Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Journey of the Self Published Novel

When I started out writing I started with a  very small press. So small in fact it came down to one man who had never published a book but wanted to try. He brought out my first novel on a big Six Color Heidelberg Press on the South Side of Chicago. I remember watching the first sheets of the novel, Ripples, come off the press. It was exciting. He had no idea what he was doing and neither did I. He had offered to publish the book after his wife read it. The book was well reviewed and that was it.

Come to my second novel, Tobacco Sticks. Again the man with the press and again the good reviews and then, then...the world changed. The big publishers came knocking and an auction was held for the paperback rights. Bantam bid the highest and I ended up with a two book deal. Along comes by next novel, Mica Highways with all the trimmings. There are movie rights and foreign rights and Book of the Month Club rights. They even bought Ripples my first book. Make that a three book deal. And then things quieted down.

And I could not get another book published. Call it the changing times. Call it the plight of the midlist author. But I wrote Rocket Man and ended up self publishing the book. Again the reviewers came calling. Another publisher bought the rights. But he never brought the book out. The book languished. It would seem the rocket never would fire under Rocket Man again. And yet the book would not be quiet. I wrote another novel, The Pitcher.

And this time the book sold quickly. Due out next fall, but there was Rocket Man. The publisher asked me about this book. They read it. And then a two book deal with Koehler Books took shape. Rocket Man and then the Pitcher. Rocket Man is now due out May 1. So what is the lesson here? Publishing is crazy. Yes. You can never tell how a book will end up. Yes. You have to believe in your book. Yes. You have to take a chance when no one else will. Yes.

And finally. Never ever give up. Never. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes.

www.billhazelgrove.com
Rocket Man...the story of the upside down generation
 

Books by William Hazelgrove