Sometimes it seems like a dream. You have a great agent. She gets you a good deal and you have a contract. You've been through editing and copyediting and filled out all the forms for artwork. You're almost ready to see your manuscript turned into a real book.
Then you wake up.
I had one of those rude awakenings last week. Strange Chemistry, the YA imprint of Angry Robot books that was supposed to published A Curse of Ash and Iron, my YA steampunk fairy-tale retelling, was cut. Effective immediately. Contract canceled.
It's taken me awhile to put into words how this made me feel. Sick. Upset. Like the world fell apart. I mean, it happens in publishing. It's business. But it's really hard not to take it just a little personally, not to feel like someone has punched you in the gut. I cried. My agent cried. We can't believe we got so close only to have the rug pulled away. It's like a bad joke. I had booked a very big trip to the midwest to help promote the book at a con with the publisher. No publisher. Nonrefundable tickets. Fortunately I have other books I can push. Not so lucky for other authors who were making their debut.
But it could have been worse. There are many authors who were left with books in limbo after already being published. Or left in the middle of a series. At least I hadn't booked a venue for the launch party yet. But it was a close thing. I feel for the staff, who might have been let go from their jobs. As least I have my book back right away and can move on.
So, not requiem for THE dream. Just this one. The outpouring of support for the imprint and the authors has been overwhelming. A lot of people wanted to read those books, including mine.People kept pre-ordering it evenI after the news.
We'll find a new home, and let everyone know when and where.