So far, this year has been full of surprises. Not all good surprises, but I’m only going to talk about the good ones because I’m a “glass half-full” kind of guy.
Let me start with the manuscript of a book called PRIMORDIAL that I finished writing nearly six months ago. I had already moved on to a new project, a book I’m already about halfway done writing. I started looking for an agent to sell the other book, which is a sequel to my supernatural thriller, LILTIH, and I was getting some interest. One of the agents was still on Christmas vacation, however, so I had some time to polish the manuscript. Looking it over, I realized the book was at least ten thousand words too short.
I started thinking about how I could lengthen the manuscript and when inspiration struck, I rolled up my sleeves and got to work. Ten thousand words later, I turned in said manuscript to said agent. Said agent said “No, thanks!” So did several other agents. Keep in mind I already had four books published, two with a well-known indie press.
In the meantime, NY Times bestselling author Douglas Preston, of whom I am a huge fan, agreed to read my book as soon as he had time. Two weeks later, I got an email saying “Hey, Toby, I loved your book!” He gave me the best blurb (for you non-writer types, that’s an endorsement) I ever got for a book. I was a happy camper, and did a happy dance in the middle of my kitchen, much to my dog’s chagrin.
I was now suddenly getting full manuscript requests from agents as well as a couple of indie presses I had sent the book to. One of them was Permuted Press, the same people who originally published JOHN DIES AT THE END and other great apocalyptic and zombie-type fiction. Although I knew they were probably inundated with manuscripts, I went ahead and sent PRIMORDIAL and then put it out of my mind.
A couple of weeks later, there was an email from the president of Permuted Press, Michael Wilson. “Oh well, another rejection,” I figured. But as I read, I discovered it was an offer to publish PRIMORDIAL. Before I even finished reading the entire email, I was calling my wife to tell her the news, followed by another happy dance.
The next day, I was talking to Michael on the phone. He offered to not only publish PRIMORDIAL, but the next book in the LILITH series, as well as re-issuing my first book, DIABLERO.
Yep, you guessed it. Dance time again.
Before sending off my manuscript, I had done some research on Permuted Press. The authors I spoke to were very happy with their experience, which was a big plus for me. They are also expanding their operations in several ways: (1) By moving into science fiction and fantasy, as many other horror publishers are doing; (2) By getting their books into brick and mortar stores via Permuted Platinum, (3) By teaming up with big-6 companies like Simon & Schuster for some of their bestselling titles.
In fact, one of the new owners is former Simon & Schuster deputy publisher Anthony Ziccardi, another plus for me.