Something Awesome Happened Last Week and I Already Told Everyone, But Here We Are…


August 1, 2013 by Renee

If you don’t follow me on Twitter or Facebook, then you won’t know my good news. Right? Right. So let’s begin before the good news, right around where I was FED UP with querying agents, publishers and such.

So I’ve been writing for a long time and I’ve been querying for a long time. I have a stack of finished books and another stack of books “in progress.” The pile just kept getting bigger and I was getting nowhere with the “traditional” way of doing things. I wondered often if perhaps I’d built a giant pile of shit but was too stupid to realize it. But then I’d say, “Renee, you don’t write shit. Maybe no one wants to read it, but it’s not horrible.” So on I went.

Then I became fascinated with the hybrid publishing model. At first I was all, “Pick a side, motherfuckers. You can’t have your cake, etc.” But then I really examined what these authors were doing. Some published traditionally and then self-published backlists or new genres, while still publishing other work with a publisher. This was interesting. Then I noticed authors who’d self-published to build a reader base. They later signed with a publisher, but still self-published some titles. Some stopped self-publishing all together. (my computer just autocorrected that to “all tighter” which is weird.)

So, at the beginning of this year (2013, if you’re reading this in the distant future and I’m dead or something), I said fuck it. I’m doing it. And I published IN THE BONES myself. It’s done very well. I’d like more reviews (Hint) but sales are steady. Since I had another book pretty much ready, I said fuck it again and published THE LEGEND OF JACKSON MURPHY in June. Again, it’s steadily selling, although I won’t be hiring my houseboy just yet. (again, reviews, hint)

I was going to publish the first novel in a paranormal series I’ve been working on in November. But one night a couple of months ago, my gut said “No. Not yet.” And I was all, “What are you saying? I can’t not publish it. People like it.” To which my gut replied, “It’s good, numbnuts. At least try to query it.”

So I chose a publisher, a small press, that I’d been keeping tabs on, and they actually wanted to read LUCKY. I nearly passed out in shock. I think I did lose consciousness momentarily. Anyway, I sent the manuscript and of course I waited. And waited. And just when I was sure I was going to implode, they sent me an email. They wanted to publish LUCKY.

I did a mental dance, but then my gut said, “Whoa there, buckwheat. Wait until you see the contract.” Because I’ve been offered contracts before, and they were not at all fair or even good. So I had to decline and it was sad and we all cried. Sigh. So I waited for the contract…

And it was good. It’s not “let’s party” awesome, but it’s fair. This is a small press, so advances and whatnot are impossible. They do produce amazing covers and their authors are all very positive and all the things I’m not. So it’s okay to celebrate a little.

I signed. I mailed it. I puked. Now I’m good.

LUCKY (if that is still the title upon publication) will be published by a real, honest-to-god publisher in 2014. I am happy.

In the meantime, I’m working on editing DIRTY TRUTHS, which I will publish myself. More on that next time.




7 thoughts on “Something Awesome Happened Last Week and I Already Told Everyone, But Here We Are…

  1. Renee says:

    Until the editing begins anyway. 🙂

  2. WOOHOO!!! And all the other onomatopoeia I can’t really type out.

  3. I cannot tell you how happy I was to see this news on FB. I knew it was going to sell!

    Count on me if you want to guest post on my blog when you release. You’re always welcome.

    • Renee says:

      Thanks, Maria. I had a really persistent feeling in my gut on this one. Even as I wrote it, I knew it was different than others. Not better, but more marketable, if that makes sense. As I prepared it for final editing, it just felt wrong. That’s the only way I can explain it. I’m very excited and my fingers are crossed they’ll pick up the sequels.

  4. Congrats! I had my first book (written) published with my first query letter 20 years ago. I don’t know how that happened but I sent it to one publisher and the biggest one around at the time – McGraw-Hill. Nervy, huh? But it worked and I’m still getting royalty checks from that book. Sometimes you have to stray a bit from the norm if you want to capture an editor’s eye. And scream out confidence. It works everytime.

    • Renee says:

      Thanks, Joseph! I’m just learning about the whole “confidence” thing. But you’re right. Why should they believe in someone who doesn’t appear to believe in themselves, right?

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I like to write stuff. Sometimes it's funny. I've published some novels and short fiction. I also battle an addiction to cake and potato chips, and I sometimes have inappropriate fantasies involving Kevin Spacey.

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