Well, it’s official. The contract is signed. After nearly three years of writing and four completed novels, I finally have a book deal.
Surprisingly, it’s for the first novel I wrote. FLAMEWALKER is a coming-of-age character-driven feminist fantasy. I’d shopped it around to a bunch of agents and got some requests (and subsequent helpful rejections), but ultimately had shelved it in favor of newer works.
But when Word Branch Publishing opened to queries in January, I took a chance. OK, full disclosure: three members of my writing group Cincinnati Fiction Writers have been published by Word Branch. They’re the publisher of anthologies containing two of my short stories. So I wasn’t a complete unknown. Catherine the owner already knew who I was and had an idea of how I write.
I’m not ashamed of that. In publishing as in every business, it’s often who you know. And if I got a leg up by having published writer friends, I’ll take it. She still had to like my book.
And she did.
And she’s going to publish it.
Word Branch is a feisty little indie out of North Carolina. They’ll handle everything from here: editing, formatting, cover design, copyright, and as much marketing support as any publisher offers these days. What sets Word Branch apart from all the other indies is that they have an on-staff artist who hand paints a cover for each book they publish. No stock images, no crappy half-assed graphic design. Word Branch books stand out on the shelves because Julian creates something original for each one. I can’t wait to see it. You can check them out at www.wordbranch.com
I have no idea how long all this takes. Months, at least.
But soon there will be a novel. You’ll be able to buy it as e-book or paperback. I’ll be able to call myself a Published Author and not have to add “of a couple of short stories.” Just Published Author.