Tuesday, December 30, 2014

The Year in Review: Looking Back at the Birth of My Novel.

First let me say, Happy New Years to everyone out there

As many of the readers know my novel, Legend of the Mystic Knights  was published this year. I thought I would do a recap of the year in relation to that novel. The story starts out in 2012, and this is where we begin our journey.

First, I began writing “Legend of the Mystic Knights” in October 2012. As many of you know, I am a historian, so after I decided to do a medieval novel, I researched information about that time period. After the initial research, it had taken me less than a month to write the entire novel. The story was in my mind; I just had to find the words to describe it.

I now had to come up with a title, as many of you know already, the concept of the novel is an evil takes over the world in 1100 A.D. A knighthood is created to combat the evil. Considering, I have these knights fighting monsters, and the walking dead, I named them the Mystic Knights of the Dead Killers, and this was my initial title of the book.

I had no idea how to get a book published. With this lack of knowledge, I decided to go with an agent. After, dozens and dozens of rejections from agents, I soon discovered one lesson. Most literary agents are not concerned with representing you, unless you were previously published. I know there are exceptions to this rule, but I found out that for the most part, this is true. Not going with an unpublished author is a good business decision; these agents want to make money, so they want an author that has established reader base.

Without an agent, I had to decide how to get the book published. I had two choices to pick; one was to go with the traditional route with a publisher, the other to self-publish. Not knowing anything about editing, promoting a novel, I decided to go through the traditional route. With the traditional method, the publisher would handle the burden of this process.

From reading many posts and articles I soon realized there are many sharks in the publishing world. Many authors go with a publisher who ends up charging them outrageous fees for services that a publisher should provide for free. To negate the possibility of being cheated, I again researched the topic.

Using the internet, mostly Predators and Editors and Absolute Write Water Cooler websites, I compiled a list of publishers who print fantasy novels. It was also with this research that I discovered how to write inquiry letters and a synopsis for my novel.

Armed with the knowledge above, and a cover letter and synopsis, I began sending my inquiries to the publishers. I found their responses to my inquiry, the same as it was with the agents. The list of potential publishers began to shrink.

I soon found an ally in an established author named Sheryl Browne.  I had contacted her on Linkedin.com, and she began to advise and suggest how I could improve my letters, and also writing styles.  Sheryl’s books was published by Safkhet Publishing.   I then submitted my work to Safkhet Publishing, and in October 2013, I received an email from them that they would publish my novel. Safkhet is a small European publisher, though small, they have had some good writers as their authors.

I did some research on Safkhet Publishing; some of the results were great, while other information was less than enthusiastic. I soon found out, that authors, even new authors that have never been published, have a tendency to think their writing is a work of genius, and such they should be given the greatest contract in the history of publishing. If a publisher does not offer a superb contract to a new author, then that publisher would get a bad review, based on that contract alone.

I took a different approach; I am a new author seeking a publisher to take a chance with an unknown author like myself. If they are going to take a chance with me, and bear much of the risk, then I should expect a fair, but not generous contract. If anything else, the owner, Will Sutton was honest and truthful with me, and that was good enough; I signed with Safkhet Publishing.

Next time: We will continue with the year in review of my novel.


  1. Writing a query letter and synopsis pays off in many ways even for those who decide to go indie since it's a great exercise that brings greater clarity and focus to one's work.

  2. Interesting story William. Sounds as though writing the novel was the easy part. Appreciate your research and thoroughness. Good lessons here for all aspiring and new authors.

  3. Sounds to me you learnt quite a lot this year, William:-)

  4. I always like to hear other writers' stories about their paths to publishing. You did a lot of research (both for the book and for getting published), were prepared to regroup and learn along the way, and ultimately find the choice which works best for you. Congratulations. Good luck with the book and all the best in 2015.

  5. Publishing is a mad mad mad mad world. It's like the wild wild west out there. In some cases, it makes the evil in your novel look tame! It truly is like walking through a minefield. Glad that you are happy with your results, though. Hope you keep us posted with sales etc in the coming year! Truly hope it is a great 2015 for you:)

  6. I like the story. I think that your research and tips can help many people. It is good that you found the choice that turned out well for you. All the best and Happy new year.

  7. it's interesting to read about your journey with your novel. You certainly were thorough in exploring your choices and I'm so glad that it turned out well for you. Congratulations!

  8. I'm so glad I saw this post. I want to write a novel this year but the publishing process leaves me dizzy. Thanks for sharing your journey with us.

    1. Thanks for the comments. I hope you look at my new blog, and review some of my older blogs, I discuss the process it took me to get my novel published.