By Gum, it’s been a while since we had one of these, isn’t it? The good folks at WWJ have been running their creative writing workshops over the summer, so they asked me to hold off doing any more Long Road stuff until they’d finished. And I did. So what’s been happening since last time? Well, quite a lot actually…
Let’s rewind a bit. Back in April I was getting nowhere, with lots of letters out to agents and publishers and lots of ‘no thanks’ in reply. I was, to be honest, getting close to chucking the whole thing in. I’d also gone through the process of trying to work out if my entire submission was wrong, and had asked the WWJ Clinic to dissect my cover letter and synopsis. I got some great feedback from the Clinic (as discussed in LRTP part 5 in May.) I started looking at re-writing the cover letter and synopsis, based on this feedback.
Then, out of the blue, I had three replies which weren’t ‘no thanks’. An agent and two independent publishers all said they’d enjoyed my submission and asked me to send the full manuscript. Next thing you know, I’m in discussions about who to sign up with. In other words: I GOT A PUBLISHING DEAL!!!!!
|Congrats to Andy from the team at WWJ!|
To be more precise, I signed a two-book contract with Canelo Digital Publishing (https://www.canelo.co/), for Breaking the Lore and the currently-in-progress sequel. I think the word I’m looking for (still) is “gobsmacked”. Breaking the Lore will be available in Spring 2019 and book 2 will follow in the Summer.
You might remember from previous posts that I’ve talked about the need for a pseudonym, since ‘Andy Smith’ is not exactly a memorable name. Consequently, both books (and maybe more?) will come out under the name of ‘Andy Redsmith.’ (A redsmith is someone who works with copper, and I’m a Smith working with A copper – geddit?) You can find Andy Redsmith on Facebook, AndyRedsmith (no space) on Twitter and “his” website http://www.andyredsmith.com/. On all of them there’s a photo of me, but they’re not bad apart from that.
So what does all this mean in regards to what I’m writing here? Two things.
First: I’ve spoken in previous posts about how I thought my submission was OK, provided it got to people who were interested in the sort of thing I was writing, but I thought I’d missed my chance with all of them. Turns out I hadn’t. Perseverance paid off. So everyone: don’t give up. Keep going.
Second: the three replies who showed an interest all came before I’d had chance to rewrite my cover letter and synopsis, i.e. before I had chance to include the suggestions from the WWJ Clinic. The advice from the Clinic was very good and would doubtless have given me a better shot if I had to carry on submitting, but I didn’t need to use it. That, basically, is luck. BUT make sure your submission is as good as possible, so that when your lucky break comes around you are in the best possible position to make use of it.
If the WWJ folks will let me, I’ll keep posting things on here to keep you updated on release dates etc. The long road to publication has turned out to be a long and hard road, and we haven’t reached the end yet. But I’m on the way. I hope I’ll see you there!