Category: Publishing

What’s New

So it’s been a little while since I posted. Real Life sort of kidnapped me and locked me up in a cage dangling above an oversized cauldron and I only just now escaped. *phew* It’s been a busy sprummer, and I think it’s only going to continue to get busier until fall. (In the NW, we have winter, sprinter, mud, a short spring, and a long sprummer, followed up by a few days of real summer, and then fall.)

But anyway, here’s what’s been going on with me. I started grad school, which at first was underwhelming and now is totally overwhelming and I have to go to Syracuse for a one week residency in only a little over TWO WEEKS and I have to get all the work done for two classes first and agghhh!!

Ahem. Grad school has made this a pretty crazy sprummer, especially since it took over a month for financial aid to go through, due to me taking different amounts of credits during different sessions. (I’ve never had financial aid in time to buy books and stuff before the beginning of school, but this takes the cake and eats it too.) And then I have the two classes I’ll be attending during my residency, but I have to get all the work and reading done for them ahead of time. Plus keep up with my regular class that spans the whole semester. Hopefully in the fall things will calm down a bit, especially since I’ll only be taking two (hopefully evenly spaced) classes.

Oh, and as soon as I get back from my residency, I have jury duty. -__-

In more exciting news–I know it’s going to be hard to top the excitement of jury duty, but I have to try–my film option with Disney was almost up, and they decided to renew!!! Huge W00T!! I know very little about this project, but I do know that the writers are making good progress and that Disney liked their revisions to the script.

The paperback version of The Rise of Renegade X is out on August 23rd, if my current info is correct. I don’t remember if I posted about it here or not, but it was supposed to be out in May, BUT the sales reps liked the blurb on the cover from the awesome Julie Kagawa and wanted more time to pitch it to bookstores and stuff. (Or whatever sales reps do.) It will be much cheaper than the hardback, but just as cool! And I’m planning to have a contest to go with it, where I’ll be giving away a behind-the-scenes annotated copy of the hardback.

I also have a new book going out on sub soon that I think you guys are going to love.

And that’s all for now because my five page paper isn’t going to write itself… by Friday.

Upcoming Stuff

So, I’m working on a big overhaul of the site that hopefully I’ll be able to share with everyone soon-ish. If everything goes according to plan, I’m going to be getting rid of WordPress and exclusively using the LJ (but you won’t have to go to a separate site to view it). I’m also developing a plan for blogging regularly, possibly with TOPICS.

My big news at the moment is that I got into grad school at Syracuse University, for their library and information science distance learning program! I’m still waiting to hear from the University of Washington and Rutgers, but, hey, I got in, and all three schools sound amazing. If I get into all of them, it will be hard to choose (unless one of them comes with major funding, and then it’ll be a lot easier). I wasn’t expecting to hear back yet, so it came as a big surprise. Each school starts in a different month, ranging from July to September, so I’m not even sure when I’ll be doing what, but at least now I have an idea of what I’ll be doing next year.

The Rise of Renegade X comes out in paperback in only a little over three months, which I’m getting pretty excited about. I mean, yeah, I know the book’s already out, but now it will be out again (and only $8.99) and sitting on shelves next to other paperbacks. I’ve got some ideas for some new RRX swag and maybe some contests in the near future, so stay tuned for that.

So yesterday (well, technically the day before yesterday, since it’s after midnight) I got my first ever royalty statement.

*le gasp!*

But before you break out the streamers and cake, I have to tell you that a royalty statement is not the same thing as a royalty check. Everyone gets royalty statements twice a year, whether they’ve earned out their advance or not. The only thing is that now when people ask me how the book is doing, I can tell them how it was doing through June, which was only six weeks out from release date. If you want to know how the book’s doing right now, I won’t know until April when the next statement comes.

My statement only represented a six week window (though usually it would show six months), but if we assumed that those numbers were representative of how sales will go forever, it would still take me two years to earn out my advance. (And they are probably not representative of forever.) So, I’ve still got a ways to go before breaking out that cake. (But I might as well bake it now and save it until then, because it will totally keep, RIGHT? Or will it be reminiscent of that time I found out I’d been eating rancid butter and that’s why everything tasted so weird?)

(Parenthetical P.S. I *didn’t* just tell you about the time I was eating rancid butter over a period of SEVERAL DAYS without realizing it, even though it tasted really bad. Only, like, someone really dumb would do that.)

So, um, yeah, that’s about all I have to say about royalty statements, other than that my royalties on ebooks are way higher than on hardbacks, even though the list price is the same. That is, I get my royalty percentages from the $17.99 cover price, for both hardback and ebooks, regardless of what price the book is actually sold at. So, go ebooks!

