The Longevity Thesis Book Video

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

What Happens After You Write the Book: Perspectives.

I had an earlier post addressing this, which didn't really answer the question, but was more a rambling speculation on what might happen. Now that my mini book tour is all said and done, I can comment more thoroughly. Also, I have been repeatedly asked what the time line was like for getting the book published.

So here it is, in what I hope is easy to digest format:

1990: I wanted to write this really cool story, but I didn't know the first thing about writing a novel. I started making up characters and jotting down some intense scenes that didn't quite hook up.

1996: I decided I wanted this thing done before I turned 30 and made a colossal effort to weave together all my disjointed scenes.

1999: I finished the first draft of what was then called "The Divine Prerogative." It was horrible. Parts of it had extreme coolness, parts of it were unspeakably stupid. All together, it was barf-inducing. But I did not know this. I submitted the book to a publisher, who liked my query + three chapters, foolishly asked to see the whole thing, and was very kind to actually read the whole thing (I know, because there were chocolate fingerprints on the pages right to the end when the manuscript was returned to me). The manuscript was politely refused.

2000 - 2003: I joined the Critters on-line critiquing group. With their help, I rewrote the novel 3 times. Big, huge thank-you to J.D. Williams for a tonne of help. The final rewrite I did on my own, after reading about "storyboarding" in Crawford Kilian's book, and hearing about J.K. Rowling's "grid thing" from a friend. The plot was massively straightened out and the POV characters were cut down to 1/5 of how many there were originally. I queried a few agents who told me they weren't accepting new clients unless they already had a book contract. I gave up with that approach pretty quickly.

Sept. 2003: I submitted "The Longevity Thesis" to Tor, who chucked it inside of two weeks. At least they didn't make me wait.

Dec. 2003: I submitted the query + 3 chapters to Dragon Moon Press.

Oct. 2004: DMP asked to see the whole thing.

Feb. 2006: DMP took it! Contract was signed.

2006 -2007: With a lot of help from friends, I got the webpage up and running, started blogging, got some promotional freebies made up (my infamous bookmarks and fridge magnets), got a promo book trailer made, started posting stuff all over the internet (amazon, myspace, blogger, facebook), arranged for a newspaper interview in my hometown, got an article published on DMP in a local newspaper, did some extra artwork for the PDF version of the book. Started asking other authors for cross-promotion activities (cross-interviews, passing out each other's freebie promo materials in our respective cities, plugs in blogs and podcasts, etc). Started attending conventions -- not as a panelist, just to see what goes on, and how other authors do promo. Passed out a couple freebies while I was there. Worked with the editor and cover artist supplied by DMP to get the manuscript into its final format.

Sept. 2007: The book was released!

Oct. - Nov. 2007: I teamed up with another author from my hometown and we got a second interview in the same newspaper and arranged to do a reading at the local library. I unexpectedly got a truck-load of help from EDGE, who had merged with DMP in August. They set me up for a mini-book tour all over Calgary (author signings in bookstores, and a couple of readings at an official book launch for LT and a group book launch for all the fall titles). EDGE and DMP's distributors did God-only-knows-what, and I saw The Longevity Thesis pop up in book catalogues all over the world in an amazing number of countries. I unexpectedly landed interviews with the organising committee for World Fantasy 2008 and a globally distributed Chinese language newspaper. That's been phenomenal exposure.

Dec 2007: Whew! Now what? Well, I have some new artwork I want to get out of my head and digitized for the webpage (my brother gave me a graphics tablet for my birthday -- it's awesome! No more pencil-crayony crap from me!), and I want to kick my butt into gear and get the prequel finished. I also want to do promo art for that as well.

And now it's today! Anybody have any other questions? I'm obviously no expert, but I can share what's happened for me.

1 comment:

sfgirl said...

Very cool summary, Jen! Neat evolution over the years. This is good for wannaby writers to see how long (and how short!) it takes! You did very well, getting your book accepted by the second publisher you showed it to! WOOHOO!
p.s. I've given you a little present; go check out the Alien Next Door: