Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Guest Blogger - Tess Hardwick - The Path From the Drawer to Booktrope.com

My first novel, Riversong, is being published by Booktrope.com next month.  I’m excited, of course.  And terrified, like any new author would be.  I was asked recently why I went with an independent publisher like Booktrope as opposed to a bigger house.  The easy answer is that they said yes.  The more complicated answer is that their business model is pretty cool and also friendly to first time novelists.  They are willing to take risks on new writers, as they are a young company looking to invest long term in talented writers.  They also believe that Riversong will be a hit.  I certainly hope they’re correct.

So much has been said in the writer community about the changes in the publishing world that I hardly think I have anything to add to the conversation.  But I thought it might be worthwhile to simply tell my story.

Riversong had been in the proverbial drawer for over a year since it’s last revision.  I’d decided that I didn’t want to go the self-publishing route and after getting no traction finding an agent (the feedback was that the beginning didn’t grab them right away) I decided it was best to put it in the drawer and start another.  I know many authors say the drawer is where their first novel remains. However, in the months it was in the drawer gathering dust, I thought of a way to fix it.  But I was happily working on my new manuscript and didn’t plan on going back to it until I was finished with it.

Then last November I got the call from a good friend.  She’d not only accepted a job at Booktrope but had also pitched my book in the interview.  They wanted to look at it.  I scrambled to rewrite the first 50 pages.  It worked apparently, because Booktrope said, “yes”.

They have a team publishing approach that puts together an editor, a book manager, a cover artist and a writer.  We all have skin in the game so to speak, meaning that when the book sells, we all make money.  I think the most interesting part of all that is the book manager piece.  Basically, the book manager’s assignment is to market your work. 

Another interesting aspect to Booktrope is that they are great believers in literature and that everyone should have access to it.  Therefore, all of their published books are available on their website for free.  They also believe that giving away the book ultimately adds to further sales. 

That said they also plan selling Riversong in all the traditional ways too.  It will be available in paperback via Amazon and on Kindle and Nook.

I’m at tesshardwick.com if you want to learn more about me.  Until then, happy reading and productive writing.
I'm a guest blogger on Tess Hardwick's site, so stop on by if you get a chance.


  1. Congrats and good luck to you, Tess!!!

  2. Thanks for sharing your journey, Tess. I love the title of your upcoming release...very intriguing. And wow, that is some friend--to pitch your book during her interview!

    I'll have to check out your blog, your novel & booktrope.

    Best of luck to you!