Website stuff

So you might have noticed that I added a new Renegade X frequently asked questions page. Hopefully that clears up some confusions people have had and answers the age old question, “Will there be a sequel?” Which I know is the only reason anyone comes to this site, hence the reason I have kept the answer seeeekrit, my precioussss. Actually, the answer is not a secret and I haven’t been withholding it to lure people into checking out my site in the hopes of finding answers. (Sadly, there are no sequel plans at this time.)

If you have any other questions not answered on the FAQ, feel free to ask them! If enough people ask them, I will add them to the FAQ and then every time you look at that particular question, you can sit back and take pride in knowing you helped put it there. It’s kind of like naming a star, only not. At all. But you can still feel good about it.

SLJ mentions Renegade X

School Library Journal mentioned my book today in their Interesting Reader Society – Book Reviews by Young Adults. It was my first brush with a pro journal, and it went a little something like this (actually, it went word for word like this, because I’m copying it directly):

Campbell, Chelsea M. The Rise of Renegade X. Egmont. May 2010. ISBN 978-1-60684-060-3. Gr 7–12.

Damien Locke lives in a world where your DNA structure decides whether you become a hero or a villain. On each inhabitant’s 16th birthday, the hero/villain’s thumb fingerprints change to an H or a V. But when Damien’s thumbprint becomes an X, everything changes.

This story was fast, exciting, and fresh. I thought the cover was good, and it showed an important scene when Damien is being forced to jump off a building. The confusion of Damien throughout the book is so real.—Madison C., age 13

Not bad, eh?


I may have opened the door to find three boxes of books and shouted YES! for all the neighbors to hear. Except I don’t think they were listening. But here they are, my shiny new hardback copies of The Rise of Renegade X!

Here they are in their boxes. I was not impressed with FedEx’s handling of said boxes, since they were kind of falling apart, but oh well.

Here’s one on my favorite photo location, the cat tree:

And spread out so you can see the wrap around cover:

A couple of them in a stack, a book’s natural positon:

Ta da! And, as a bonus, here’s the summary listed on the copyright page. I think they did a good job:

Expecting to become a supervillain on his sixteenth birthday, Damien Locke, son of one of Golden City’s most notorious supervillains, is horrified to discover that he may instead be destined to become a superhero.

I am a pop culture collectible!

Or at least my book is. It must be a pop culture collectible, since you can buy it on this pop culture collectibles site. You do not know how happy it makes me that you can buy Batman and Harry Potter merchandise in the same place you can buy my book (excluding Amazon, of course, where you can by EVERYTHING, so it’s not the same). I mean, you can buy Indiana Jones collectibles and Hellboy collectibles and a Domo-kun fedora and a plush Murloc and all sorts of TV and movie and other pop culture collectibles, and boy do I love collectibles, especially of the pop culture variety. This place is practically the Chelsea store, it has so many things for me to drool over. So how super awesome is it that I opened up my google alerts today to find that amongst all that stuff, they’re selling my book?

In other news, I have my first Goodreads giveaway going on. You pretty much just press a button to enter and you can win an advanced copy of The Rise of Renegade X. The contest runs for a month and then Goodreads picks a winner and tells me where to send it. It’s easy sauce for everyone involved and makes the book visible to a lot of people.

My glasses also came today, so expect another post with pictures later.

Agent Appreciation Day!

It’s Agent Appreciation Day across the internet, and let me tell you, I sure appreciate my agent, Holly Root.

You see, I used to have a not-so-good agent. One who didn’t talk to me and ignored my e-mails and couldn’t get the names of my books straight. I thought good, wonderful, OMG-perfect-for-me agents were for other people who were living the dream. So when Holly and I found each other, I was a little like my friend’s ex-stray dog who thinks eating garbage is a way of life. (Okay, I wasn’t that bad…)

Holly’s awesome. She answers my e-mails, and with real answers about what’s going on with my books. I’m not afraid to e-mail or call her any time, and she always sounds glad to hear from me. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been having a long, wonderful conversation with her on the phone, laughing together or speculating on the future, but expecting to get rushed off any minute now or grumped at for taking up so much of her time. But I think all my agent mates will agree that that would be so not Holly! She’s always there to talk to me, and it’s never a chore or a waste of her time.

