The title of this blog entry is a line from God Save the Queen, the UK national anthem. And that’s the tune I’m humming today: Happy and Glorious! I have awesome news, everyone. Spectacular news. Unbelievable news.
WOOL has been picked up by Random House in the UK!
Do you know how hard this has been to keep in? Two secrets like this at the same time. I’ve been bursting at the seams.
What’s crazy is how all of these events played out right on top of each other. As everyone must’ve heard over the weekend (at least twice), the WOOL film rights went to Ridley Scott and Steve Zaillian in partnership with 20th Century Fox. Amazing. And while that has a ton of celebrity and glitz, today’s announcement is more “real” and even more thrilling for me. There’s a good chance a film won’t materialize, and if it does, it would be so many years from now that many of you will have moved on to something else.
The book release in the UK with Random House, however, is imminent.
WOOL was picked up by Century, a kick-butt division of Random House, which . . . wait for it . . . also did 50 Shades of Grey. After a 5-way auction that took place during the London Book Fair, Century and Random House came through with the most compelling offer. They addressed every single concern I had with the domestic offers. They appreciate how this was published, how important your involvement has been, and they want to maintain and even emulate those features. Their enthusiasm for this project is through the roof, and it sounds like the push behind WOOL is going to be enormous.
You should have seen the awesome lengths their team went through. They created a WOOL website for me to log into to read through their marketing ideas (they love how I interact with fans and want to augment this even more); it had testimonials from staff who read and loved the book (complete with pics of people in wool caps), and even a video message from Jack Fogg, the brilliant (and hilarious) editor behind the deal, who I’ll be working with to localise and polish the manuscript (that means replacing a lot of z’s with s’s and sprinkling unnecessary u’s liberally throughout).
Do you know what this means? Oh, man, so much. I’m absolutely giddy over here thinking about this. First of all, it means books will be available to fans in the UK, Australia, and New Zealand. I’ve shipped dozens of books to these regions, and it ain’t cheap. Soon, readers will be able to go to the store and pick up a copy, tell their friends, spread the good news. It means WOOL will be read by more people in places where it’s less accessible right now!
Even better, this means I’ll get the best of both worlds. I now have a native-language (mostly) publisher while remaining indie here at home. With feet firmly planted on both sides of the fence, I’ll get a taste of the traditional route without signing over my life. I can still write what I want over here. I won’t lose the sales that allow me to write full-time. And foreign book contracts, let me tell you, are much more progressive and author-friendly than domestic ones. This is like eating Marie Antoinette’s cake and having it, too!
The rough plan right now is a hardback in January. For those of you here in the States that may want a copy (right, Mom?) it does look like I’ll be able to smuggle some across the border, so that will be an option. More on that as we move forward. It also means advance copies in the hands of major review outlets in the UK, Australia, and New Zealand. It means bookstores and supermarkets. Hopefully, it means book-signing tours! (They want to send me to Australia, where I already have quite a few readers. Can you imagine?!)
Finally, there’s the cachet of being with a major publisher. This may get me on discussion panels at SF conferences (most of them haven’t caught the indie bug quite yet). It’ll mean having a publicist working to improve my image (ha. Good luck!). Then there’s the craft side of things, where I’ll be able to improve my writing by working with the best editors in the biz. So many new things added to my quiver without giving up a single bit of the freedom I’ve come to know and love!
This couldn’t be any better for all of the parties involved. Century and their team are thrilled. I’m thrilled. Readers overseas are going to be thrilled. I hope you all are thrilled. Happy and Glorious, indeed!