This past spring, Tyndale decided to offer a new model of publishing called “Digital First”, which is just what it implies, digital first with print books to hopefully follow. My agent, Steve Laube, submitted a proposal for Stealing Jake, one of my manuscripts that was complete and ready to go, and Jan Stob, senior acquisitions editor at Tyndale requested the manuscript about 3 weeks later. Then they offered a contract about 3 weeks after that. Talk about making laps! Jeff Gordon ain’t got nothing on me!
Generally, it takes 12-18 months for a print book to hit the shelves, but Tyndale put these ebooks on a fast track to publication and had them available in about six weeks, launching the program on July 1, 2011 with four fiction titles and one non-fiction title.
Here’s the fast track timeline:
March – We submitted the proposal. I didn’t know all the details or that the book would be released in 2011, but I knew enough to know that this was different, but also exciting, fresh and new, and tied to one of the most established and well-respected Christian publishing houses in the industry.
Late-March – Tyndale asked for the complete, and we submitted it. At this point, I started reading through Stealing Jake again. It had been several months since I read it, so I wanted the story fresh in my head. The goal in reading this time wasn’t to change anything, but to get the story fresh in my head and to highlight and comment on errors so I would be ready to hit the ground running if they contracted it.
Mid-April – I got the CALL! I’d like to say I screamed, and danced around, and called all my friends, but I didn’t. First of all, I needed to wait for the contract to be signed, and at that point, I went into business mode.
May – I signed the contract, and started a wish list of “Things to do” regarding promotion and marketing. I just glanced at that list. Some of it is still undone, but I’ve hit the high points.
Mid-May – I had a gag order (okay, it wasn’t really a gag order) on announcing my sale to the world. Tyndale wanted to get all their ducks in a row and make a big splash with a press release announcing the Initiative. Which I thought was absolutely brilliant! Nary a peep from any of the authors or their agents surfaced on the internet until the press release hit the news on May 18th. And I do mean hit the news. Here’s the Press Release at CBA News.
(Have you noticed I haven’t mentioned revisions yet, and the book releases July 1st????)
June – Now the hard work begins. You thought writing the book was hard? It is, but I’ve been doing that for a long time, and even though it’s hard, I know what to do, and about how long it’s going to take me to do it. Biography, photo, acknowledgements, all had to be submitted to Tyndale. I got it done. Somehow.
Mid-June – I got my cover! What an exciting day. And a few days after that, the revisions came. I had heard horror stories for years about edits that take days, or weeks, with massive rewrites, so I cleared my calendar for several days in anticipation of the edits, but thank goodness they were all very easy fixes. Tyndale’s editors are amazingly talented! I’m probably spoiled for life…
July 1st – Release date! The book actually appeared on Amazon a few days early, then showed up on B&N and CBD soon after. It was so amazing to start seeing reviews pop up on Amazon and B&N, and on Goodreads.
July-August – Rev your engines! It’s time to promote! And that’s what I’ve been doing the last 7 weeks, and it’s a blog unto itself. But since this has gotten so long, I’ll save it for another day. I’ve been on about 40 blogs and organized a Kindle Giveaway with 7 Seeker books preloaded (with more to come).
Bottom line, you can go from unpublished to published in a blink of an eye, so be prepared in every way that you can. I’ve been pursuing publication for seventeen years, but some things still caught me off guard.
It’s been a fast and furious, fun ride, and I wouldn’t have it any other way!
When Livy O'Brien spies a young boy jostling a man walking along the boardwalk, she recognizes the act for what it is. After all, she used to be known as Light-fingered Livy. But that was before she put her past behind her and moved to the growing town of Chestnut, Illinois, where she's helping to run an orphanage. Now she'll do almost anything to protect the street kids like herself.
Sheriff's deputy Jake Russell had no idea what he was in for when he ran into Livy--literally--while chasing down a pickpocket. With a rash of robberies and a growing number of street kids in town--as well as a loan on the family farm that needs to be paid off--Jake doesn't have time to pursue a girl. Still, he can't seem to get Livy out of his mind. He wants to get to know her better . . . but Livy isn't willing to trust any man, especially not a lawman.
Interwoven throughout is a group of street kids arrested in Chicago and sold as child labor. Leading this band of ragamuffins is young Luke, a scared, determined orphan intent on rescuing his little brother at any cost.
Jump to Amazon or B&N to purchase Stealing Jake:
To celebrate the release of Stealing Jake, I’m giving away a Kindle. Deadline to enter the contest is September 30th.
And today's giveaway is a prize package of 3 books off my shelves. If you'd like to be in the drawing, just mention PRIZE PACKAGE in a comment, and you'll be included in the drawing.
Award-winning author Pam Hillman writes inspirational fiction set in the turbulent times of the American West and the Gilded Age. Her debut book, Stealing Jake, won the American Christian Fiction Writer’s Genesis contest and was a finalist in Romance Writers of America’s prestigious Golden Heart contest. She lives in Mississippi with her husband and family. She can be found on the web at www.pamhillman.com and www.calicotrails.blogspot.com