Tuesday, November 22, 2011

One Last Radical Departure: The Book Is in the Mail!

© 2011 by Joyce Mason
All Rights Reserved

During October and November, I’ve been doing short posts to take you along for the ride of rewriting and getting my humorous mystery book ready for submission to the St. Martin’s Press Annual First Crime Novel Contest. To read the entire series, start with No Small Change on The Radical Virgo or enter Radical Departure in the Search Box in the sidebar of this blog to pull up the full list of posts. This is the final installment of the series.

Twenty-two is a Master Number in Numerology. It also happens to be the day I was born in September. I have a powerful, personal resonance to the vibration of 22.

The 22 is the most powerful of all numbers--often called the Master Builder. The 22 can turn the most ambitious of dreams into reality. It is potentially the most successful of all numbers. It combines vision with action.  ~ Decoz.com

I’ve been working to live up to this number all my life. (The name Joyce is also a 22 vibration). I’m thrilled that my book entered the mail stream on this 22-day. Today is also a Best Day, according to Joanne Hampar’s Electional Astrology Planning Guide 2011. Since electional astrology isn’t my specialty, I count on Joanne’s Guide and don’t make any major timing decision without it. (For more on her work, read her past post here: The Art of Timing. All-round, I’m delighted that I met my goal to mail The Crystal Ball into the contest on this auspicious day.

Where Do I Go from Here?

I won’t be resting on my laurels waiting to find out if I won the contest, which will be announced by late March. Jupiter enters my 1st House on March 31, and I plan to take advantage of the blessings coming my way. T-Pluto is also conjunct my Moon in the 9th House. According to my own intuition, supported by my personal astrologer, 2012 will be a fortunate year for me when it comes to Jupiter-related and 9th House pursuits, including publishing. But God/dess helps those who help themselves. (More and more, I think of Creativity with a Capital C as Higher Power.)

While I’m waiting to find out if St. Martin’s may become my publisher through the contest, I’ll be putting out query letters to a limited number of carefully selected literary agents. If I’m lucky enough to find someone willing to work with a first-time novelist (this is becoming quite rare), then the next milestone would be selling it to a traditional publisher with the help of an agent. Getting an agent doesn’t guarantee getting a contract with a publisher. I’ve had friends who have been signed by an agent, just to have the disappointment of their book not selling to a publisher. The jackpot would winning the contest or A+B—getting an agent and selling the book to one of the larger publishers. If the latter happened before the former, I’d withdraw my manuscript from the contest, as required by the rules.

The traditional route isn’t the only way to get published. I’m sure you’re all aware that the publishing industry is morphing as we speak into a much more diversified and level playing field. There are excellent smaller presses that publish mysteries, and there’s the increasingly practical option of self-publishing. Since I’ve already self-published three e-books, I have no qualms about this alternative. It has many advantages—a faster turnaround time to print and distribution and more profits to the author, who isn’t sharing them with an agent and outside publisher. On the other hand, the traditional route does cover some expenses that the author otherwise incurs, usually involves a cash advance against sales, and carries more promotional opportunities.

No matter which way The Crystal Ball goes, the major marketing will be in the hands of yours truly. Fate has conspired to give me a many occasions over the past decade to learn how to promote my work. I’m grateful that I no longer feel completely self-conscious and lame about marketing myself. Today’s author has to be both an introvert to get the writing done and an extrovert to put herself and her books out there to sell them. In case I haven’t mentioned this before, I am just 1 point into Introvert on the Myers Briggs Personality Inventory. That’s about as perfect a profile as a writer can get, walking the fence in both worlds, although 1 point into extrovert would probably be just as good. (In case you’re wondering, if you’re Myers Briggs savvy, I’m an INFJ.)

I’ll be keeping you up-to-date on publication milestones. Since these routes vary widely as far as when the book might be available for purchase, I’ll make a bold prediction--earliest, the second half of 2012, latest sometime in 2013.

The good news is that the path to how the book sees print has no relevance to the reader. A book is a book is a book—unless it’s also an e-book, and nowadays most novels are published in both formats. I love reading and writing e-books, and my Kindle is my life’s companion (the original name of The Crystal Ball).

As always, I promise to keep you informed about what’s happening at The Ball! When we’re closer to book in hand, I’ll be publishing excerpts and hope you’ll all be humming Carly Simon’s catchy classic, Anticipation.

Meanwhile, I’m giving myself some much needed time off till mid-January to spend the holidays with friends and family. And, by the way, I’ve already started writing and gathering ideas for my second novel in the Micki Michaels mystery series. It’s called Vanished on the Vortex. It’s about a young teen who disappears in Sedona, Arizona. Her UFO-watcher mom thinks she’s been abducted by aliens. Micki has other ideas, especially when she discovers on the down-low that there have been a string of young girls who have disappeared around the Red Rock Mecca, threatening the tourist trade if word gets out.

I’m so grateful for your support and encouragement,


Photo Credit: © Anatoly Maslennikov - Fotolia.com

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