You have publishing experience beyond TWCS, can you tell us a little bit about your varied experiences and perhaps highlight some things that you've learned along the way? 500 - 900 words
I’m pretty sure about ¾ of my writing career is a cautionary tale, and the other ¼ is proof I was born too early.
For most of my life these things were true:
Publishing = write a book, spend months-to-years finding an agent, wait months-to-years for that agent to sell the book to a publisher. Now you are published yay.
Indie publishing = write a book that satisfies very narrow niche guidelines, possibly still spend months-to-years getting an agent, wait month-to-years for an indie publisher to pick up the book, learn how to be disappointed when the book is not distributed nationally and/or is only marketed to a small sub-group of buyers. Now you are published, meh.
Self publishing = write a book, pay money to print copies, try and sell copies from the trunk of your car, lose all your friends. Now you are published, but not really.
E-publishing = “Do you mean, like, a website? No? Not sure what you’re talking about.”
My first experience with publishing involved non-fiction. I put together a bunch of humor columns I’d written for AOL back when writing things for AOL was something people did, sent a packet of them to a few indie publishers I found in The Writer’s Market (I’m going to assume most of you have no idea what either The Writer’s Market or AOL are) and got a modest deal with a small market publisher. I didn’t bother to try and go with an agent + large publisher because humor wasn’t—and isn’t—a big seller.
Anyway. The book was called Beating Up Daddy, and it didn’t take the world by storm. My next publishing effort was a parody of the Worst-Case Scenario Survival Handbook, which I “self-published” meaning I went to iUniverse and published it through them, back when it was possible to do that without spending a ridiculous amount of money. Note that self-publishing back then—this was in 2001—meant print copies only. It also failed to take the world by storm.
Then came the agented years. I had one agent tasked with selling a novel called Charlatan. (It’s never been published, but I did turn it into an award-winning screenplay.) The memorable aspect of that arrangement was not that he failed to sell the novel, it’s that when I sent him a copy of Beating Up Daddy to see if he could find a use for it—he was in Hollywood—he listed the copy for sale on Amazon “signed by author, unread, good as new.”
My second agent was tasked with selling Immortal. He was much better than the first, but the results were the same. I was learning, though, because this time instead of spending the two years it took him to not sell my book waiting for him to sell my book, I continued writing. I wrote Hellenic Immortal (in case Immortal sold) and Fixer (in case it didn’t) in that period.
That takes us to 2006. By March of that year I had no agent—he passed on Fixer using the argument that it was “too similar to Immortal which didn’t sell”—and three novels, so of course that was a perfect time to try out screenwriting.
It wasn’t until 2011 that Immortal found a home with its current publisher, TWCS. To get there, I had to first submit it to a publisher that looked legitimate but turned out to be a scam, force my way out of that contract when the company went bankrupt and got sued—because, again: scam—so it could be published by a brand-new company founded by one of its editors, and then ask out of that contract as well when I found my current publisher.
I met TWCS at a book convention, actually. It was 2011 and I was trying to move copies of Immortal, which has by then been out since 2010. A couple of the publisher’s reps—this was before Fifty Shades took off—picked up copies and liked it enough that when I said (on Twitter) I was looking for a new publisher for Hellenic Immortal they jumped right in. I’ve been with them since.
So I’ve seen plenty: the early days of self-publishing, the dark underside of indie publishing and the sunny upside of same, the unpleasant reality of big publishing (I’ve written a lot about them for the Huffington Post) and the trouble with agents.
It’s been fun.
Immortal at the Edge of the World
Book 3 of the Immortal Series
by Gene Doucette
Release Date: October 2 , 2014
Published by The Writers Coffee Shop
Genre: FICTION/Fantasy/General & Fantasy/Contemporary
ISBN e-book: 978-1-61213-276-1
~~ABOUT THE AUTHOR~~
Gene Doucette is the acclaimed author of Immortal and Hellenic Immortal, the sci-fi thriller Fixer, and (as G Doucette) the erotic horror thriller Sapphire Blue. He is also the author of multiple short stories-- including The Immortal Chronicles series-- is a prize-winning playwright and screenwriter, and a published humorist and essayist. He lives in Cambridge, MA with his wife and two children.
~~CONNECT WITH THE AUTHOR~~
Praise for Immortal at the Edge of the World
"Brilliant end to the trilogy, with much twistiness involved in tying up all the plotlines. Lots of humour and typical Adam-ness - but no spoilers from me. You'll just have to read it for yourself. I think this might be my favourite of the series.+ - Andrea Goodreads Review
OTHER BOOKS BY GENE DOUCETTE