After an admirable bout of procrastination I finally have a facebook page up for my book The Exiles of the New World. Stop by, check out the page and feel free to leave some feedback. I’m sure there will be some periodic updates posted on it as the Holiday season approaches. Hope everyone has a great Holiday season!
So, just a quick update on ‘The Exiles of the New World.’ Last week, the book received a nice shout out on ‘The Afternoon Shift with Steve Edwards’ on 91.5 WBEZ(Chicago’s NPR station). Mary Dempsey (who is a family member for full disclosure) was on the show and was nice enough to plug my book (albeit a bit of a shameless plug) as part of her summer reading list recommendations. All the same, she is still too kind for mentioning it and saying nice things about it on the radio. I thank her for that.
You can listen to a stream of the broadcast on the linked story (my book is mentioned around the 28:40 mark), but I would strongly encourage people to listen to the broadcast in its entirety and check out the other recommendations. I have already added a few of them to my reading list including Solace by Belinda McKeon.
Also, I wrote a guest post over the weekend at Writer’s Party on crafting great twists in your story. Make sure to stop by their site and peruse the author interviews and events they host. They are good people. The site will be hosting a free kindle copy giveaway for my book. All you have to do is leave a comment on the post before the 10th and you could win a free kindle copy of ‘The Exiles of the New World.’ More info on the giveaway is on their contest page.
So, the signing/launch for ‘The Exiles of the New World’ was this past weekend and it went really well. Big thanks again to Jano from Iconic Publishing for coming up to facilitate the launch and to Open Books for hosting the event. The staff at Open Books are superb and I have nothing but good things to say about them and the program they run over there. The turnout for the event was great and the booing was minimal to non-existent, and that is all you can ask for with a first signing. But seriously, I am truly thankful for all that came out to make it a wonderful evening. I am lucky to have such a great group of people in my life and I cannot thank them enough.
We managed to fit a short reading, a Q & A and a signing into the evening. I’m sure my Q & A answers sounded like nonsense, but I suppose that’s what happens when you drag a writer away from their computer. But to the best of my memory, I didn’t have too many Sarah Palin moments, didn’t get in any heated arguments with audience members over the Oxford comma, and it was a lot of fun when all was said and done.
So, this week is the release week for my book, ‘The Exiles of the New World.’ I’ll be doing the book launch/signing this Friday at Open Books here in Chicago from 6:30pm-8:00pm. If you are in the city, stop by and say hello. No obligation to even come for the book. Feel free to swing by and we can talk about how the Cubs have mathematically eliminated themselves from playoff contention after only 10 games of play. Definitely a personal best for them. Either way, the book should finally be available in paperback on Barnes and Noble and Amazon now.
So, my book finally received a launch date for April 20th, with the release/signing happening here in Chicago at Open Books from 6:30pm-8pm that day. Stop by if you’re in the city and free. Despite the release date being over a month away, as part of a staggered release schedule, the kindle version is actually available now on Amazon. It will be on sale for a couple of days before reverting to its normal price. There is also a listing up for the book on Goodreads.
‘The Exiles of the New World’ has officially been deemed a January 2012 release. When I signed my publishing contract in the summer, there was some hope that it might be out in time for Christmas, but the Holidays are the death knell for productivity in the publishing industry and the book is going to end up as a January release. It would have been nice to see it this month, but I am actually looking forward to it being a 2012 release.
Why am I looking forward to the January release you ask? Are there any advantages to releasing a book in January opposed to Christmas? Sure.
Really? I think you’re lying, what are they? Uh, let us pause while I make them up.
Well, for starters, if you wrote a book in a very obscure genre and it is the first entry of the year in that very obscure genre, you are afforded the privilege, however temporary and undeserving it may be, of being the best book of the year in that niche by default. So, for a handful of days, you can occupy the title of ‘Best Weight Lifting Murder Mystery’ or ‘Best Twilight Cookbook’ of the year until some competition comes along. It’s just a shame they don’t compile too many mid-January ‘Best of the Year’ projections, but you are still entitled to bragging rights for a couple of days.
Also, it’s cold outside and people don’t want want to go outside and socialize. To the best of my knowledge people generally just drink gin/hot chocolate and watch football/read in winter, so that also puts you in good standing in an odd way. People who do venture out, may take shelter from blizzards in the book store you’re doing a signing for, therefore creating unexpected foot traffic with a lot of time on their hands and a need for companionship/food.
Are any of these reasons legitimate? No. No, they’re not.
I can’t even fabricate especially compelling reasons for a January book release, but I was born in a January blizzard in the south, so I’d be more than happy to welcome my first book into the world in the same frigid, gloomy month that people generally associate with hypothermia, frostbite and aborted New Year’s resolutions. I wouldn’t have it any other way.
So, look for ‘The Exiles of the New World’ from Iconic Publishing in January, 2012. With my book’s 300 plus page hardcover girth, you can leave it in your car and it can double as a snow shovel in case you need to dig yourself out of any particularly comprising weather situations (E-book versions may be useless in such situations).
