The Issue of My Mystery Novel: Sons of God
Over the past few years I’ve received questions from folks finding a book called Sons of God by yours truly. I understand the bewilderment. Until now I’ve taken the questions individually but have never addressed the issue of the mysterious book publicly.
Lately, the questions have been piling up so it’s probably time to state the facts. Here goes.
I started writing in 1998 and primarily focused on creative non-fiction and newspaper feature writing. In 2004 I got the wild idea to venture into fiction writing and try my hand. I had an idea and went for it. I had no training, no experience, and really no idea what I was doing. But I was doing what I loved to do: writing.
When the story was complete (early 2005) I shopped it around to some lesser known publishers I found online and got a bunch of rejections. One, PublishAmerica, said they were interested and offered me a contract. Being naive and just plain dumb, I had no idea what kind of publisher PublishAmerica was and assumed they were a reputable traditional house. After I signed the contract a friend of mine urged me to look into PublishAmerica. She said she’d heard some negative things about them. I did then what I should have done earlier and researched. What I found upset me. I’m not here to bash PublishAmerica. For some people they’re fine and serve a purpose but for me it wasn’t what I was looking for. I contacted them immediatley and asked to be released from the contract. They refused.
I tried to make the best of it but the finished product was poorly edited and overpriced ($19.95 for a 215 page paperback). I was unhappy and let them know. They did nothing.
So I all but ignored the book. Maybe that was the wrong attitude, maybe it wasn’t. I sold a few hundred copies by hand, did some local booksignings, but other than that did nothing to push the sale of the book. When I signed a contract with Realms in 2007 for The Hunted (a book I was truly proud of) I vowed to totally ignore Sons of God and never mention it again. Again, maybe that was the wrong attitude. I just felt really bad charging someone twenty bucks for a 215-page book that was poorly edited (PublishAmerica is selling it now for $29.95).
I love the story and will someday rewrite it when my contract with PublishAmerica expires, but for now, the book is in the doghouse.
Now, the book is available online. You can get it on Amazon for $32 at the cheapest or spend $161 for a copy. I have no idea why someone is charging that much. I only own two copies for myself so I won’t be selling anymore. But if you really want a copy, the cheapest I’ve found is on the PublishAmerica website where they’re selling it now for $29.95. Again, in my opinion, way overpriced.
So there you have it, the story of the mysterious novel. Funny thing is, I hear often from people who have read Sons of God that it is still their favorite of my novels. Weird.
The lesson here is to do your homework before signing any contracts and know what it is you want out of this publishing journey.