The big trip: a year of learning about publishing

Today is my last full day of a nice relaxing trip to Baja California Sur in Mexico. We come to this wonderful country nearly every winter, to different locations. I sprained a toe about a week before we came here, and after trying to do my “normal” tourism of exploring the town on foot, I wound up at a clinic being told by a Mexican doctor to rest the foot for a week. Since then, I’ve spent most of my time reading and writing by the pool at our little Mexican hotel.

It could be worse, I suppose! I was still able to hobble to the central mercado and enjoy home-made sweet potato empanadas; go on an eco-sensitive whale-watching tour and see nine humpbacks, including a calf; listen to mariachi one lunchtime and the sound of the surf the next; and window-shop amazing galleries.

Interestingly, my husband chose this holiday as the time to re-read Alias Thomas Bennet. He first read it nearly a year ago to help me catch any glaring errors before I sent it off to Meryton Press. He tells me he’s noticed some changes, subtle bits that landed on the cutting room floor; however, he’s finding it even better this time, mostly because the mystery’s out. Interesting. When Gail (my editor) heard he said that, she wondered if he was disappointed. Nope. He keeps complimenting me.

So how did ATB and I get here in a year? A dear friend and fellow author, C. Rafe Carlson, asked me a question when I said ATB was too long for publishing: “Is the the only reason?” I had to admit I was a little nervous about bad reviews, but yes, the main reason was the story was a bit long for a published novel, and I had tried to pare it down but was at a loss. Rafe encouraged me to submit it anyways. So I then approached Karen M. Cox and asked a few questions about her experience with MP. All good. And all that led up to the email I sent a year and two days ago: the original submission.

Interesting, because my research had told me that the publishing process would take at least a year. Yet here I am a year later and the book has been selling well for over two months. The blog tour I just finished gave reviews of 4/5/4/5 for the book and 4.5 for the cover. My sister tells me she stayed up until 5am reading my novel, and thinks it’s better than the original. Well, not all of us love Austen so well as our sisters, I guess.

What a trip it’s been! I’ve met so many nice people: the international contingent of bloggers from the recent tour, the cluster of associates at Meryton Press, other authors both in this genre and others, a serial tweeter who has become my best marketer, reviewers who I always admired but never thought I’d know as friends, and new friends who have long been fans of the story. It’s like another world I never knew existed, and it’s all because I decided my little homage to Jane Austen was better shared beyond my family at A Happy Assembly.

I’d love to hear your experience with my book, or the story that led you to try it in spite of it clearly being different than most Jane Austen inspired fiction.

Please consider commenting, or contacting me at my Meryton Assembly AHA profile page (member name redhead) or my Facebook author page (links at the top of this page).

My husband had trouble signing up for the email blog posts and I wonder if he’s the only one. If you’ve had that problem, could you let me know? Thank you!

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