Category: Publishing

Cover Reveal – The Trials of Renegade X!

I have, of course, been dying to show you guys this for a while now, and today is the day! This is the ebook cover for Trials, made by Raul Allen, who was also the amazing artist behind the first cover. The print books will feature the full wraparound, like the first one had, with the city continuing off to the left.

And here’s blurb again:

Can a half villain ever be a full hero?

Damien Locke didn’t choose for his supervillain mom to disown him — just because he sort of defied her and ruined her evil plans to take over Golden City — and he didn’t choose for his superpower to be flying, a superhero ability that involves his least favorite thing: heights. But now that he’s living with his dad’s superhero family and enrolling at Heroesworth Academy, he’s ready to embrace his new life, get his H, and finally belong somewhere. But belonging isn’t as easy as signing up for classes, and Damien finds himself struggling to fit in more than ever.

Just when he’s sure his fate as a hero has been decided, though, he gets a new villain power that he can’t control. And things only get worse when he accidentally screws up one of his sidekick Sarah’s gadgets, altering her personality and turning her into a crazed, anti-supervillain vigilante — leaving him no choice but to team up with her annoying superhero boyfriend if he hopes to have any chance of getting the old Sarah back, before she captures — or kills — another supervillain like him.

I think it goes without saying, but I LOVE this cover! I love how bitchy and evil Sarah looks (I know, I know, that’s a weird thing to say, but it’s true).  And I love the city in the background, and the mist on the roof, and the creepy machine there. And of course Damien looks awesome, too! And their belts have Xs and Thetas on them, and it’s just all very cool and amazing.

Many Cool Announcements

So many announcements, in fact, that I can make a BULLETED LIST.

  • The kickstarter for The Trials of Renegade X was a rousing success!  It ended at 125%, which is pretty amazing.  Especially since there was a time, for about an hour or so after I first launched it (and, well, all the months leading up to it), where I was pretty sure it was going to finish at zero percent.  Or maybe more realistically like one percent.  (Okay, okay, five percent.)  BUT my doubts were foiled again and everything is coming up awesome.
  • If you missed out on the kickstarter, don’t worry!  Trials now has a release date and will be out September 26th.  You’ll be able to get it in ebook, paperback, or hardcover.  (Though if you want a print copy, brace yourself for print-on-demand prices, which are a bit pricier than you might be used to.)
  • I have THE COVER, and it’s freaking AWESOME.  Raul Allen, the same artist who did the cover for The Rise of Renegade X, did an amazing job.  It’s everything I could have hoped for and more, and a perfect follow-up to the first one.  I can’t reveal it yet, but soon, precioussss.  Soon.
  • You may or may not have noticed–or seen me talking about it–but the first book is currently unavailable, due to me getting the rights back.  But I’m happy to announce that it will be back up in the near future–probably in the next few weeks–and should be out in time for the sequel’s release!  I’m in the process of licensing the cover art now, but once that’s done I can relaunch.  It will be back up in ebook and hardback and will be making its paperback debut. ;)  (Though what I said earlier about POD prices still applies.)
  • The movie option for Renegade X got renewed!  I have no idea where they are with the project (well, I have some idea, but my knowledge on it is several months outdated, and I’m not sure what I’d be allowed to tell people even if I did know something), only that it’s still in the works.  So, as always, getting renewed doesn’t mean there will actually be a movie, but it’s still a possibility!
  • And, finally, with both books for sure coming out and having covers and all that, I’m thinking of doing audiobook versions as well through ACX.  (ACX is awesome and makes audiobook production an option for authors and helps them find narrators.  I went through them for Harper Madigan and was really happy about the whole process and especially with how the book turned out.)  I have to admit to being kind of nervous about hearing someone else read for Damien and the other RRX characters I’ve had in my head for so long.  (And what if I hear their voice in my head from then on instead of mine???)  So if I don’t find the right narrator, it will be a no-go.  But there are a lot of talented voice actors, so I am hopeful that the right one is out there.

And so my bulleted list comes to an end!  This next month is going to be really exciting as I get ready to launch all this, and then of course everyone finally getting to actually read the sequel is pretty mind blowing, too! 

