final editing process of the novel.

Ever since Blood on His Hands has been in print I have formed a relationship with Suspense Magazine. They gave me a great review and also asked if I would be available to review novels for their online publication as they liked my style. I saw this as one way to keep my name in the public eye while working on my next project and so agreed. I reviewed, interviewed and contributed several articles over the last few years. In that process they established a publishing house, Suspense Publishing, and since my next novel is a suspense, thriller, noir police-procedural type of style it was mutually assured that when it came down to publishing I would have a home. Shannon Raab, the publisher was always helpful, helped with some editing, advised why some parts of the writing just didn’t fit with the type of reader they were trying to reach, and encouraging when I made some hard editorial changes to meet her criteria. Still, it felt off. With the help of a book doctor, the fabulous, Mary Martha Miles, I again made some stringent changes and cuts and finally discovered a path I could finish the novel with. It had become apparent to me however that my novel was a square peg trying to be forced into Suspense Magazine’s round hole. After some soul-searching we came to a mutual decision that I needed to shop my book to another indie published. I had recently reviewed a debut novel, a decent police-procedural that I gave good marks for but felt like it wasn’t as good as what I had written, so I looked into the published and discovered Moonshine Cove Publishers. With nothing to lose, and with all expectations of having to look around for another fifty or more indie publishers, (I had three others in process of submitting to as well), I sent the query letter, marketing ideas and the first ten pages. Their website said ‘wait six to eight weeks’ for a response. If they wanted to see more of the novel they would reach out at that time. A week later they asked for the rest of the book and within ten days I signed a publishing contract. What does that mean? It means I do not have to pay up front to have a company print my books. It means I have a support staff to help with the difficult questions. It also means that I have to wait until March 7, 2016 before I can release Kettle of Vultures for you to order. It’s like being in an airplane on the runway. I’m taxing ready for take- off while several others get to blast off ahead of me. It means patience and it means I can continue to work on the second book in the trilogy.

There will be several steps along the way to final publication and I will update you as they transpire. You will find out at the same time as I do what happens next, and learn with me the world of indie publishing, I am very happy to be at this point in my writing life and look forward to providing you with a story you won’t be able to put down.

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