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.