While I was finishing my novel, the universe shifted. The economy imploded and ebooks exploded. Since my head was buried in my manuscript, I didn’t immediately realize the impact of these events.
I’d followed publishing for long enough that I knew a fair amount about the ups and downs of getting a novel published. In fact, I originally started writing and submitting short stories because I’d been told that short fiction publication credits would help catch the eye of an agent. While I worked on the final rewrites of my novel, I began compiling a list of potential agents. I started working on a query letter and following agents’ blogs.
There was never a doubt, until early 2010, that I’d follow the traditional path. But the world changed.
In addition to upheaval in the publishing industry and the global economy, two significant things happened in my life.
The first was in January 2010. I’d had a simple website up for about eighteen months. The site provided my author bio and two short stories that had been published in Alfred Hitchcock and Ellery Queen Mystery Magazines.
One Sunday morning I woke up to a message from a stranger in my in-box. A man in Australia had read the stories on my website, liked them and was interested in knowing whether I had any novels that he might consider developing into an Indie film. I checked out his credits – legit, including an award and a very suspenseful, skin-crawling short film. We started corresponding. The chapters I sent him (from an earlier novel) weren’t a good fit for an Australian setting. Nearly a year later we’re still in touch, and he’s still interested in future work. I don’t know if anything will ever come of it, but his email made me realize the power of the web for getting my fiction out far beyond my little corner of the world.