Message From The Author
On December 5, 2001, St. Martin's Press shipped QUEENMAKER to bookstores nationwideand behind those dozen words lies my long, and at times difficult, road to publication. Some readers may remember seeing an ad for my book or reading a review of QUEENMAKER in last year's Valentine Issue of RT. Then QUEENMAKER was a self-published novel.
Lots of work and even more luck was needed to bridge the gap between those two events.
QUEENMAKER tells Michal's story. She
was King David's childhood sweetheart, his first wife, sister of his beloved Jonathan, daughter of his great friend and great enemy King Saul; a woman struggling to survive in
a time of radical change. Michal is one of the Bible's many forgotten women; today, re-imagining women's roles in classic tales is an important theme. But when QUEENMAKER was first offered to publishers, the market
for historical novels wasn't as strong as it is now. Despite my first agent's enthusiasm for the book, all the lovely rejection letters said the time just wasn't right for Michal. That seemed to be thatI didn't plan on self-publishing. (Besides, in
a household already containing several thousand books, where could I possibly store my own copies?!)
But when I heard good things about Xlibris, a print-on-demand company, I investigated this new technology and decided to publish QUEENMAKER myself (well, actually, my sister sternly announced we were going to publish
the book so that Mom would at least have copies to give her friends. Never underestimate the power of Mom.)
Here's where hard work and good luck began to mingle. My sister, author Rosemary Edghill, asked some noted authors to read QUEENMAKER in hopes of obtaining endorsements for the book cover. Judy York, a wonderful artist who designed the paperback covers of Rosemary's Regency romances, read QUEENMAKER and wanted to create its book cover. The result was a truly beautiful package.
Once the book was self-published, I sent review copies to the media, hoping for reviews, and to authors of both historical fiction and religious nonfiction, hoping for quotes. QUEENMAKER garnered a gratifying number of both, which
I then used in ads in Romantic Times and other magazines.
I searched the Internet for book clubs and sent them free copies of my book. I sent in a flyer for READING GROUP CHOICES' direct mail campaign. I contacted local bookstores (all of them were wonderfully supportive of a local author), and arranged signings at Waldenbooks, Barnes & Noble, and Merrit Books, a local independent bookstore.
The most important thing I did was hand out free copies of the first three chapters at signings and book fairsand to anyone who expressed interest. A gratifying number of people bought the book after reading those chapters; it was well worth the time and money spent to photocopy them!
And I sold the large print rights to Thorndike Press. I'm
a librarian who buys the large print books for our branch;
I talk to the Thorndike representative weekly and I'm still not sure why it took six months to put my enormous brain in gear and ask how to submit my own book!
Then an absolutely amazing stroke of good fortune occurred: Xlibris gave a copy of QUEENMAKER to D.T. Max, who was writing an article about new publishing technologies for the New York Times Book Review ("No More Rejections"; July 16, '00). The favorable mention in the NYT article prompted Rosemary to ask her agency, Scovil Chichak Galen, if its international rights rep, Danny Baror, would be interested in offering QUEENMAKER to foreign markets.
Not only was Danny Baror interested, promptly selling the German rights (he's since sold Australian and Spanish rights as well), but Anna Ghosh of SCG took me on as a clientand she sold QUEENMAKER to St. Martin's Press!
To say I'm thrilled would be understating considerably. Not only does St. Martin's publish some of my favorite authors, but my editor is Diane Higgins, who brought The
Red Tent by Anita Diamant to nationwide prominence. As if that weren't bliss enough, Diane and her assistant, Nichole Argyres, are a "dream team" to work with. Now that Michal's story is told, I can't wait to work with them on my second novel for St. Martin's, A BED OF SPICES, a story of King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba.
You can read the first three chapters of QUEENMAKER online at www.indiaedghill.com. Write me at P.O. Box 364, Lagrangeville, NY 12540, or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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