Look For 'The Exiles Of The New World' In January

‘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).

'The Exiles Of The New World' Picked Up By Iconic Publishing

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.