Giving thanks for the good fortune of great readers

When I visit book clubs or speak at an event or do signings for Sparrow Migrations, I usually bring along a bag of fortune cookies. All the novel’s characters eat at a Chinese restaurant at some point, and the fortune cookies are a great icebreaker, a reason to strike up a conversation.

This month, fortune found me. I’ve accepted an offer from Lake Union Publishing, an imprint of

Lucky charm.

Now serving.

Amazon Publishing, to re-release Sparrow Migrations in spring 2015.

<< ! >>

What that means is that the manuscript gets a wholesale editing polish and a new cover. And when it’s re-released, the world’s largest bookseller will be powering my quest to reach more readers.

The opportunity seemed to fall out of the sky when my now-editor first contacted me to express interest. The November timing is particularly poignant — I finished my first draft almost exactly four years ago during my third attempt at NaNoWriMo. But as I reflect on the past four years, it’s Thomas Edison’s pithy line that fits best: Opportunity is dressed in overalls and looks like work. Writing the manuscript is just the first step, especially if you go the indie route.

Now, more work lies ahead. The developmental editor is marking up her copy as I write. Copy edits, proofreading and a new cover design come next. All are in service of maximizing this next, huge, opportunity.

Thanksgiving is the best-known hallmark of November, of course. And I’m so grateful for the indie author experience I’ve gained since self-pubbing 18 months ago, which allowed me to connect with readers. I’ve met hundreds of readers, in person at book clubs and libraries and bookstores and virtually at Skype book discussions and through their Amazon and Goodreads reviews. It was that “review intensity” that my editor mentioned in her first e-mail as evidence Sparrow could fly higher still.

So, readers, in this dual season of NaNo and Thanksgiving, please accept my thanks, 50,000 times over.

- The letter W brought to you by Daily Drop Cap.

 PS – Twitter coaching for NaNo last week was great fun. If you’re a Wrimo still searching for your path to The End, I offer some tips on the NaNo blog.

The year of NaNo-ing vicariously

Sounds like a blockbuster title, doesn’t it?

I’m on the sidelines of the literary world’s greatest endurance race this year, wrapping up revisions to my 2013 novel. But I guest-blogged some tips for ForeWord Reviews. And I’m excited to be invited to coach WriMos on Twitter through a new NaNo program. My designated week to answer questions and offer encouragement starts next Monday, Nov. 17, but you can tweet questions and/or laments anytime before or after with the hashtag #NaNoCoach.

If you’re on pace, you should be at about 17,000 words today. How are you doing?

 - The letter S brought to you by Daily Drop Cap.