Saturday, February 07, 2015

The Groundhog Predicts a Best Seller??

     The groundhog once again noticed his shadow--predicting six more weeks of winter. (When did this not happen? Perhaps in the Great Depression when he was too thin to see his shadow?)  An intuitive writer always notices "signs & omens"--good and bad.  Always the optimist, on Groundhog Day I received word from The Rose Garden that my novel, "THE ACCIDENTAL WIFE" will be released in 6 weeks--(drum roll here)--on March 18, 2015. Perhaps at the trill of the new season's first robin?

       From start to finish, my book has had a remarkable journey beginning life as a short story--The Teacup--which placed in several contests. It took four months to fill The Teacup with 88,000 words and polish it up for submission after a judge suggested the story begged to grow into a novel.
     After meeting Rhonda Penders at a Kansas City Writer’s Conference, TWRP captured my attention. It had been awarded Best Publisher for several straight years--in a poll taken by Preditors and Editors. Rhonda was professional and charming, even suggesting I send her the novel when finished. I did, and once the contract was signed, Allison--my assigned editor--and I began to work on it in mid-October, 2014. Three months later we were at final galley and cover selection stage. The cover artist for my book, Debbie Taylor, also places often among the leading Cover Artists in the annual Preditors and Editors poll.
     For two years prior, I had haunted several writer's conferences all over the U.S.—and one in London--building a case for timing and a publishing method that was the best fit for me. (The scales for Self Published or Traditional were beginning to level off that last year.)
     The Wild Rose Press red-lined most of the "cons" I had on my Pro & Con list for the Publishing models. The process went faster than I expected; no year-long dragging it out. An agent was unnecessary, which should mean better royalties. They have worldwide distribution, uncommon to many smaller presses. They offer weekly chats, author loops, and recommend workshops that every writer can learn from. They are respectful and communicative. As a newbie, I fired off several email questions that were answered by my editor or the staff—same day, often same hour.  Best of all, I was included in decisions and choices--writing blurbs and choosing excerpts, even choosing the final cover, though I was told I was closing in on the "nit picky zone after multiple tweaks."
     I can see why The Wild Rose Press has 800 writers in their Rose Garden, and why they win Best Publisher awards. Maybe...if their model would be imitated, there would be fewer consolidations, chapter elevens, or dissolutions in the publishing world. Less dissolution among authors, as well.
     James Barrie, who wrote Peter Pan, once said God gave us memory so we could have roses in December. Had Barrie been born 100 years later, his fantasies might have found a bed of roses in the WRP garden. Just think--roses all year long! Even the groundhog would revel in that bit of sunshine.

Cj Fosdick,

Newbie at Large

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