Comparing and Contrasting with Myself

I’ve been reading over The Rise of Renegade X, so I can read it back to back with The Trials of Renegade X, something I’ve never done so far, at least not since Trials was actually finished.  Besides reading them for fun (because, OMG, I have a series, or at least if two books counts as a series, which it might not, but saying OMG, I have a … couplet? doesn’t have the same ring to it), I’m looking for style and spelling consistency while I do it, to make sure everything matches between books.

It’s interesting because as I read through it, I’m noticing that even though my voice hasn’t changed in the six years since I wrote this, my punctuation style has.  I’m looking back at the first one and seeing that I used semi-colons.  Seriously?  I never use semi-colons, or at least not anymore.  And I can see why I ended up using them then, but I just don’t structure my sentences the same way.

I’m also pretty sure I use a lot more italics these days, though that might be partly because I realized, while listening to the Harper Madigan audiobook, that no one will read the words as if they’re italicized unless I, you know, actually italicize them.

And since I’m republishing The Rise of Renegade X (someday, hopefully in the not-too-far future), it’s so tempting to think, “Well, I could just edit out those semi-colons, to make it match my style now.”  But that is a big fat can of worms right there, and Chelsea’s first rule of revision is change as little as possible.  That goes double for books that are already done, published, and have been being read and enjoyed by readers for years.

So I will just suck it up and face the facts that sometimes things change, and that’s okay.  Also, I really doubt you guys are going to be reading the sequel, going, “WTF? There are NO semi-colons in this book!  Where’s the smattering of properly used semi-colons I’ve come to expect from this series?!?!?!”  (Though if you did, I suppose you’d be even more upset if I went and took them out of the first book.  Best to just leave things as they are and let sleeping semi-colons lie.)

When a Book Goes out of Print

So, as some of you have noticed, you can no longer buy new copies of The Rise of Renegade X.  You can get used hardbacks, but new ones haven’t been available in months.  (I even got confirmation that there just aren’t any left.)  The print run ran out and that’s that.

Except it’s not.  This might all sound like bad news, especially when I tell you that the ebooks have all been taken down as well, but it’s actually really good news!

(I know, I know, it’s counter intuitive, but hear me out.)

Because the book went out of print, I was able to get the rights back.  (Which is why the ebook disappeared, since the rights to it are mine now, not the publisher’s.  But if you already bought an ebook version of it, you can still keep/download that.)

Getting the rights back these days is super good news.  In the near future I will be putting the ebook back up–for a much lower price–and making paperback copies available through print-on-demand.  The great thing about POD is that it never goes out of print.  Which means there will always be physical and ebook copies available.

I’m also hoping to release a POD hardback as well, but that will depend on if the kickstarter for the sequel is successful, since I’ll need a block of ISBNs for that part.

And speaking of the kickstarter, it’s at 49%!  Just one pledge away from hitting the halfway mark!  And there are still 24 days to go!

There’s still a lot left to raise, so if you plan to buy the sequel, please consider getting it through the kickstarter!

For $10, you get both the ebook version of the sequel (which you’ll get to read a month before everybody else) and the ebook of The Rise of Renegade X.  There are, of course, plenty of other cool incentives, and even if you can’t pledge right now, any efforts to help spread the word are much appreciated!

Go here to check it out.

Pre-order The Trials of Renegade X!

I’ve been working on this for a while and am super excited to announce that you can now pre-order The Trials of Renegade X on Kickstarter!  Not only that, but you can get it a whole MONTH before everyone else!

You can also read a sample chapter of the sequel!  And, besides getting to read the book early, everyone who pledges gets their superhero or supervillain name and superpower listed in the thank you section of the book.

There are also some other really exciting incentives, including special limited edition signed copies.  You can also get a minor character named after you, or get a plush of your favorite character!  These last two are very limited–only a few each–so don’t miss out!

Renegade X Sequel = DONE!