I feel pretty bad about doing a string of recent posts about my book, but I’ve been pretty excited about what’s happened with it in the last week since signing a publishing deal for it and I promise to tone it down by next week.
I don’t have a firm release date for the book yet, but it sounds like it’s probably going to be an early 2012 release (hopefully January 2012). This seems far off, but I know working with an editor on the manuscript will only improve the story and create a better narrative.
I know some people worry about long publishing windows making their books irrelevant or outdated by the time they come out, but I believe I preemptively solved this problem by setting the story fifteen years in the future. I guess my biggest worry now is that if we have rocket cars by next year my prognostications of the future will look pretty dumb. So, barring rocket cars or personal jetpacks by next year, I think I’m in the clear.
I’ve also included this illustration that artist Sam Alcarez did for the book. It highlights the other main storyline of ‘The Exiles of the New World‘ that takes place in space. I’m not sure where in this book this illustration will end up in, but for now I’m listing it as an alternative cover, possibly an in-book illustration or at the very least a really cool looking bookmark. Forward progress!
Today, I signed a contract with Iconic Publishing that will in theory distribute my book to major retailers, small bookstores, online retailers, schools and libraries in North America, Europe, Australia and the UK. Needless to say, I’m really excited about this.
I know I haven’t talked much about my road to publication, but it’s been a strange one. I finished writing my book about two years ago and after a healthy wave of revisions, I jumped into querying agents. I was lucky enough to gain interest and a verbal commitment of sorts from an agent fairly early on in the process. The agent in question told me they weren’t signing clients at the time because they would be leaving the agency they were at, but would be interested in taking me with them to the new agency.
This relationship would eventually span about fifteen-months. Said agent never moved onto the new agency, never submitted my manuscript to any publishers and really maintained a spotty correspondence at best. The situation turned into a complete quagmire. Every time my emails would go unanswered for a month or two, I would write the agent explaining how I was going to move on and of course, then and only then would I finally receive a response and an assurance that things would turn the corner soon.
Eventually at the fifteen-month mark, I finally broke off this correspondence and ended the relationship. Certainly, some of the blame is placed on me for going along with this for so long without anything in writing or any sort of firm commitment (I was bright eyed, bushy tailed and without better prospects at the time). I could have bowed out at any time, but I stuck it with. And I don’t blame the agent either. They did provide some helpful feedback and in a way washed away any naïve notions I had with the publishing industry. I felt like it was paying my dues in a way.
But I left the situation feeling fairly defeated. I shelved the book and didn’t write or read at all for about three or four months. I knew I would return to writing at some point, but I honestly didn’t think I would ever do anything with this book again.
It wasn’t until I started reading about Kindle success stories like JA Konrath, John Locke and Amanda Hocking, that I thought about trying again. The prospect of putting out the book on a medium growing in popularity with minimum expenses involved was an enticing idea. I wasn’t expecting any sort of success, I just thought it would nice to actually put it out there and maybe get a handful of people to read it. So, I dusted off the manuscript and set about trying to get it on the Kindle along with a print-on-demand paperback run.
But before I did that, I knew that I would have to commission a book cover and pay a number of people to do some last proofing and editing passes. I knew this would require a bit of money, so I decided to put the project up on Kickstarter, a popular fund raising website, to raise the funds.
I really owe Kickstarter a lot. It was on Kickstarter that I managed to raise the funds I needed and at the same time garner interest from publishers who had seen the book on the site (an unexpected side effect of posting the project). Iconic Publishing contacted me very early on during the fund raising process and asked if they could consider the book before I put it out independently. I agreed to let them consider it as long as I could still honor my Kickstarter backers and today, I received an offer and signed a contract with them to publish my book.
It seems very odd to me that it was only when I had given up on traditional publishing and wasn’t seeking it, that it came knocking on my door. I think if anything this demonstrates the changing publishing market and the power of social media sites.
Either way, I’m really excited to work with Iconic Publishing. They’ve been nothing but prompt, open and attentive with me, which is a completely different interaction than what I had previously experienced with people in the publishing industry. I couldn’t be happier with the situation and of course, I cannot thank the people who supported me through this process enough. I hope everyone has a great Holiday weekend.
Talented artist Maciej Rebisz was kind enough to provide me with an alternate cover for my upcoming book, The Exiles of the New World. Between this new cover and the original, I’m not sure which one I am going to use. They’re both really cool and they both really echo that feeling of isolation I was looking for.
In an attempt to try to grapple with the mounting editing, proofing, illustration, publishing and marketing costs for The Exiles of the New World, I’ve put my book up on Kickstarter to try to help out with the costs.
Kickstarter is an indie fundraising site that allows people to raise money for their projects by offering rewards to donors in return. In this case, it’s also doubling as a bit of a pre-order site for my book as some of the rewards offered are copies of The Exiles of the New World. So, please stop by and check it out here. Even if you don’t donate, leave a note or just say hi. It would be greatly appreciated!