There are a lot of ups and downs in publishing, but Holly makes them all sound like ups. She can put a positive spin on anything and always makes me feel like I rock and am just teetering on the verge of world domination. (She knows me so well, lol!) She *gets* my books, my voice, and my sense of humor, which are all very important to me. I know she’s always got my back if trouble comes up, or even if I just imagine that troubles coming up. Now that I’m working on a new project, I’m getting to see that Holly is there for me every step of the way, from going over book ideas, and updated book ideas, to reading first pages.

A good agent has such a huge role in making a good book a publishing reality, I can’t even tell you. I knew they did more than just make deals, negotiate contracts, and count their money, but I had no idea how important they were every tiny step of the way. Whether it’s helping me figure out my next project, hooking me up with wonderful editors, negotiating contracts, answering my questions about publishing, life, the universe, and everything, squeeing over my book cover with me (yes, I did call her to squee), delivering bad news and making it sound like the best thing that ever happened to me, or just updating me on what’s going on with my books–I honestly don’t know how I’d do it without her.

So, in honor of Holly, I have ripped off composed this short poem:

Agents are sharks,
authors are blue,
book deals are sweet,
and so are you.

Thank you, Holly, and all the other wonderful agents out there who are there for their authors every day. YOU rock, and I’m pretty sure you’re the one teetering on the edge of world domination.

More ARCs

Pictures of the box of ARCs that arrived today, both in their box and out of their box:

From Drop Box
From Drop Box

I have ten ARCs in this box for marketing and promotional purposes–which is a pretty decent amount, considering that a lot of authors only get one or two, and considering how much it costs to make an ARC (pretty close to the price of an actual book–see Alex Bracken’s post on ARCs)–and six months until the book actually comes out. Very exciting in a What Now kind of way.

Has it been a week already?

Gah, apparently it’s been a week since I posted. The days just slip by!

So what have I been doing the past week? What breaking news is there to report from Chelsea Land?

Er, not a whole lot. Mostly I’ve been writing. And freaking out and deleting scenes and then deciding I like them and putting them back in again. (With minor tweaks. Remember what I said about minor tweaks being so useful.) I am loving this book a lot, but trying not to push myself too hard when I get frustrated. At this point, it’s less about adhering to a strict word count every day as it is just being happy that the book is going well and that I love it and that freaking out will only lead to more stress, whereas stepping back a little might lead to answers. I’m up to 40k, and if I finish it by the end of November (for fake NaNo), I will be SO HAPPY. This book is a sequel I’ve been struggling with for, erm, a couple years now, and this incarnation of it is one I’m finally happy with (and so’s my agent, and let’s hope my editor is too), and it has gone from being a frustrating, unfinished burden (while I had the day job) to being something I don’t ever want to finish because I looooves it, Precious, except that I do want it to end someday so I can BE DONE with it and move on with my life, even if “moving on” is just fantasizing about the next volume. This is the writer’s dilemma: Odi et amo. I hate and I love.

I read through my ARC. It was good times. I still have it in my stack of books on my night stand, and sometimes I leave it lying around in my pile of junk next to my beanbag, just to see it sitting around, being real. Like it could be any other book, piled somewhere in my room or on my desk, and it’s MINE. Also, speaking of my ARC, I heard Egmont gave away some copies at a YA festival thing in Austin, among other awesome ARCs like Anastasia Hopcus’ Shadow Hills and Bree Despain’s The Dark Divine–both of which I have not yet had a chance to read, but AM DYING FOR. Ahem. Anyway, how cool is that that people I don’t even know might have my ARC sitting around? Very cool.

Also I changed the description on the Rise of Renegade X page to match the jacket copy. It goes like this:

Damien Locke knows his destiny–attending the university for supervillains and becoming Golden City’s next professional evil genius. But when Damien discovers he’s the product of his supervillain mother’s one-night stand with–of all people–a superhero, his best-laid plans are ruined as he’s forced to live with his superhero family.

Going to extreme lengths (and heights), The Rise of Renegade X chronicles one boy’s struggles with the villainous and heroic pitfalls of growing up.

I’m reading Heat Wave, by Richard Castle (I know, right??), a tie-in book for ABC’s show, Castle, which, if you didn’t already know, is awesome. I’m almost done with the book. It’s pretty good–just like the show, except that Nikki Heat and Jameson Rook, the NYC detective and the reporter following her around, are characters Castle supposedly made up, so unlike most tie-in books, life changing stuff can actually happen in it. Which is brilliant!

I’ve also been watching Supernatural. I’m about 3/4 of the way through season one. I love it. It has it’s really stupid, cheesy moments, and then there was that hillbilly episode… but overall, they always get me with whatever emotional dilemma is going on even on the episodes where , and I love the roles the Sam and Dean play, both in their demon hunting team and as brothers.