Archive for August, 2012

A New Book Contract: How and Why

Monday, August 13th, 2012

In my world, when your iPhone flashes an email greeting that includes an offer for a new publishing contract, you know that the humid Florida summer has just gotten a tad cooler and life has treated you to a sweet cup of café con leche on the terrace.

I hadn’t been on the hunt for a new publisher for too long. In fact, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to look at all. My very small publisher had done an amazing job with the Stonewiser trilogy. Together we had achieved much and won a bunch of national prizes. I loved working with those folks, but I was writing faster than they could publish me, and even they understood that opportunity and continuity are key for a newbie on a roll.

My publisher at Mermaid suggested I query some of his peers, small-to-medium independent publishers with an established record. I dragged my feet. Maybe I could just wait until 2014. I whined and complained. Querying is time consuming, exacting work. I’m choosy. They’re choosy. I want to be writing. They’re busy. My MBA background came to the rescue. Assess the situation. Evaluate the options. Establish the goals. Get on with it, girl. After putting all the excuses behind me, I got to work, quickly whittling down the list to—well—one.

I forced myself to query three independent publishers. To my shock and surprise, within days, they all requested The Curse Giver’s manuscript. I settled to wait. Waiting is not my forté. I know authors who have waited upwards of nine months to hear if a manuscript has been accepted for publication. Me, I’ve got too many stories clamoring to be told. I wanted to be in print in nine months. I also knew who I wanted to publish The Curse Giver.

Enter Lida Quillen of Twilight Times Books. She authored the irresistible hook heading the email I mentioned earlier. Two days after the initial query, she requested the manuscript. Two days after I emailed her the manuscript, she offered me a contract. I said yes. I had known since the moment I completed my research that I wanted TTB.


Experience is one reason. Quillen is an independent press pioneer, known for being a steady rudder in the industry’s choppy waters. Performance is another reason, measured in business growth, an impressive author list and numerous award-winning titles. Fit is the final reason. TTB cares about excellence. I care about excellence. That’s why I chose to go with TTB.

So the contract is signed and the adventure begins. If you’ve ever wanted to know the ins and outs of publishing a novel, you’ll get a good tour here. Come along if you like. It’s a new contract, a new book and a new journey.