Author Update: Well How Did that Happen?

The tweetFeaturing the Tweet that got me Published 

So it’s official. My project Seven-Sided Spy has been picked up by NineStar Press and is set to release January 22, 2018. While you can expect a lot of updates from me on edits, cover art, and blog tours, one thing I’ve been getting asked a lot since the news broke is How? I like to imagine (read: tell myself at night) this question is asked because people are interested in publishing themselves and not because of the shock and awe.

I figured it’s time to tell my story and answer any questions. How did Seven-Sided Spy go from concept to print? First things first, I wrote, a lot. I didn’t write Seven-Sided Spy once nor twice, nor three times. I wrote and rewrote Seven-Sided Spy a total of six times before sending it out for publication. This took me a total of three years, with one year off in the middle due to a health crisis.

What do I mean when I say send it out for publication? I mean I solicited upwards of twenty agents with a query letter. I got a few bites, but nothing that really had any follow through. It was a lot of CNR and rejections, like, a lot of rejections. I got so discouraged at one point, I pulled the project, convinced that it needed yet another draft before it was publication ready.

However, before I could pull the manuscript apart and rewrite, I went to a little event called C2E2. At C2E2, there were a number of book publishers doing pitch events. A pitch event allows an author to pitch their idea to an agent and/or press for potential publication in person rather than via email. I didn’t expect much, but one small press took an interest in my project and requested the first three chapters (!!!). From there, they requested the full manuscript (!!) which is basically bonkers to think about.

With my confidence reinstated, I went back to the querying grind, more agents, more rejections, so it goes. But, this time I took part in a twitter pitch event called #PitDark. It was an all day event on twitter where you pitched your “dark” project in under 140 characters, and if an agent or press liked your tweet you were supposed to submit it. (Fun fact: these events are happening all the time for all the different genres! It’s worth checking out) I posted three pitches in total for Seven-Sided Spy two of which got no likes at all, but one got four. (The feature image of this article) It was a comparison title tweet, so I was worried I was perhaps building myself up too much. I’m good, but am I Jenji Kohan good?

Nevertheless, I submitted to a small, LGBTQ+ specific press called NineStar Press. And they loved it. Within a month, I had a contract and an editor. Now, we’re hard at work getting Seven-Sided Spy cleaned up and ready for release.  You can find it online and in stores this January. I’ll be posting lots of updates between then and now, so keep your eyes peeled.

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