Wow, it’s been a while since I posted (guess I was in the writer cave longer than I thought).  I looked at my last post, where I had 19,000 words in the sequel. HA.  Now I have 115,000 and it’s DONE!  That’s right–this book is going to exist.  It’s going to come out this September.  And it’s going to be really freaking awesome (but I think you guys knew that part already).  And if you’re wondering what 115,000 words actually means, I’ll tell you that the first one was 85,000 words, making this a much bigger book.  I would estimate that gives you guys another 100 pages to read.

Of sex and math jokes.

Just kidding.  There aren’t any math jokes in this one.

I had so much fun writing this book.  And drank so much coffee. And, while I miss the characters again already, it feels good to have it done.  I finished the first one nearly six years ago.  Six freaking years.  And there were times since then when I was absolutely certain there would be a sequel, and times when I was absolutely certain there would not.  But you guys kept writing to me, telling me how much you loved Renegade X and asking when there would be another one.  And if it hadn’t been for you guys telling me all that, I don’t know if I would have ever written it.  But you did, and I did, and now I’ve finished the best book I’ve ever written.  And I can’t wait for you guys to get to read it in September!

And since, no matter how much planning I do, books have a way of morphing and getting away from me as I write them (or at least the best ones do), I reworked the book description.  The old one wasn’t inaccurate, but it wasn’t so much the story anymore either.  So here’s the new blurb:

 Can a half villain ever be a full hero?

Damien Locke didn’t choose for his supervillain mom to disown him—just because he sort of defied her and ruined her evil plans to take over Golden City—and he didn’t choose for his superpower to be flying, a superhero ability that involves his least favorite thing: heights. But now that he’s living with his dad’s superhero family and enrolling at Heroesworth Academy, he’s ready to embrace his new life, get his H, and finally belong somewhere. But belonging isn’t as easy as signing up for classes, and Damien finds himself struggling to fit in more than ever.

Just when he’s sure his fate as a hero has been decided, though, he gets a new villain power that he can’t control. And things only get worse when he accidentally screws up one of his sidekick Sarah’s gadgets, altering her personality and turning her into a crazed, anti-supervillain vigilante—leaving him no choice but to team up with her annoying superhero boyfriend if he hopes to have any chance of getting the old Sarah back, before she captures—or kills—another supervillain like him.

Harper Madigan is Free This Weekend Plus Some Good News

To celebrate Harper Madigan: Junior High Private Eye’s one year anniversary, the Kindle version is free all weekend–Friday, Saturday, and Sunday–over at Amazon.  And if you don’t have a kindle, you can still download it and convert it to a different file type, if you’re into that kind of thing.

AND my good news about Harper Madigan is that it’s going to be an audiobook!  It should be out sometime in April, and of course I’ll have more details then.  I’ve gotten to listen to the first half of the book and I LOVE it and can’t wait to share it!

That’s all for now–must get back to writing Trials, which, for those of you who missed my tweet. is up to 19,000 words so far.

Self-publishing and Harper Madigan

So, I don’t think I ever mentioned why I chose to self-publish Harper Madigan: Junior High Private Eye.  For those of you who don’t know, it’s a noir detective story.  It’s also MG, so self-publishing it isn’t the most obvious path to get it into the hands of readers.  A lot of people have misconceptions about self-publishing, or at least that’s what I’ve been noticing lately.  (I did not notice much last year.  Last year was a dead sort of year, what with my doctor mistakenly putting me on way too low of thyroid meds and turning me into a zombie, which made for very little writing and even less of everything else.  But I got a new doctor and better meds and a better dosage.  There’s more to the story, but that’s another post for another time.)

Source: amzn.to via Chelsea on Pinterest

 

Anyway, the hard truth of publishing is that good books do not always get published.  The Rise of Renegade X came this close to not finding any love at all and fading into obscurity on my hard drive.  In fact, Harper Madigan got more editor love than Renegade X, with three separate editors falling in love with it and wanting to buy.  But editors alone don’t decide what gets bought, no matter how much they love it, and their houses said no, they couldn’t sell it.  So here’s me with this awesome book that I still want people to get to read, but no publisher.

