I'm now planning on self-publishing, unless I hear unexpected news from one of the as-yet-unresponsive agents I've queried. I've set a tentative release date in mid-June, since I need the structure of a deadline.
There are a bunch of plus-sides to this. I'll get the book out this year. Two books, actually, since my business model works better if the sequels come out fairly rapidly. I keep creative control over the cover art. With POD services, I don't have to shell out big bucks for a vanity press.
It still feels like I'm punting, though. I have to remember that Christopher Paolini self-published ERAGON, then got picked up by an agent, got a big publisher, and ended up with a movie deal. It can happen. And, IMHO, MINDER is much more original than ERAGON (which was still an entertaining read, despite the obvious draws from Anne McCaffrey, Tolkien, and the Star Wars Trilogy).
"Success" for the self-published simply means that they get into the agent-publisher system through the back door.
So, now I'm looking for publicity and marketing opportunities. I have the book trailer and the website in the works. If you (or someone you know) does book reviews for your blog, newspaper, artsy underground newsletter, etc., please email me a mailing address and I'll send you one of the advanced reader copies once they arrive. I'll also have a virtual launch party here in the blog, as well as contests and giveaways and all. If you know of some good YA fantasy fansites, post a link below, and I'll spring for ads there. I'd love to hire a professional publicist, so please post of link or something if you can recommend anyone.
Oh, and for follower appreciation, I'll send signed copies to any of my first 20 followers who email me with their mailing addresses.
Thanks for signing up.
Thanks for reading the blog.
Thanks for commenting.
Thanks for being there from the start.
Feel free to email now; I'll keep a "to mail" file, and make sure you indicate your screen name, if it's unrelated to your real name. Also include the name to which you'd like the copy signed.
My request for early-copy-receivers: please read the book before the release date. If you like MINDER, tell your friends about it. Write about it in your blog; post a highly-starred review on Amazon; that sort of thing.
Then, if MINDER hits the big-time, you can always hit me up for a blurb for your own book.