What is amazing about publishing in the year 2014 is there are many avenues available to get your book into the hands of readers. Some writers choose to go the traditional route and work with big publishing houses. Other writers go with small presses or even self-publish. Whatever path a writer selects, it has to be a very personal choice and one that fits both their personal and professional goals.
Today I asked writer, Heather Marie to share her reasons why going with a small press, Curiosity Quills, was the right choice for her YA Horror novel, THE GATEWAY THROUGH WHICH THEY CAME.
Amy: Why did you choose to publish with Curiosity Quills?
Heather Marie: There are a few reasons. One, I had parted with my agent a few months before I got the offer with Curiosity Quills. Even though I was querying and had some interest, I was still a little hesitant about signing with an agent because my initial experience was a bit traumatic. Two, I knew that even if I’d signed with an agent, that anything supernatural, or even considered paranormal, was gonna be a tough sell. After taking a lot of time to think about it, and talking it over with the owner of Curiosity Quills, I knew they were the perfect home for Gateway.
Amy: Did you query and find it would be a better fit to go direct with a publisher?
Heather Marie: Basically. I can’t remember how many emails were sent, but it was a lot. Lisa Gus (co-owner of Curiosity Quills) was super understanding and incredibly patient. I had so many questions about how things worked, and what they had in mind for Gateway overall. She answered every single one. The things is, I’ve been involved in the industry for what feels like a while, just hearing stories and understanding how it all works, so I had/have a lot of expectations. I knew going with what’s considered a smaller publisher would be a bit more work on my part, but I felt confident that my social media backing would be a great help. So far that’s proven to be right, because my friends on social media have been absolutely phenomenal. Not to mention that Curiosity Quills from the beginning was open to all my thoughts and ideas, which is huge to me.
Amy: Was the contract process difficult?
Heather Marie: Thankfully, no. I was fortunate enough to have someone (who will remain anonymous) help me out. This person has been a huge part of publishing for a long time, and they were so, so amazing. They went over my contract and called me to discuss certain clauses and such that I could go without. I can’t even tell you how grateful I am to them. It’s not like the contract itself was super crazy, but there were little things I would never have otherwise thought much about.
Amy: How has the editing process been? Did they request a lot or few changes?
Heather Marie: At the beginning, there were a lot of changes needed before even signing. Lots of world building that solidified the book as a whole. They were things I didn’t notice were missing, or even needed. So that was a huge help. After that, I went through two rounds of edits. The first one was less than the initial revision, but still extensive. The second was easy peasy. When before I was a bit worried about Gateway not being completely finished, I can now look at it and say: Yes, everything is just right. I love it!
Amy: Did you have any input on your cover design?
Heather Marie: Oh, I was every bit a part of the cover design. This is why I love Curiosity Quills. They encourage you to share your ideas, because they really want you to be 100% happy with the finished product. Ricky Gunawan and I emailed back and forth, and he always had sketches to share. I watched it go from concept art to full blow cover awesomeness. It was incredible. He’s such a fantastic artist. I’m more than pleased and basically begged him to do any other covers I have with Curiosity Quills.
Amy: What about promotion/marketing? Will you handle on your own or does Curiosity Quills offer assistance?
Heather Marie: They offer assistance, but most of you already know that I kind of just jump in and go for it. Everyone says I should get a job doing promotions since I’m organized and have a general idea of what I’m doing. I love knowing that I can go to Curiosity Quills for help and pretty much anything I need for interviews, swag, etc. But I do love that they allow me to do whatever I feel is best for my book. I don’t feel suffocated or held back, and that’s super important to me to be allowed that freedom to branch out and make things happen. The Curiosity Quills team has been wonderful with backing me when I need it, and helping with setting up signings and everything else behind-the-scenes.
Seriously. If you haven’t considered submitting to them, you should. I’m so thankful to them for this opportunity, and hope they take on more of my projects in the future.
To seventeen-year-old Aiden Ortiz, letting the dead walk through his body to reach the other side comes with the territory. Being a Gateway isn’t an easy job, but someone’s gotta send Bleeders where they belong. Heaven. Salvation. Call it whatever you want. Dead is dead. But when his search for Koren Banks––the girl who went mysteriously missing seven months ago––leaves him with more questions than answers, he finds himself involved in something far more sinister and beyond his control.
With the threat of the Dark Priest’s resurrection, and his plan to summon his demon brothers from hell, Aiden is left to discover his identity before the Dark Priest’s curse infecting his blood consumes him, and before the world as he knows it succumbs to the darkness of hell on earth.
Heather Marie lives in Northern California with her husband, and spends the majority of her time at home reading. Before she followed her dreams of becoming a writer, Heather worked as a hairstylist and makeup artist for several years. Although she enjoyed the artistic aspect of it all, nothing quite quenched her creative side like the telling of a good story. When the day had come for her to make a choice, she left behind her promising career to start another, and never looked back. For more on Heather Marie, follow her on Twitter or check out her website, Facebook or Goodreads page.