Sunday, November 10, 2013

Guest Post : Amber Skye Forbes;When Stars Die and AEC Stellar Publishing

This is not something I have really blogged about, my choice to let AEC Stellar Publishing take care of When Stars Die. Originally, I was going to shop WSD around and seek out a literary agent, who would then shop it around to a popular publishing house. However, I then became ill, very very ill in both mind and body, thus putting a huge stall on my writing endeavors--I hadn't written in a year. When Stars Die had been shelved since I was fifteen, and I hadn't written a thing. I was under the throes of severe depression--with some mania thrown in there--and I was seriously considering ending my own life because the bleakness seemed unending. I am still suffering with the depression aspect of bipolar disorder, but my now-writing career is keeping me firmly grounded.
In any case, a writerly friend of mine decided to self-publish her book, Edge of the Falls, because she got tired of being told by agents that it was a great book, but it wasn't for them. Because of this, I was originally going to self-publish When Stars Die, but while I'm very adept with social media, I didn't have a business view of publishing. So I was still reconsidering things. I looked at WSD and knew that if it were to go to a big house, it'd probably have to be changed dramatically, meaning a lot of the darkness present in the book would probably have to be lightened, and the romance would probably have to be changed. Now I still could have shopped it around, as WSD was my debut, my first, my baby, and deserved everything, but the thought of going with a big house became less and less appealing over time, especially when I found out that my mentor, Georgia McBride, went through two literary agents with Praefatio before deciding to publish it under her publishing house, Month9Books. These literary agents were big deals, too. I don't know her reasons for doing this, but I know with the first one, she left him because they disagreed about some PR things. The second one, I have no clue. I can assume she left this second one perhaps because the second one really wanted to change it--but that is a mere assumption. A lot of critics of her book claim they got lost because of the chronology, but I enjoyed the first ten chapters immensely--and still have plans to buy it.
Georgia McBride had a book that was as difficult as mine because hers isn't in chronological order. My book just has tons of darkness.
In any case, I started up a Wordpress blog to begin marketing myself, and then somehow stumbled across Shannon Thompson's blog. I read that her book, Minutes Before Sunset, was being published by AEC Stellar Publishing, and since her and my book were under the same market and genre, I decided to check AEC out. They only required a blurb at the time--not a full-blown query letter--and I had a pretty strong blurb for WSD. I didn't immediately submit to them. I wanted to mull them over for a bit because I knew there were other small presses out there, successful ones, that weren't as new as they were. And I knew that it was best not to submit to a new one just in case they went under. People say it's best to wait a year.
But I was, I admit, suicidal at the time, and as scary and sad as it is, I kept thinking 'I just need this one book out,' and then I can go. I can just let go of life and pass on. It's similar to how Emilie Autumn kept thinking that if she could just finish her album, Opheliac, she could then let go of life and go on (she and I suffer from the same mental illness).
I will admit my judgment was clouded when I subbed to them because depressed brains are always clouded. But upon being accepted and reading the contract, I liked their terms. I can't talk about my contract, but I really, really liked them. So I decided to stay, and I have loved working with them. I do not feel like I shorted myself by choosing to be with a new press instead of an already-established one; therefore, people do not have the right to tell me that I cheated myself when they have no idea what my experiences have been like with AEC Stellar Publishing.
I love AEC, and they are growing and will continue to grow. They are getting better as a business and getting better in their PR department, and I am sticking with them because I am confident in them and in my books they are going to represent. And I hope all of you will grow to love my books, too.
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Amber Skye Forbes is a dancing writer who prefers pointe shoes over street shoes, leotards over skirts, and ballet buns over hairstyles. She loves striped tights and bows and will edit your face with a Sharpie if she doesn’t like your attitude. She lives in Augusta, Georgia where she writes dark fiction that will one day put her in a psychiatric ward…again. But she doesn’t care because her cat is a super hero who will break her out.

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