So what’s a girl to do?  Put on her DIY hat and PUBLISH IT HERSELF, that’s what.  And you know what?  Putting it all together myself was a lot of fun and I was able to do it quickly and easily and pretty much stress-free.  It was also a great way to get started in the world of self-publishing before putting out The Trials of Renegade X.  I am very pro hybrid-career at this point, and while I hope to continue to find traditional publishers for some books, it’s not something I can control.  I can, however, control how many books I self-publish.

And speaking of Harper Madigan, I have some good news to share about it!  But not yet.  Soon, precioussss.  Soon.  And I have good news to share about Renegade X, but if I wait a little while, it may turn into really freaking awesome news, so, again, we must all wait.

The Trials of Renegade X Release Date!

Mark your calendars for September, 2013!  That’s right, The Trials of Renegade X will be released next September!  This might seem like a long way off, especially when you guys have been so patient–a lot of you have been waiting for this since 2010.  But September is when everything can be done by–both on my end and for others involved in getting the project out the door–and it’s going to be amazing.

If you haven’t already, you can mark the sequel as “to read” on Goodreads or join the Facebook group to help spread the word!

And I have another book coming out next spring that hopefully I will be able to announce soon.  It’s not Renegade X related, but if you like the voice in Renegade X, you’re going to love this one, too.

In other news, The Rise of Renegade X came out in Russian!  I found out from a Russian fan messaging me on Facebook–one thing you learn very quickly in this business is that nobody tells authors anything.  I knew we’d sold Russian rights, but I had no idea when it was coming out.  Damien’s name in the translated version is “Damien Loki,” which seems appropriate. ;)  Oh, and according to Google Translate, the Russian title is “The Desperate and Undefeated Renegade X.”

 

Can You Resubmit a Significantly Revised Manuscript?

Taking a break from work and school related deadlines to answer another publishing question!  Mel asks:

If I sent my manuscript to an agent about a year ago (who requested a full) , but since then have significantly revised it, would you suggest resubmitting it?

Definitely!  Just make sure to be up front about it in your query letter and mention it’s the book they’d seen before, only significantly revised, and mention some of the big changes.  They may say thanks but no thanks and not want to see the new version, but it’s worth a try.  A year is plenty of time for you to have given your manuscript an overhaul and for this to not come across as pushy or annoying.

Now, if this agent in question has had your full sitting around for a year and hasn’t responded at all, then that feels a bit more iffy.  That might not be the case here, but I want to address it anyway, for anyone who might be in that situation.  Not that you can’t resend your manuscript here (you can, just mention that since they hadn’t responded to the full, maybe they haven’t had a chance to read it yet and would they like to see the new and improved version?), but a year is a long time with no communication.  I would do more research on them and find out if this is a typical wait time and how responsive the agent is with their clients.

I say this because I had a bad experience with my first agent.  She’d requested a full of one of my manuscripts, by phone, and then never responded.  Six months later I contacted her because I had a new book (Renegade X) and asked if she’d like to take a look at it.  She apparently had finished the first book I sent her and liked it, but wasn’t sure if she could sell it, and just never got around to telling me any of this. :/  I thought, “Hey, aspiring authors are supposed to be treated like afterthoughts… she’d be way more attentive if I was her client.”  Well, I did eventually become her client, but she didn’t become any more attentive.  We never spoke on the phone again, and I never stopped feeling like an afterthought, though again I thought, “Once I make a sale, THEN I’ll be worthy of her time.”

Not true!  For the record, if you’re a client, you’re always worthy of your agent’s time, whether you’ve had a sale or not.

But anyway, back to the story.  This agent only got more aloof as my book gathered up rejections.  Eventually she stopped talking to me all together and ignored my request for a status update on who had my manuscript.  So I fired her!  It was scary, but one of the best decisions of my life, and one that lead to a new, super amazing agent and a book contract.

So that’s my tale of caution on super slow responders.  Some agents do have a lot of backlog, and emails can get buried and forgotten about.  It happens.  But a full is a big deal, and you should get a response, even if it turns out to be a form letter.  But if an agent’s M.O. is to show their lack of enthusiasm by never contacting you again, I’d think long and hard about giving them another chance.