Uncle Hugos is a well respected independant bookstore up in the great frozen wilds of St. Paul. They’ve posted a review of MHI for February. Basically, same as everybody else, loved it and couldn’t put it down. (see, I told you so, and Don Blyly knows books)
A little background after you read that review, in my defense, I didn’t decide to self-publish right off the bat. I spent almost 2 years getting rejected by EVERYBODY. Which was really frustrating. I did the traditional route, contacted agents, publishers, got copies of Books In Print, sent out all the query letters you could think of, shook the tree, the works. I have a stack of rejection slips.
Somehow, every regular person who read MHI loved it, while at the same time, every professional I spoke with kept telling me that it wasn’t “marketable” or that it was too long for a first timer, and therefore would take up too much shelf space at retail bookstores. This disconnect about drove me nuts.
It was actually that former employee that Don Blyly mentions that put me in contact with a very well respected professional in the literary community, a president of a well-known publishing house. She liked MHI, but even then, she had doubts as to MHI’s marketability. I rewrote the book to her specs (and they really were good points that I will agree improved the final book) but after another half a year of waiting, I just couldn’t take it anymore, and took the plunge into self-publishing.
Believe me, self publishing was not the route I wanted to take, and I only did it when it came down to do it myself, or just say screw it and give up. Even somebody as stubborn as me can only get kicked in the chops so many times.
But over the last couple of months, I think I’ve pretty well proven that MHI is marketable, and it is selling really well, especially considering that my marketing has consisted of me writing free fiction on THR, preselling my book with free patches, begging the people on the preorder to tell their friends, and this blog. Reviews across the web have been great, and I’ve got a really good buzz going. Heck, people are sending me FAN ART! (some of it is actually really really damn good too). I’ve got folks who want to start an RPG set in the MHI universe. How friggin’ cool is that?
Since that time, it looks like I might be getting a real, honest to goodness, publishing deal, though nothing concrete has happened yet. I’ve spoken with this publisher again, and we’ll see what happens. Ironically enough, since MHI has gotten out there, I’ve had four other people who are also literary professionals read MHI, and they’ve all contacted me and told me that I need to send it to that same specific publisher that I’m speaking with anyway. Apparently a bunch of professionals all seem to think that that is where I fit, and believe me, I’ve been reading their stuff since I was a kid, so I’m down with that.
Any good news will get posted here first. (obviously!)