Well, I need to tell you that I will NOT be self-publishing StarMark.
Because... Dragonfeather Books, an imprint of Bedazzled Ink (a US publisher), have offered me a publishing contract for it!
It's official! My first full length novel for children - StarMark - will be published later this year!
To say that I am excited is an understatement.
I don't think I actually believed that anyone 'official' would ever want to publish me, based on my past record. I thought my only way of being an author was to self-publish, because my novels are apparently 'too nice' and 'not competitive enough for the current market'. Numerous rejections had made me scared to go down the traditional route any more - I hated how that process made me feel.
It was Granny Rainbow who changed everything.
She must've slipped a potion or two into my tea, because not only has she given me the confidence to self-pub a collection of short stories about her, she's also boosted my confidence in the material I write because kids loved her! (And their parents. And grandparents. And teachers.) I didn't need to worry what the 'big boys' thought any more - Granny Rainbow sold - is still selling. (So much so, I'm planning to publish the second collection in the first half of this year.) She made me realise that I could succeed, in a small way, at this writing lark.
If I'm honest, I think I only took the plunge and sent StarMark to Bedazzled Ink because I'd already begun to lay the groundwork to self-publish the novel. I had nothing to lose if it wasn't picked up - and at least I could say I'd tried. However, much to my delight and surprise, BInk said 'yes, please!'
And you know what's amazing about all of it? I came scarily close to leaving StarMark in the drawer I'd put it into after it was turned down.
Something about it kept niggling at me though. I believed in this story - and not just because I'd written it, or because I thought it was the best thing since sliced bread, or because I can't tell when to let something go. I'm not that blinkered about what I write. StarMark is a good story, and I believe young readers will enjoy it. That's why I took it out of the drawer, dusted it down, polished it up and sent it off.
So I'd love it if you, dear Scribbles Reader, would join me in a virtual toast to Bedazzled Ink, Dragonfeather Books, and to the start of what I hope will be wonderful future for StarMark.