Or, Big Plans are brewing... 😉
Greetings dear reader, from the luxurious comfort of an exit row middle seat somewhere above Colorado! I’m on my way back to Boise after a couple days supporting my friend and business partner, Leslee Stewart, in the launch of her excellent new book, A Little Bit About a Lot of Things. As her publisher, I am both proud and obligated to say you will not regret purchasing this heartfelt, hysterical book of stories. 😁
I have feasted upon BBQ’d brisket, celebrated the second successful book launch from our small but mighty publishing company, The Unknown Authors Club, and am currently wearing a t-shirt that has “Jesus, Texas and Tacos” plastered in large letters on the back.
I have been to Texas.
Maybe it’s Texas that’s inspiring this email, or maybe it’s just the right time, but I wanted to give you a couple updates about what God is doing in the life of Jodi Cowles, author, publisher and micro-preneur.
First of all, since the last time we spoke, my business partners and I have been busily plotting the launch of Cold Turkey as your next great beach read in May. I’ve been mulling over the structural and narrative suggestions of the developmental editor I hired and am getting ready to do a full edit.
Also last week, Leslee came up with a cover idea so amazing I’m considering changing the manuscript a little to match it. My response went a little something like this — “oh my word, that cover looks AMAZING! But Amanda never went to Cappadocia, GAH!!” There’s no guarantee the cover will look like this, but I thought I’d share it with you just for the fun of it!
There’s a small and exciting wrinkle to producing a beach read for you this summer. 😉 An agent I highly respect contacted me out of the blue and asked about pitching Cold Turkey to some traditional publishers. My friends, the name of this newsletter is Come & See for just this reason. I hereby publicly announce that I had fully given up on traditional publishing, so if I get a traditional publisher at this point, that is all God’s doing. And if not, I’m very excited to move forward with publishing this year through the UAC. It’s a Texas-sized win-win.
The second update is that I’ve been mulling for quite awhile now, and I’ve decided it’s time to take action, aim high, be bold, swing for the fences and go all in. Have I missed any metaphors?
Concurrent with working toward the release of Cold Turkey in whatever form, I’m ready to return to my series, Stories of the Redeemed. The first book, Some Wandered in the Desert, has been out for several years and has had many good reviews. However, there are a few issues I’d like to fix, as well as doing a quick rewrite, redesigning the cover, and recording an audiobook. I believe this re-launch will make it a stronger start for the rest of the series.
The second book in the series, Some Dwelt in Darkness, has a completed rough draft and the third book, Some Suffered Bitter Labor, is about 40% complete. When Bitter Labor is finished, both books will need editing and design, and I’m working toward publishing them in relatively quick succession because book two ends on a wonderfully chilling cliffhanger and my mother- and sister-in-law both told me they're unwilling to wait a year or two to read the resolution in book three. 🤪
I have eight books planned for my series, the titles of which come from Psalm 107, not to mention a possible Cold Turkey sequel, a poetry collection, a memoir about our process in adopting Joy, and a series for bilingual Turkish/English children.
This brings us to the brass tacks…
Writing as a passion project is a wonderful, fun, inspiring, invigorating, death-defying, up and down, rollicking roller coaster ride. For publishing, on the other hand, I can just think of one adjective: expensive. At about $4000 bucks a pop for editing, design and launch of a standard novel, the cost of self-publishing as an unknown author ads up fast!
At my historical pace, I’ve been publishing a book every five years, so that list above should take me well into my golden years. 🤪 OR, I could try to speed up the process a bit — which is why I’ve decided to sell out!
You may notice I’ve turned on the subscription feature for this newsletter. I’ve also turned it on for Sketching Faith, my weekly creative writing newsletter. If you would like to partner with this unknown author in the publishing of exciting “must read” thrillers, rollicking romantic comedies, and other miscellaneous God-honoring content, subscribing to one of those newsletters would be a great option!
Additionally, I’ve decided to sell something very important to me, my character names. There are several up for grabs in both Cold Turkey and the first three books in my series. As well as normal, decent human beings, also included are the opportunities to name villains, quasi-villains, and one full-on, smarmy jerk. Caveat, you cannot name villains or the full-on, smarmy jerk after your ex-boyfriend or middle school bully! No real live names of people who might get their feelers hurt allowed! However, if you’d like to honor a real life person and write a little blurb about them, I will gladly include that in the back of the book on the sponsors page.
And speaking of the sponsors page — there’s an expression I learned in Turkish. Damlaya damlaya, göl olur, which means drip by drip, a lake is made. Every drip toward building this lake counts, and is both welcome and helpful!
If you’d like to talk about sponsoring all or part of a book, even if it means you want me to attempt to write a terribly mis-placed and/or highly comedic product placement scene a la The Rollings Reliable Baking Company in Anne of Green Gables, I am willing to attempt it! Landscapes currently available for placement: Turkey in a romantic comedy, Turkey in a thriller, North African desert, Portland, Boise, Guatemala.
Dreams are expensive, my friends, and I’m dreaming big! So if you’re willing to participate on this ride, I invite you to head on over to my website and take a gander at all the available options.