Well, it finally happened. After six years of querying, hundreds of rejections, and three different novels, I managed to convince someone I should be published.
I had a lot of interest in The Neverland Wars from a variety of small publishers on #Pit2Pub day, a Twitter event about a month ago that allowed authors to tweet their elevator pitch and know that publishers would be combing the feed for interesting projects. Nothing ever came of all those agents from the San Francisco Writers Conference, but I’m definitely glad I went and learned how to be a better author on Twitter…otherwise, I never would have even known about #Pit2Pub! The conference was incredibly beneficial. I sent emails to all the agents who were still “considering” my project (two of whom had never so much as acknowledged that my submission was received six months ago, let alone answered any of my follow up emails…so it goes in this industry.) I’ve got the contract sitting on my desk right now. It’s a lovely 12 page document, and despite my initial excitement, I slept on it a couple of nights before signing. Once I gather my bank and tax information, I’ll send that back to my publisher. My publisher. Not “a” publisher, not a “potential” publisher, mine.
I feel really solid about this. After all the years of querying agents and chasing the dream of some five-figure book advance from a Big Five Publisher, I never really stopped to consider how much a small publisher could offer me. True, I don’t get any glamorous bragging rights about my advance or get to drop an imprint that’s a house-hold name in conversation, but really I think there’s a lot to be said for finding a small publisher that wants to help you do all that you’re capable of. With the way the industry is going, so many Big Five decisions are made from a corporate standpoint, always looking for the next “big book” and not minding much about the others. I’m happy to feel that I have the whole team behind me and my book.
The publisher is Clean Teen Publishing from Texas…which makes them sound like a Christian publishing company. In reality, there’s no real content restrictions or any kind of censorship…they’re whole shtick is that they have a content-disclosure policy and a rating system that lets readers know what kind of language, concepts, or mature subject mater they might encounter in any given book. I’m all for informed readers over censored authors, so I can get behind what they’re doing. They’re offering me a fantastic royalty percentage too, so I’m very excited about the way they treat their authors. Having spent the past few days looking up their books and writers, I’m confident that they’ll give me everything I need to stand a fighting chance of making it as a novelist. They can get my paperback on shelves and in stores, and a hand up on all the marketing. Admittedly with social media, about 80% of marketing seems to fall on authors themselves, especially with smaller publishers, but I’m totally fine with that. I don’t think I could self-publish…but if I have someone on my team, an expert in my corner, someone that can do that other 20% or more…
I’m going to be an author.
The contract says it’ll all go down within a year of the effective date, so this next year is no doubt going to be one of great excitement, anticipation, and hard work. I can’t wait.