What an exciting day I had yesterday, finally sitting down face to face (well, skype to skype) with the three executive officers who run Clean Teen Publishing and are going to be putting my book into print and into stores!
I had a really great time with the three of them, and they inspired a lot of confidence in me. I was a little bit nervous because they produce so much teen romance that they might try to edit or market The Neverland Wars into a book that fits the specific genre that their other authors are writing to, but they were excited to here that I definitely want to make sure this novel is accessible to a male audience too.
We talked about using initials or a penname (hahaha, been there) but ultimately it is so easy and obvious to see who’s who and what their gender is on social media, it hardly seems like it would make a difference at the end of the day. I’m sure there are some boys/guys/men who will be turned off (consciously or subconsciously) by a book written by a woman, but even if I used my initials, I bet these same people would be turned off by the fact that the protagonist is a girl. I think I’ll take a stand and be me…I feel like that “J.K. Rowling” proved that women can write books boys like. Now, if only I was a fraction as good as J.K. Rowling…
They’ve sent my book off to the editor (the publisher’s head editor, no less! I think that’s mostly luck that she had an opening in her schedule at the moment my book cropped up) and now I’m working with the cover art designer to figure out how we’re going to package this book. I’m being given a HUGE voice and everyone is really excited to help me manifest my vision for this book. The creative freedom I get here is not something I would be able to experience at a Big Five publisher, so there are definitely some perks to signing with a midlist publisher.
They told me a bit about the marketing plan which is all, of course, under wraps (I know TRADE SECRETS. I feel important) but suffice to say, I’m excited about the energy and money they’re getting ready to commit to my book, and their plan for how to best utilize those resources. Ultimately, I know they get their authors books to sell, so I’m basically just leaning back and letting them do their thing. And by leaning back, I mean furiously developing a plan for a social media marketing campaign to maximize my impact as an author on Twitter and what have you.
I’m very optimistic about this…and so are they! They want me to start working on the sequel already! I’ve been outlining and brainstorming that, but I think that if I wait until NaNoWriMo I’ll be able to whirlwind it out with a lot more energy and half the time. It’s neat to be this valued though, and be given this sort of opportunity after all of my hard work 🙂