My first book, DIABLERO, was actually published by two different presses in two different formats: in paperback with Nightbird Publishing and in e-book with Crossroad Press.
I’m not going to say DIABLERO was a huge selling book. It wasn’t. But it is a great novel. The editors at both presses did a phenomenal job of taking a book written by a novice (me) and turning it into something palatable for the average reader. I did a lot of telling instead of showing and made a lot of newby mistakes, and they made it better, stronger, faster, like the bionic man.
The release of the book was awesome because Nightbird had a release party at the biggest indie bookstore in Atlanta – Eagle Eye Book Shop. I signed books for fans at the same table where authors like F. Paul Wilson and Brad Thor signed books. I even signed the table! It was the most fun I ever had working. My publisher showed up with his staff and we had a great time. The bookstore even treated us to dinner!
Nightbird is small, but their books are high quality, which is what attracted me to them.
Same with Crossroad Press. They release novels from some of the top names in the field – Steven Savile, Ed Gorman, Jack Ketcham, Tom Piccirilli and others. And they took a chance on me, a new author, even creating a new book cover for DIABLERO. They probably have the highest royalty payments in the business for e-books, something like 80 percent, and they always pay on time. You gotta love that.
For my next book, LILITH, I really wanted to stay small but I also wanted to get more mainstream distribution, which is where DarkFuse came in. They are indie, but they do hardcover as well as paperback and e-book through Ingram and Baker & Taylor and regularly get their authors reviewed in places like Publishers Weekly and Kirkus, something I could never do on my own without paying big bucks.
But best of all, DarkFuse has that personal touch. Even with experienced, multi-published authors like Greg Gifune and William Meikle on the roster, I’m still treated like one of the guys, and not the greenhorn that I am.
Their books have some of the best cover art in the business and the editing process is rigorous to say the least. I believe LILITH is the best it can be and I feel confident that it will blow people’s socks off when we release it to the world next January.
I’ve heard some horror stories from a lot of authors about their experiences in the publishing industry. All my publishers have treated me with respect and have never lied to me or tried to rip me off, so I guess I can say I’ve been pretty blessed in that regard. So to my former and current publishers, I just want to say—thanks for making this trip a good one!