I’m going to try and keep this short and sweet, like the Oscar acceptance speeches are expected to be – but like them, don’t be surprised if I drone on and on and am cut off by the music.
I have accepted an offer by a major “Big Six” publisher for The Artists Trilogy, which includes On Every Street, Sins & Needles, Shooting Scars and Bold Tricks (the tentatively titled last book). All books will be published this year in e-book format and late 2014 in mass market paperback.
*confetti gun goes off*
This is THE dream of all dreams for me. I wrote my first novel in 2009 (Darkhouse, EIT #1) and self-published it on May 13, 2011 (after a few more books were written). Since then, I have written and promoted 13 books and I NEVER ever thought this day would come. I always felt like my writing was unnoticed and underappreciated. I felt like the geeky kid who can’t sit at the cool kids table (and I still feel like this). I felt like the validation I needed, wanted, craved was always out of my hands, a dream belonging to someone else.
I felt like this for two years. But I persevered. I kept writing, kept trying to do my best. I sacrificed sleep, friends, a social life, fitting into my clothes, spending quality time with family, exercise, traveling, EVERYTHING. I invested money in it that, for the longest time, I NEVER saw come back. I felt like a lone soldier, just working her ass off, sometimes while holding down a day job and sometimes while working 10 hour days of just writing until my brain started to bleed. It’s been hard. It’s been tough. No one ever said being an indie author was easy but I never thought it would be SO hard. I never thought I would lose so much in pursuit of my dream.
But, slowly, eventually, after about a year and a half of selling 0–20 copies of my books a month, something changed. Thanks to bloggers like Maryse, The Bookish Babes and Forever Young Adult, and the hardcore fans who have been there since the start, people started to notice Dex and Perry and Experiment in Terror.
And after they noticed that, they noticed Sage and Dawn from The Devil’s Metal.
And then they noticed Ellie and Camden (and Javier) and Sins & Needles.
And publishers noticed it too.
So, finally, I feel like all my hard work is finally being recognized, finally paying off. I’ve made my friends proud of me (they can point to the books when they come out in bookstores and say, “I know that dork!”), I’ve made my parents proud of me (they can tell their friends that their daughter is “actually” published, since the older generation doesn’t really get the whole self-pubbing thing and our family overseas will be able to pick up MY BOOKS at the airports), I’ve made my fiancé proud of me (who has seen me struggle for far too long) and I’ve made ME proud of me. Because I made it – I finally did it. I got a traditional publishing deal. My books will be in bookstores everywhere in 2014. I will have the backing of a huge corporation and editors who believe in me. I am PROUD of myself and all the blood that went into it.
But…and here was the question that always nagged at me since the beginning of negotiations – would my READERS be proud of me?
You see, dear readers, I was terrified of telling you this. Because everyone knows now that books get pushed back when a publisher takes them on. And from some of the angry comments I had already received from people who hated the way Sins & Needles ended, I knew I was going to make a lot of people mad at me. They weren’t going to be happy for me. They wouldn’t be proud. They would be upset that Shooting Scars got pushed back from May and nothing else would matter.
So, I kept that thought at the forefront of negotiations. If the book was going to be delayed more than I thought necessary, I wouldn’t sign the deal.
I’ll repeat: I would rather give up my dream than majorly disappoint and anger my readers.
Thankfully, it didn’t have to be that way. The publisher understood how important it was to get Shooting Scars out there. They didn’t want to delay it for the sake of delaying it (even though it does benefit them to do so). They understood. They are awesome like that.
And so I said yes.
So here it is:
Shooting Scars is getting delayed until July 2013 (ironically, that was the original release date I picked for the book before I moved it up to May). It’s just two months. It could have been a lot worse. It was the best I can do and believe me, that was the latest I would allow it to be pushed back.
On the plus side: the book will stay around the same price of Sins & Needles (definitely indie-priced) AND the final book in the series will be published sooner than I had originally planned. I was thinking November for Bold Tricks but it appears to be bumped up to September. So yes, more waiting in the short-term but less waiting in the long-term.
Now I know some of you are angry and I’ve been waiting for the retaliation. And I understand the disappointment. I really do! I wish it could come out in May, too (though this does give me more time to work on it and make it amazing). But as another author said to me, the true fans will wait. They will understand. And they will be proud of what you’ve accomplished.
I hope you’re all just as proud as I am
PS — Come Alive, the 7th Experiment in Terror book is still coming out in June (mid-month it seems). I WILL have lots of awesomely awesome TAT (The Artists Trilogy) giveaways and swag plus lots of teasers to keep you game.
PPS I am doing a LOT of book signings this year — there’s RT in May, Maryse’s Book Bash in Orlando in June. There’s an east coast signing or two (or three) later on. Even one in the desert. Since I will soon have to pull my paperbacks of Sins & Needles and On Every Street very soon — and the paperbacks from the publisher won’t be out till next year — I advise you to buy them from Amazon now, while you can.
PPS I will let you know the name of the publisher once the ink on the contract has dried