Today, October 16th, 2014, is this blog’s fourth birthday. 😀
Back in October 2010, I had no idea of the twists and turns my life would take, in my effort to bring the Vampire Syndrome Saga to the world. My only goal was to get the first book written and up on Amazon. By October 2012, I had met that initial goal, but the bigger goals were starting to rear their head.
It was time to dive in feet first, and find out what (a few divisions of) the Big Five really thought about “Vampire Syndrome.”
Nothing like jumping straight into the frying pan, learning things the hard way. 😈
While all of that grease was frying and sizzling, a pair of guardian angels watched over me. Kristen Lamb, and Emily Guido. Kristen’s spot-on, sage advice from the trenches saved “Vampire Syndrome” from a fate worse than death, the “void” of an e-book-only Big Five deal, an unholy hybrid of the worst of both worlds. And my dear Emily Guido showed me the path to a better way. A small press that would stand behind my creative vision.
It was a very small press at the time. I was the second author ever to sign a traditional publishing contract with PDMI Publishing (Emily was the first, as you have likely guessed by now). Dozens of authors, illustrators and editors would soon join the fast-growing team at PDMI, embodying a commitment to value author’s personal creative visions, and transfer those visions into print intact.
I am immensely proud of everything that PDMI Publishing, LLC has managed to achieve in a few short years, and I have made many valuable “behind-the-scenes” contributions, helping PDMI to lead the way in the innovation the publishing industry so desperately needs (as I found out the hard way, back in 2012). Industry leaders (such as Kristen Lamb!) have lauded PDMI as a model for what publishing should be. 😀
By October 2013, “Vampire Syndrome” was in print, in both YA and Adult versions, and I was already writing “Vampire Conspiracy”, Book Two of the Vampire Syndrome Saga (now being edited by PDMI).
So, as I prepare to write “Vampire Invasion” (Book Three of the Saga), you might ask, “What did you mean by the suffix ‘The Rejection Window, Part III”?
It seems that the little oddities of publishing have not yet reared all of their Medusa-like heads. As I toured around Denver with my freshly-printed copies of the new Mass Market paperback of “Vampire Syndrome”, I found the last thing I expected. The ghost of rejection, moaning through the dusty stacks of century-old books at one particular bookstore. A store who places bookmarks into hardcovers bragging that the books were not bought at Amazon, yet the same store is not taking any more local author consignments. Which, of course, “forces” those same authors to sell their books on Amazon, instead of this “hip” little indie shoppe. Whoops!
Actually, I’m exaggerating just a bit there. All the other indie shops I toured were very interested in my book. But this is a day and age where every “local author” book printed will be available on Amazon. Which means the shop that declined my book also (by default) declined the opportunity to take a sale or two from Amazon. You could say “in theory”, but people still discover books in brick & mortar stores that they have not seen on Amazon. The main convenience of Amazon is also its main problem: You only find exactly what you’re looking for. No one can beat the brick & mortar retailers at helping people to discover great books they would have never heard about otherwise.
I was rejected by a few arms of the Big Five, but believe me, a rejection from an indie bookstore is the one that “hurts the most.” It is true that just one indie bookstore not stocking my novels doesn’t amount to much more than a tiny speed bump at this stage of my career. PDMI will book me for signings, including at large chain stores. But I mourn the local store who won’t take any more local author consignments, not because they could not take my work, but because it’s a bad omen for them. Will this store still be open by the time my blog celebrates its fifth anniversary in 2015? When the Big Five rejected me, it forced me to make getting my story to market intact my number-one priority. All kinds of good came from my decision to stand my creative ground. Through my work at PDMI, I have been able to help others keep their creative vision intact as well. A pleasure all the money in the world could not buy. Which is why the indie bookstore rejection is the one that “hurts.”
Because no good will ever come of it.