The Vox Dei imprint manager, Heather Huffman, posted up a “coffee chat” with me today. It is kind of weird, being the interview-ee. I’ve always been the interview-er. Anyway, it was a fun little exercise.

Here it is.


Keep writing.


Contract Signed. Now It Gets Serious

I signed a contract to have my first novel, Sudden Mission (working title and may change), published with Booktrope’s Vox Dei imprint. This is not a traditional publisher. They may even be described as a hybrid publisher. I’m not certain that I’ve seen this type of publishing model done so professionally anywhere else. Granted, I’m no expert. But I have looked at a number of imprints and small to medium publishers in my quest.

While I was willing to go the “self-published” route, I knew that it would include a lot of work in areas in which I have little experience, skills, or talent. What Booktrope has is the ability for me to maintain a certain level of control over the novel, but access the talent pool of a medium to large publishing organization to create a team to get the book released.

Booktrope requires that I have the necessary social media tools available (Facebook author page, Twitter account, LinkedIn, and web pages) as well as Skype and a few other things that make up an author platform. All that had to be in place before I could complete the process with them. And, so far it has all been online. I’ve been guided through by my mentor/project manager who is very helpful and supportive. Once signed on,  I get access to the team portal where I upload my novel, complete my profile and do a few other tasks. Then I start putting together the team.

Vox Dei is the Christian imprint of Booktrope. As such, it covers fiction and non-fiction, and has a stable of professionals to help with book management (marketing), editing, proofreading, cover design and layout. I contact those members who work in the specific areas I need and entice them into my team. Everyone on the team gets a piece of the action, so everyone is motivated to do the work and get the project completed. I’m also finding out that you have to sell your project to potential team members. They don’t just come flocking to you.

It is all new, exciting, and just a little bit scary. But, it also looks like some fun. So, I’m jumping in with both feet. I will keep you all informed as the project progresses. This should not take too long–not a couple years like traditional publishers. So, you shouldn’t have to wait much longer. But, thanks for being there.

Keep writing.



I received notice of a contract offer for my first novel and have started the formal acceptance process with the publisher. This particular publisher uses a different business model than others, especially traditional publishers. So, updates and information should be coming fast and furious over the next couple of months.

I will do my best to keep you all up to date on what is happening and when the book will be launched. I’m excited and ready to jump into edits, revisions, design and marketing with my team.

When the contract is signed and the team is in place, The I’ll post specific details on the publisher!


Keep writing and reading!


Rejection and Waiting, 2.0

The novel was recently rejected by a small science fiction press.

To be honest, I didn’t really think it fit there, but they did ask for it after I pitched. So, I went through the process with them. I’ve toyed with the whole self-publish thing since hearing back on the novel and was about to jump in with both feet when a friend recommended I check out another small publisher who uses a team-based model. I read the web site and looked over the books they publish and they actually have a Christian imprint that looks like a good fit for my little novel. So, I submitted.

So, again we wait. According to my friend, though, this wait won’t be months long. Just a few weeks, she said.

In the meantime, the novelette was again rejected. The market for novelettes is sparse, so I don’t know if I’ll try submitting it again. I’m thinking I’ll pull together all the related short stories and the novelette and self-publish that on Amazon as a $0.99 e-book only. It may help build some readership and get those stories pulling their share of the load.


Electronic Submissions

As I mention in an earlier post, I submitted my first novel to a publisher after pitching at the Spokane Science Fiction Convention (SpoCon) in August. My mistake was assuming that the email went through with all attachments, so I didn’t follow up when I got no confirmation back. The editor did, after all, ask the first three chapters and synopsis after the pitch.

So, being the kind, patient, and sensitive person that I am, I waited. And, waited.

After a bit more than two months, I sent a little note to the editor requesting an update. The last thing I want to do is get an editor upset with me. I have no standing in this business, so I think it’s appropriate to tread carefully for now. I used my most polite and diplomatic language in the note. It turns out, she never got the original submission. Whether it ended up in the spam bucket or just never arrived, I can’t say. But, rather than be upset, she kindly asked that I resend the material.

I did. This time I followed up with a note to check that it did, in fact, arrive. She responded that it did arrive and she had sent it on to the acquisitions editor.


Okay, this means I wait more. I still have fingernails left. Well, a few anyway.

Nothing in this business moves quickly. When you read the submission requirements for book or magazine publishers, they often include statements that they don’t want you bugging them about your work for a specific time (one to six months). However, if they accept electronic submissions–and you don’t get some kind of confirmation that they got it in a reasonable time–I don’t think it is out of place to send a quick note to verify they got it.

Any number of things can happen to an electronic submission. You can make a typo in the email address. Someone, somewhere, will get a copy of your first three chapters and synopsis and wonder why. Your submission may end up in the spam bucket for one reason or another. The editor may not check the spam bucket and just empty it. It may have arrived, but in the frenzy of the convention, she may have accidentally deleted it, or shoved it into another folder and forgotten about it. Or, it just might not have arrived.

So, it’s a good idea to verify an electronic submission.

Keep writing.