THE BOOK GOES TO RIVERBEND
By Craig Lancaster
I originally contacted Riverbend Publishing, a regional house in Helena, Montana, in the earliest days of the self-published version of 600 Hours of Edward in the hopes that I might be able to strike a distribution deal. Chris Cauble, the president, gave me the skinny on how such an arrangement might work and asked me to send along a review copy.
As the weeks dragged on and my book started to gain some traction in my market, I followed up with a note to Chris in which I expressed chagrin at my crude early version of the book and told him of the updates and the response to the book. I suggested that I remained interested in a distribution deal but that an even better arrangement might be Riverbend's picking up the book. Cheeky, no?
Weeks later came his initial note of interest, in which he said he would have some more people take a look. Then, on August 3, he wrote to me and asked if I wanted to continue to be the publisher or if I was interested in a contract with Riverbend. I told him that I welcomed being put out of the business of securing ISBNs and contracting with printers and such. A few days after that, we had a deal. My book would get a new cover and a new book block under a new publisher. Basically, a new life.
The book was fast-tracked for the fall list. I had about a week to do one last pass with the manuscript, and I scurried around securing a new round of blurbs. I submitted a marketing plan, and I went through the laborious process of taking the self-published version down -- off Amazon and CreateSpace, off IndieReader.com and Jexbo and Smashwords, off my Web site and out of the bookstores here in Billings.
I sometimes wonder if I was too hasty in self-publishing my book, if it would have had a less chaotic trip to a traditional publisher if I had just been patient and ridden out the queries. In the end, though, I don't have many regrets, save for some of the foibles in getting the book to look as professional as I wanted it to. While the low barrier to a printed book these days causes some consternation among pockets of the literati, the flip side is that there’s one more avenue for writers to find their way to readers. Some prefer the independent route and have no desire to be picked up by a bigger house. Others, like me, see it as a means to an end. It's not as if the fundamental facts of being an author have changed for me. My book is still going to rise or fall on its merits and on the basis of how hard I work on its behalf. What I'm getting is a new opportunity to venture out into the world with a book that's become an old friend.
And that is pretty cool.
To enter into a drawing for a copy of the book, go to Craig's website and sign-up for his mailing list.
Or simply buy 600 Hours of Edward on Amazon.com
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