The Journey

Sudden Mission is “edit complete” and in the hands of the proofreader. The cover is done and is great. The team book manager and the Vox Dei project manager are working on some marketing things. I wrote up a dedication and an acknowledgement. I have a press kit. This week, electronic copies of the book go out to bloggers and reviewers. We have a date for the proofread to be complete.

It is the latter part of June, as I write this.

On March 1, 2015, I completed the submission of Sudden Mission to Booktrope’s Vox Dei imprint. A friend recommended I take a look at them and try submitting the book there. They have a new publishing model, she said. I checked out the web site and read how they use a team approach with talented people from all over the country to fill the various roles in the publishing process. It was worth a shot, I thought. What could I lose? After all, I had several rejections from Christian publishers and agents to date. One more would just add to the pile. Yeah, I was pretty discouraged at that point.

“You’ll hear something in a few weeks,” my friend said. Well, I submitted, then put it out of my mind and went on a planned trip to Arizona with my wife.

After a wonderful time at the Grand Canyon and visiting Sedona, AZ, we were in Surprise, AZ, when on March 16, the contract offer email from Booktrope arrived, followed shortly by a nice welcome email from Heather Huffman (the Vox Dei imprint manager). I was stunned.

Here I was, traveling. I did not have access to my original document and needed to find a Starbuck’s to get online. I found one, got a large mocha frapp, and sat down to log in and read the contract offer. A couple of hours later, I got through everything and sent a response that I would accept. This kicked off the acceptance process and a couple of days later I was back in the Starbuck’s, getting online and working through a Docusign process.

Once we got home from the trip, I was able to complete some of the other tasks, like getting the complete manuscript uploaded to the team site and filling out my 1099, and started working with Heather Huffman to put together a team. We found a great editor in Brandi Midkiff and we were off to the races.

A wrench got tossed into the works when we got down to editing. I had a long trip planned in May, going to Philadelphia. I would be on the road about three weeks and the edit complete date was just a few days after I planned to be back home. As it turned out, I wasn’t able to do as much work as I’d hoped during the trip, and we had to bump the edit complete and release dates a couple of weeks. During the trip, Scott Deyett offered up the cover concept and it was incredible. Everyone on the team liked it and he started work on the final version.

Once back from that trip, things happened quickly and we got the work wrapped. Last week the book got packed off, with dedication and acknowledgements, to the proofreader, Sophie Thomas.

So, the work I know how to do; writing, rewriting, re-rewriting and making corrections, is done until Sophie brings back the results of the proofread (sometime between now and July 10). I will now be at the mercy of the book manager, Kathy Marks, who will be arranging whatever marketing things we need to do. I hope she is patient with me.

Somewhere in here, I think we’ll do a cover reveal–man, you gotta see this cover! I’m almost more excited for everyone to see the cover than I am for everyone to read the story.

The release date for Sudden Mission is set for August 18, 2015. This is the day before WordCon 2015 (Sasquan) starts here in Spokane, WA. That’s right, folks! The World Science Fiction Convention for 2015 is right here in Spokane this year. The cool thing is, I’ll be attending a science fiction convention for the first time as a published author.

I’m sure these last weeks will be full of interesting things to do as we prepare to release the book. For me, I’ll still be working on the second book, Nasty Leftovers, which I hope to submit to Heather before summer is out. Kathy may have me doing some blog tours, coffee chats, and twitter chats.

The team at Vox Dei is a great group of professionals and I want to give them their due. They worked hard and gave their best effort and Sudden Mission is a better book for it. The Booktrope model is different, but it beats trying to do all this work yourself, and it is much better than a traditional publishing model. As an author, I get to chose the team and work very closely with them. They have a stake in the outcome and care about the quality of the work. If you are an author looking for a publisher, or are unhappy with a current publisher, you should check Booktrope out. I can only thank God I did.

Thanks for listening. 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.