So the latest round of judging for the 2011 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award came out today…and Genesis Earth didn’t make the cut.
Oh well, at least I made it to the quarter finals. Most of the reviews were encouraging, though the one from Publisher’s Weekly made me wonder if the reviewer had something against science fiction in general (or was perhaps underpaid and overworked, as seems to be common in traditional publishing these days).
I did notice that none of the previous years’ winners (or finalists, so far as I could tell) were science fiction–which is not to put down their quality, or the quality of the semifinalists. It does make me wonder, however, whether part of the reason Genesis Earth didn’t move on was because of the tastes of the audience.
I’m not discouraged though. My novel has garnered a lot of positive feedback, not only from alpha readers, but from agents and editors as well. I know it’s got potential; just hasn’t come into its own yet.
The thing is, Genesis Earth is a YA science fiction romance novel, and the YA market is much harder to break into without an agent than adult sf&f. I could probably find an agent if I queried around long enough, but after reading Dean Wesley Smith’s series Killing the Sacred Cows of Publishing, I’m convinced not to go that route.
At the same time, ebooks are revolutionizing the publishing world much faster than anyone had predicted. We may pass the 50% mark in the next few months, if indeed we haven’t already. Combine that with increasingly unfavorable contracts with traditional publishers and some disturbing accounting discrepancies at the major houses, and self-publishing is looking better and better every day.
So I’ve decided to put up Genesis Earth as my first indie published novel. Expect to see it sometime this summer, probably in June or July.
If you’re an editor and would like to hire out your services, send me an email at joseph [dot] vasicek [at] gmail [dot] com. I’ll send out a few test pages and ask about your rates (preferably per word). I don’t have a whole lot of money, but I’m willing to pay for professional quality work.
If you have any ideas for cover art or a cover artist, let me know as well. I’ll be spending a lot of time trawling Deviant Art and old Leading Edge issues, as well as analyzing traditional book covers to get a feel for that end of the business. I’m a firm believer in the tradition of high quality science fiction and fantasy art, and want my own work to be a part of that, even if it costs a little extra.
I felt uneasy with going indie a few months ago, but right now it seems, if nothing else, like a very smart calculated risk. The worst that can happen is that it takes a long time to find its audience, leaving me out a few hundred bucks in freelance costs until it does. The potential benefits, on the other hand, are tremendous.
In the meantime, I’ll keep blogging about the process to share what I’m learning. And if you want to support me, feel free to pick up one of my short stories on the Kindle and review it / blog about it / share it with a friend. The links are on the sidebar. In the next couple of weeks, I’m going to put them up on Smashwords and B&N, so if you prefer those formats, they’ll be available soon too, I promise.
In unrelated news, my cousin Angela just got a publishing deal for her poetry chapbook! Awesome! I’m glad to see that someone else in the family is having some publishing success–good luck!
(Image courtesy postsecret)