Blast From the Past: Another Sign?

Today I received an email from a fellow writer that I’d met four years ago at the Maui Writers Retreat. At first I couldn’t place her name. However, once I perused photos from the trip, it all came back.

I remembered our engaging retreat group and workshop leader Gail Tsukiyama’s supportive feedback. I remembered the suite that one of the other author-instructors donated to S- and I so we could throw a big party. I remembered running into the surf late one night (had I been drinking?) with B-, B- and a few others, only to lose my cool blue glasses — I loved those specs. I remembered the book-signing party for those of us included in an anthology. I remembered hanging out at a surfboard table with umbrella drinks at the end of the day.

Fun times. I don’t know if I’ll be a workshopper in quite that way again.

But the point of this post is that it’s now four years later, and Tanya Parker Mills sent her fellow retreaters an email message about her newly published novel, The Reckoning. It’s available on Amazon.com. Amazon’s “peek” feature should be available soon, but, meanwhile, check out her website for a synopsis. The story takes place in Iraq, and it sounds intriguing.

After reading her email, I thought about Mr. Gould (previous post), pronounced “gold’ not “goold”. Mills, like Gould, opted for self-publishing. She’s using Booksurge, a print-on-demand firm.

I also asked myself: Is there something to be said for gaining a following any way you can and then transitioning to a mainstream publisher later? I don’t know. I’m conflicted, but I applaud Mills’ decision to put her story out there.

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4 thoughts on “Blast From the Past: Another Sign?

  1. Okay, I just don’t think you should give up on the manuscript that was sent out before. If you haven’t tried small presses yet, why not? Would your agent make those submissions, if you brought him/her some options you wanted to try?

    I know you have a new manuscript in the works, so that one can go to the big houses. But why not have two out on submission at once?

    Am I naive? Yes, I’ll admit it, yes. But I read these posts and I feel like you still have some desire to make it work in you… and I want to see it happen…

    (I know it’s hard, believe me. I gave up on an adult manuscript after only some agents had passed on it, and one editor, though I never did get an official answer… I didn’t take it to small presses and I think it was because I got so filled with doubt I couldn’t face it anymore. I put it off and put it off until… well, it’s now officially “off” and too much time has passed to go back to it. But I wonder. What would have happened if I’d tried small presses?)

    Long comment, sorry.

  2. Hi Nova…Oh, I’m getting there, I know I am. POD and self-publishing is far-fetched for me at this point…but small presses? I gotta make time for research, that’s all. My agent doesn’t do the small presses…

    No problem on the long entry! Your parenthetical gets me wondering what could STILL happen if you went to small presses with the first adult novel. I wonder: Is it ever too late for a manuscript?

  3. I loved your blue glasses! I’d forgotten you lost them, but I do remember the comraderie around the table at the retreat…and the party.

    You know, I didn’t give small presses enough of a shot with The Reckoning. But, by the time I was ready to try again (I went through 2 rounds of rejections by the big guys), I just didn’t have the fight in me…and I SOOO wanted to get on with Laps.

    Anyway, I’ll let you know how the POD thing turns out. The process, itself, was a piece of cake and I lucked into a great Iraqi artist for the cover art. So, we’ll see.

  4. Hi Tanya, I noticed the cover on your site, how nice it looked. Also, have you heard of authorbuzz.com? You can pay for packages for online marketing campaigns. Check out DeAnna Cameron’s blog (on my blogroll) for information about Authorbuzz (9/23/08 post).

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