In the course of polishing up my NaNo novel and passing it around for critiques, I got a surprise.
Somebody wants to publish it.
After I picked my jaw up off the floor, I did a little research, asked a few questions, got the right answers, and accepted.
Now, I don’t want to give anybody the wrong idea here…this is not the “standard rich and famous contract,” nor is it a vanity press, self-publishing, or an author mill. It’s a small publisher, recent start-up, serving a niche market (Christian speculative fiction), with genuine editorial control and review, paying a small advance plus royalties. Distribution will be via a variety of channels, including Amazon.com, and format will be both print and e-book.
There are risks. New start-ups fold more often than they succeed, so there’s a very real chance this may not come to fruition. It’s not like I’m putting my reputation or my family’s livelihood on the line, though. I don’t have a reputation yet, and I have a solid day job. My investment is my story and the time and effort that will be required to publicize and promote it. About the only thing I stand to lose is some opportunity cost–time I could be spending writing more short stories that may or may not be published, and time I could be using to shop the novel around to agents and mainstream publishers, on the off chance that I’ve captured lightning in a bottle and am the next Stephanie Meyer or Christopher Paolini. Not likely.
I’ve got confidence in this story. It’s a good story, but I don’t think the odds of it having that kind of mass appeal are so great that I can turn my nose up at a a simple, straightforward opportunity like this. I’m not getting any younger, and as late as I’ve come to this game, I don’t have the luxury of holding out for a better offer that may never come. It’s also exciting being on the ground floor of a new venture. Everyone has to start somewhere, and in the current economic environment, it’s entrepreneurs with bright ideas and courage, leveraging technological advantages, who are going to prosper. Worst case, I’ve had some fun and a good learning experience, and I move on.
More details to come. Expect to see some banners and buttons popping up on the site advertising the forthcoming novel and its publisher, Splashdown Books. The storefront is still rudimentary, but it won’t stay that way for long. If you’d like to watch the evolution of a new internet-based publisher from the beginning, and find some cool stories you won’t find anywhere else, keep an eye on it.