Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Made a Decision Today: Campaign Week One

I have a finished book that can't find a home. I worked on it for a year and have been shopping it for nearly eight months. I could say that the market sucks right now and make a lot of excuses about how the demise of Borders and the explosion of e-publishing has changed the submission game. All this is true, but it doesn't change the really salient fact here: it's still on my hard drive and not in your hot little hands.

I believe in this book. It's a Jane Austen pastiche, essentially, a modern take on Austen's Pride and Prejudice, with some crossover with Bridget Jones' Diary meets I Don't Know How She Does It. There's a wee side bit about trying to write and not feed your kids Cheerios for dinner every night, and some meta on writing in general. The book is extremely faithful to the original plot line, except our heroine isn't a 19th-century unmarried woman in a society where marriage is the only game in town and she doesn't have the money or a title to attract suitors. My heroine is a woman who's trying to succeed as a genre writer while raising her kids and working full time. I'd like to think their sense of integrity is the same. Oh, we also have a dishy male suitor who pushes all the wrong buttons, but by the end of the book ends up pushing all the right ones.

So, I'm taking the plunge into self-publishing. I'm done with sending out endless queries. I toyed with sending it directly to smaller romance publishers to market and bypassing the agent route, but this takes an inordinate amount of time, and I feel I'm out of time. Do I want to wait another six months for a response to my submission(s). No, I do not. The market is only going to get worse, not better. I thought I'd use this space as a "travelogue" of sorts, documenting my experiment with the "new" market.

Certainly I can't do worse. If it sits on my hard drive, I won't make ANY sales.

Campaign Week One

1. Read through it one more time for typos.

By the way, the title is Pen and Prejudice.


Maria Lima said...

A. I want to read this.

B. I will probably be following in your self-pubbed footsteps soon. I just got word that Pocket is not willing to continue my series. :(

Claire M. Johnson said...


So sorry, my dear. Two years ago I said to a bunch of authors that we were heading in the direction of becoming our own publishers. Several people thought I was being unduly cynical. Here we are. :(

I think you'll like this book. There's a lot of shout outs to blog and journaling culture. Which is why I thought it would have broad appeal beyond the janeites. I see this an an on-going experiment. I still have a lot of books in me. I bet you do too!

Are we still doing blog thing in September?