Last September, before I committed myself to self-publishing, I sent one of my manuscripts off to a rather well-known publisher. If you know me, it was my genie book. And if you know SF/F, the publisher was Baen.
I love Baen. They put out some really awesome books by some of my favorite authors. I would kill to get into Baen's publishing catalog.
Correction: I would've killed to get into Baen's publishing catalog.
Oh, I still love Baen. Seeing my book with the Baen logo on the spine would send me into seizures of excitement. But that wasn't meant to be. I got a lovely rejection letter from them yesterday.
It didn't hurt. Not even a little. In fact, I was glad. You see, after I sent that letter off, I decided to self-publish. I went with Dying Embers first partly because Wish in One Hand was otherwise occupied. Wish in One Hand was the book I thought was my best shot at getting a traditional publisher. WIOH is the book with actual sequels in the hopper, ready to be edited and then sent off into the world.
I sent WIOH off to Baen hoping I'd get published. And then I published Dying Embers. Not too long into the self-publishing thing, I started thinking about my own publishing catalog. What comes next? What will I put out after that? I set up a schedule in my head. Dying Embers, Accidental Death, Fertile Ground (or Bloodflow), and then - if Baen rejected WIOH in September - I'd published my genie book in December.
Suddenly, I found myself kinda hoping Baen would reject me. Yesterday, I got that wish. (Funny since the wish I finally got was for a book about genies.) Here's what they said:
"Thank you for your patience as we considered your novel. While the
writing is refreshingly clear and crisp, unfortunately we will not be
able to find a place for it in our lineup."
Along with some standard rejection verbiage.
This morning, a thought occurred to me. That was my final rejection. I don't ever have to send another query letter ever. They did invite me to submit my next book, but I don't see that happening. I can do this on my own. I want to do this on my own.
And with that thought, I smiled.
So, now that my genie series is unencumbered, I can start thinking about putting them in print. I can rework the publishing schedule, so instead of WIOH launching in December - with Djinn 2 coming out next spring and Djinn 3 coming out next fall - I can think about starting the lineup this summer. (Or early Autumn.)
And with that thought, the whole pressure of getting Fertile Ground ready for publication in August fell away. Which is good, because that sucker was driving me nuts.
I'm still smiling this morning. Actually, I'm smiling a whole lot more now than I ever did when I was in the query machine getting ground into tiny pieces.
Life is good.
Oh, and speaking of good things, I lowered the price of Dying Embers to $2.99 yesterday - for a limited time. If you haven't already picked up a copy, go take a look.