It’s Official! Oh, and about The Gallows Tree…
It’s official. I am now represented by Frank Weimann of The Literary Group International in NYC. (Check the website, they have some pretty big clients!) I received the signed contracts in the mail yesterday. Technically, they were delivered on Saturday, but we forgot to check the mail that day, so I didn’t get them until yesterday. But anyway, they are here, and I can finally tell you guys about it.
A few months ago, I came across this thread on Kindleboards.com. For those who don’t feel like clicking, basically an author named Jeff Rivera came in and said he knew some agents who were looking for successful indie authors. To define “successful,” they put the number at 10,000 ebooks sold. Since I had sold over 25,000 by that point, I decided to give it a shot.
Jeff put me in touch with Frank, who called me on the phone the next day. After a 20 minute conversation, I sent him two hard copies of 33 A.D. Last week, I received an email from his assistant offering me a contract. I looked the contract over, showed it to some people who have been around the block, and, satisfied that everything was hunky dory, signed it.
And there you have it. All that time I wasted querying agents and publishers, and all it took to land one was a measly 25,000 ebook sales. Go figure. (In case anyone is wondering, there is a tiny hint of sarcasm there…25K ebooks is HARD to do by yourself. Obviously it can be done, but believe me, it ain’t easy.)
This brings me to the other thing I needed to mention. According to my blog stats—which I check almost as compulsively as my Kindle sales—there have already been searches for “David McAfee The Gallows Tree” or, sometimes, just “The Gallows Tree.” I think it’s cool that people are searching for info on the book, but things have changed a little in McAfee Land, and I figure I might need to address this with my horde of loyal readers. (Side note: can three or four people be classified as a “horde”? I hope so, ‘cause it sounds so much cooler that way.)
Now that I have an agent, I can’t self-publish any novels without giving the agency first right of refusal. Basically, I am contractually obligated to show them any full length book I write so they can decide whether or not they want to represent it. That means that, once I am finished with my editing for The Gallows Tree, I will not have the immediate right to publish it. It has to go through my agent first.
Now, if he doesn’t like it or doesn’t think he can sell it, I should be able to put it online myself, but I have no idea how long it will take him to decide. I’m not exactly a big fish, you know. In fact, I’m pretty low on the totem pole, so I doubt I’m a priority. And since I haven’t started editing it yet (That’s next on my calendar), I have no idea when, or if, I will be releasing it so that y’all can read it. Rest assured, it will be published, but whether it’s done by a traditional publisher or me is up in the air right now.
But, for the record, I think it’s a great book. It’s about a small town in Tennessee where the elderly residents all start to commit suicide by hanging themselves from the same weeping willow just outside the town limits. The only clue they leave behind are notes that just say “Guilty.” I won’t tell you why they are doing it, that would be cheating, but I will say that this book has much stronger language and situations than anything I’ve written to date.
Basically, part of the book deals with racial tensions in 1959, so you can imagine what some of the scenes are like. I don’t know how many writers have given themselves bad dreams with their work, but I sure did.
That poor kid…
Um, anyway. I probably said too much. Keep checking back here for more information. I promise not to keep you folks out of the loop!