Today we have our own P. J. Hoover (aka Tricia) with us on the Inkpot. I've asked her to share about the publication journey of her young adult futuristic fantasy, SOLSTICE, from submissions to digitally publishing to a book deal with Tor Teen.
As for when it’s coming out, SOLSTICE will be published by Tor Teen in June 2013.
So you self-published SOLSTICE first. How did that come about?
When I originally wrote SOLSTICE (summer 2008), I always intended to publish it traditionally. I sent it to my agent. We revised it back and forth a couple times (and then a couple more), and then it was ready to go out. And we got great feedback from editors. People loved the story. In fact, it went to acquisitions but the deal fell through at the last moment. After this, I was completely disheartened, but I revised it again and we were going to submit it for another round.
About this time, the whole self-publishing market all-of-a-sudden got huge press. And my agent, Laura Rennert, presented the option of digitally publishing SOLSTICE with the help of the agency, Andrea Brown Literary Agency. It sounded exciting to me and because I was all about trying something new, I decided to give it a go. And so in May 2011, I independently published SOLSTICE.
I was thrilled with this decision. I loved how quickly the process worked, how fast it got into readers hand, how immediate the results of my efforts were. And so all was good…right?
Sounds great! So, how was your self-publishing experience?
It was wonderful! First, there was the time leading up to publishing SOLSTICE. I had input into the cover design, the pricing, the formatting. And yet, I didn’t have to do any of the work besides the revisions. And of course the marketing, too. But the process of making SOLSTICE into a book was handled completely by the Andrea Brown Literary Agency, and they did a fabulous job.
In the six months SOLSTICE was available, I met fantastic readers, bloggers, teens, librarians, etc, all excited about the story. The best thing about being an author is hearing from readers who loved the stories I’ve written, no matter whether a book has been self published or traditionally published. The readers make it all worth it!
How did SOLSTICE go from self-published to being published by Tor? What happened?
Right, so this kind of came out of nowhere. I was busy marketing SOLSTICE and also finishing up revisions for a MG Egyptian mythology story (TUT). And when TUT was ready, my agent sent it out traditionally. Susan Chang, one of the editors at Tor Children’s, loved TUT and asked my agent what else I had written. Laura Rennert mentioned SOLSTICE, and Susan was immediately interested, and so we sent her the manuscript. It wasn’t long before an offer came in for SOLSTICE which then turned into a two book offer for SOLSTICE and TUT. Needless to say, I was thrilled, especially because it came as such a surprise.
|The cover for the digitally published version of SOLSTICE (it's a beauty, right?)|
So what's next? Will SOLSTICE change? Your current cover is gorgeous, but do you think it will change for your upcoming release?
Well, I get to launch the same book twice! That said, SOLSTICE has gone through revisions with Susan Chang, and I love how the revisions have made the story so much stronger. I’ve had the benefit of taking a year of review feedback along with the eye of a very talented editor and making changes I feel great about.
As for the cover, I’m fairly sure it will change, but I haven’t heard any information about a new cover yet.
Finally, tell us about TUT: what is this story about and when will it be published?
TUT is my favorite book I’ve written yet and tells the story of a young immortal King Tut, who's been stuck in middle school for over 3,000 years and must defeat an ancient enemy with the help of a dorky kid from school, a mysterious Egyptian princess, and a one-eyed cat. It’s going to be published by Tor Children's in Winter 2014.
Thanks so much for interviewing me, Lena! It’s been fun!
Thank you, Tricia! I've loved hearing more about SOLSTICE’S publication journey. Thanks so much for sharing. TUT sounds amazing too. I can’t imagine being stuck in middle school for 3000 years—it’s tough enough to go through it once! LOL