First off, let me apologize for not announcing this sooner. But as with all good things, I didn’t want to announce anything prematurely or risk jinxing it. To put it simply, I have been approached by a publisher about my current work in progress – The Cronian Incident. And while nothing has been put in writing just yet, if all goes well, it will be part of Space Dock’s 2017 publishing catalog – which is the sci-fi subsidiary for a UK publisher.
To start at the beginning, back in October, this publisher sent me a message via Facebook. It seemed that we were part of the same writer’s group, and he had heard me going on about The Cronian Incident and all the ideas I was exploring to create it. Apparently, this is something lots of publishers do these days, which is rely on social media to look for aspiring authors.
Anyhoo, I replied to him that I would be interested, and that the manuscript (though not yet complete) was coming along nicely. Over the course of the next few weeks, we did the usual back and forth. He explained what they were looking for and asked me about my long-term plans, I told him about the overall story and how I hoped to write sequels to it.
He then asked me to send the first four chapters to see if it had promise. Here too, I learned something valuable. These days, its the first four chapters (not five, not three) that make-or-break many online sales. You see, people using Amazon are able to download these as a sample and will base their decision to buy the whole book depending on whether or not it’s grabbed their interest.
So the first notes the publisher gave me was that he liked the idea, but also stressed that the beginning needed “a hook”. There was little in the first four chapters of my original draft to introduce the overall plot, they said, and things kind of built slowly. So I revised it, added a prologue that contains the “inciting event” of the story (a kidnapping) and sent it back. This met with his approval, and he sent it on to one of his editors for a second look.
And just a few days ago, they got back to me again. Once again, I got some kudos on the story, but more concerns that things take too long to develop. However, this time around, it was more in the form of a suggestion. I took this to be a good sign, but of course I took the suggestion seriously. These people know what readers are likely to buy, so I’m not about to disregard their recommendations.
So I’m doing a second round of edits now, and working to complete the novel so its ready for the 2017 publishing season. At this point, I’m over 70,000 words into the story, and I imagine there’s about ten more chapters to go. At this rate, I can estimate that the final product will be probably be about 100,000 words (though that is likely to come down after all the editing is finished).
And like I said, nothing has been signed yet so nothing is written in stone. But so far, I’m pretty enthused about how things are going. It’s taken me over ten years to actually get to the point where a publisher was interested in my work and contacted me. In the meantime, feel free to join me in being cautiously optimistic!
13 thoughts on “Good News… of a Literary Nature!”
Dude! Congratulations! Let me know when the book comes out, so I can read it.
And if you don’t mind, would you pass my name onto the company? I’m trying the traditional route again these days as well.
Well… I don’t know about… yeah, sure! 🙂
Matt, you are the best. Hope you have a great 2017, if I don’t hear from you before then. 🙂
And you too. Any plans for the holidays?
Go up to Michigan to see some relatives for a couple days, come home Christmas Day. My dad and sisters will go off to Colombia for the rest of their winter vacations, but since I haven’t saved up enough vacation days (and have frankly no desire to lay on the beach to get sunburned to death), I’ll just watch the Doctor Who Christmas Special and hang around Columbus. New Year’s, I’ll catch the Ohio State-Clemson game, and then sleep.
Congratulations Matt! That’s wonderful and exciting news.
This calls for a brand new cheerleader outfit. I’m thinking purple with some sparkles.
I knew you would know exactly how to cheer me on! This also calls for a special mention of one super lady in the dedications! 🙂
Oh my goodness. You don’t need to do that. I’m just a cheerleader. 🙂
Too late! You’re in the dedications (and have been for some time 🙂 )
Smarty pants. (And thank you xoxo)
I got good news, btw. Thought I’d let my head cheerleader know 🙂
Good news? More good news? Tell me. Better yet, email me. I’m not on wordpress that much and miss a lot of stuff. casey(dot)all4aces(at)yahoo(dot)com