When I tell people I’m a published author I get a lot of questions. Some are the most common are about how to pursue publishing a novel. What is the best way? How is it done? What do you do? And while I can’t give the exact best answer for everyone, I can share my experiences. I’ve taken the road of attempting to be published through the large traditional publishers. As you will see, it can be a long arduous journey. For what it’s worth here’s my timeline. I hope it’s helpful to some of you, whether it is to affirm the value of your perseverance or convince you to get the hell out of writing (just kidding, life’s too short not to chase your dreams).
June 2011: At the age of 21 I started Harbinger, my first serious endeavor into novel writing. Inspired by the writing and style of Stephen King, it emanated some of his themes.
October 31st 2011: Finished the first draft of Harbinger, began querying agents.
December 2011: After countless rejections (100 or so), I receive a phone call from Adrienne Lombardo of Trident Media Group. We discuss possible representation and I nearly have a heart attack.
January 17th 2012: I agree to be represented by Adrienne Lombardo and Trident Media Group, one of the largest and most successful agencies in the world. I think my dream of writing stardom is about to come true.
January 2012 – July 2012: I’m in purgatory. After receiving a positive blurb from New York Times Best Seller Jonathan Maberry, Adrienne shops my novel to no avail, each editor having a different issue. I was considered by Penguin, Random House, and a few other big companies. Each time my hopes were dashed and it stung a little more. Perhaps none more so than the rejection from 47North, where the editor went back and forth for three weeks (and even authorized an advance for me) before ultimately rejecting it. So close but yet so far.
July 2012 – October 2012: With the outlook on Harbinger fading, Adrienne and I focus on my other works and attempting to land them with a publisher. Two of my novels, Harrow House and Sheep’s Clothing, are in good enough shape to throw out there. She sends them out to a couple of editors but the results are the same.
October 16th 2012: Adrienne convinces me to release Harbinger through Trident Media Group’s E-Publishing Service. It is an exciting time and I finally get to share Harbinger with the world. The sales are moderate, but without adequate marketing it is difficult to spread the word. The reviews that pore in are largely positive.
November 2012: Adrienne informs me she is leaving Trident Media Group to become an acquisitions editor for an audio book company. I am left high and dry with no other agents at Trident interested in me or my work.
November 2012- January 2013: While focusing on my other works I am bounced around Trident Media Group, with John Silbersack handling Harbinger. He ultimately isn’t interested in my other works however.
March 2013: I contact my friends at Hobbes End Publishing, a passionate and dedicated independent press, and find out they are interested in publishing Harbinger. With Silbersack unwilling to represent any of my other works I decide to end my relationship with Trident Media Group and have Harbinger re-released as a paperback and e-book with Hobbes End.
April 2014: Harbinger is released with an updated cover and is available in paperback form.
November 2014: After two years of trying with various different projects and receiving a couple of hundred rejections, I earn representation from an agent yet again, this time Adrienne Rosado of Nancy Yost Literary for my project, Murderers Anonyous, a transgressive thriller about a self-help support group for serial Killers.
January-March 2015: Adrienne sends Murderers Anonymous out to about 20 editors. It is praised for being unique, edgy, and having a powerful twist at the end. However, all editors end up passing on the project.
March 2015-Present: A year and a half of writing and editing other projects. We are prepping another novel for submission and hope to have it out soon.
November 2015- Adrienne switches agency to Leibo Literary. I go along with her for the ride.
Summary: 5 years, nine completed novels, over 700 email queries sent, two agents, 40 submissions, countless emails and phone calls, and I have one novel out there from an independent press. Yeah, it’s a waiting game, and a long one at that, but I’m not giving up. All I can do is improve my craft and keep trying to make it. It’s tough being so close without really breaking through, but if there’s one thing this journey has taught me it’s that perseverance is key.
If you have a second check out my novel. Let me know what you think. I’d appreciate it my friends!