I was chatting with Brent Hartinger, author of The Geography Club, yesterday. Ok, that's not precisely what happened. In fact, I wrote to him asking him if he would please read Orphan's Quest and give me some advice on how to get an agent and a real publisher. He wrote back and kindly offered to do what he could to help. He did however give me some discouraging news. He said that the fact that I chose to publish the book myself first is going to make it much more difficult for me to get the attention of a publishing house. Apparently publishing your own work is a big no-no because they automatically assume that your work wasn't good enough to find a real publisher. That may be true some of the time. It was not the case with me. I only sent it to one publisher before self-publishing, and I think that those of you who have read the book would agree that it is good enough to be at least a commercial success, if not a runaway bestseller. My reasons for self-publishing had more to do with time. People with potentially terminal illnesses tend to see time a bit differently than most other people. In my mind, rather than spend years trying to find an agent, then more years looking for a publisher, I decided that I really wanted to see my work in print sooner rather than later, just in case things took a turn for the worst healthwise. It's a bit silly and melodramatic, I know, but it was in fact what was running through my head. So, it appears that I've created a huge challenge for myself in terms of getting this trilogy into mass circulation.
However, Brent did offer a ray of hope. He said that if I can sell a lot of copies, say 3,000 or more, that fact would likely make a publisher sit up and take notice. So all is not lost. The challenge becomes what it was in the first place, to get Orphan's Quest into as many people's hands as possible. I'm going to keep working on it. I hope you guys will help me not only by reading it (don't forget Oasis mambers can download it for free), but also by telling others about it - others who can buy copies and also help spread the word. Another thing that would be a really big help is if you can get your local school or library to order a copy. I'm going to try and get a mass mailing together for public libraries, but that will take time and money (I got time, I don't got money), so if you can help out, that would be great. Remember, 3,000 copies sounds like a lot, but it's really not. I'm confident that, with the assistance of my loyal readers, I can reach this goal and get the attention of one of the major publishing houses.
I greatly appreciate the wonderful feedback that those of you who have read the book have given me. Nothing makes a writer happier than an enthusiastic reader, so you guys have really made this a wonderful experience for me. For those of you saying, "enough already, we know about the book" : believe it or not, there are still people on here that have no idea that the book is out there, available to them for free. So bear with me if I seem to talk about it too much. Getting this book out there is the most important thing in my life right now, and every new person I reach puts that goal of 3,000 sales a little closer. So thank you all for putting up with my sales pitches, and for all your great feedback and good wishes.
For a free download of Orphan's Quest, just PM me and I'll reply with the link.