Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Artwork Schmartwork

Well, I knew I'd hit a snag sooner or later. Things can't go perfectly all the time, can they? It looks like I'll have to use the in-house artwork after all. The publisher needs the finished piece by the end of September and wants to retain copyright on the finished art, and it doesn't make sense from the artist's standpoint to take a measely few hundred bucks to do a painting he/she cannot sell prints of or otherwise display for his/her own promotion purposes. An artist willing to relinquish copyright is going to want a heckuvalot more money for it than what I can afford.

I can't say I'm not disappointed. The artist I'd chosen is very talented. Take a look at her online gallery at and I'm sure you'll agree. Maybe my next book.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Signed, sealed and on its way

Agent Jeff hammered out the details on a couple minor issues on the publication contract with my publisher, and we received the updated contract. Last night, I signed a copy for ArcheBooks and a copy for Jeff, and dropped them in today's mail. Woot!

Next step: find an artist for my cover work. I have someone in mind, so it's now just a matter of convincing her to do it :o). True, the publisher is normally responsible for this, but I'm being anal about it, and ArcheBooks has agreed to give serious consideration to any artwork I submit.

And... guess what! My Writer's Digest School instructor, mystery novelist Carol Davis Luce, has graciously agreed to write a cover blurb for my book! Yipeeeee! I'm absolutely thrilled about that.

Everything is coming together so well, I'm almost afraid to write blog updates. Knock on wood...

Friday, August 26, 2005

It's Over

My search, that is. After querying a few agents, the one at the top of my list wrote back and set up a date & time we could talk by phone. We exchanged information (rather, I gave him info about my situation -- I'd already done my homework and knew enough about him to know I'd love to have him on my team), and he offered to represent me! Yay! I now have an agent.

Next step: Jeff will review the publishing contract and make sure it's fair and equitable to both parties. It's a well-established fact that (in general) publishing contracts are written to benefit the publisher. He'll let me know what changes he'd like to suggest, and with my thumbs up, he'll contact the publisher directly.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

The search for an agent continues

Now I really need an agent! Having never had one before, I only know from my reading what they do for writers, but one of the most important things, apparently, is to help with the publishing contract. There may be a few things the author would like to have happen (or not happen) which the agent can help negotiate. But without an agent to tell me what those things are, how would I know?

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Breathe. In, out, steady now...

Now that I've caught my breath, I can start thinking about my next steps. The publisher, ArcheBooks Publishing Co., has emailed me a PDF version of my contract. I've skimmed it (to find out the scoop on royalty payments!), but haven't thoroughly read it yet.

At this point, probably the best move I can make is to get an agent. Of the ones who haven't rejected me on the basis of my query letter, I'll write (again) to ask for representation on the basis of an offered contract. Granted, the agent won't have to shop the novel around, but I suspect that's one of the funnest parts of their job -- getting that Yes from a publisher. Still, I'd like to have someone in-the-know sitting in my court, whispering advice into my ear on all the mysterious details of getting a book to press.

It's all so overwhelming. I can't describe the incredible feeling of elation and stark terror I'm feeling. Elation because, gosh -- my book is going to be published by a real publisher (in hardcover, no less)! Those three years of work are paying off. Terror because the first novel is so important to the future of my writing career. (If this one bombs, it's not likely another publisher will give me the time of day when I'm done with the next book.)

Stay tuned as I continue to share my experiences and adventures in publishing. Oh, and you'd better believe I have more novels in progress.

It happened!

The contest winners were announced this morning, and my novel was one of the three winners!


I'm still on cloud nine, unable to fully grasp that I'm not dreaming. More later. I just can't sit still long enough to type out what's going to happen next.