Guest Post and Giveaway of The Atheists Daughter by Renee Harrell

Today I have the author of The Atheist’s Daughter on the blog. They (well, he) is talking about why they chose to be indie authors rather than getting published with a large publishing house, even when they could have been.  So check out this awesome post with a giveaway at the end! 

Dear Candace,
Thanks for giving me an opportunity to do a Guest Post at your book blog, especially during Indie Takeover Month.Our newest story is an indie production through-and-through and we can prove it.
As I mentioned, my wife, Renée, and I write together under the quasi-pseudonym of “Renée Harrell”. Renée does most of the plotting, I play with characterization and dialogue, and together we lick the platter clean. (No, don’t know what thelast sentence means. Seems to fit, though.One night,coming out of a dream, she shook me awake, wanting us to start a new novel. I mean, instantlySince it was a pretty cool dream, I agreedSoon, we had an outline, the outline became a novel, and, after multiple rewrites and title changes, the novel became The Atheist’s Daughter.
Despite the current obsession with Young Adult novels,agent after agent passed on our book. As one agent-in-training told me, our storyline failed to check off any of the boxes in the Best-Seller Hit List. To begin with, our heroine isn’beautiful or popular. She can’t find a job and, still living with her mother, desperately wants to move out on her own.  She’s cursed — or blessed, your call — with an ability to discern a certain kind of evil. She doesn’t have magical Kung Fu Grip with which to fight the evil; she only knows when it’s present. She’s no smarter, braver or stronger than anyone else. 
There are 
Bad Creatures in the story but they’re not any of the standard beasties. We’d grown tired of the same old frights and decided to invent something new. Our monsters aren’t sexy, they’re monsters. Our biggest mistake of all? Romance sells and there’s little romance in the novel. We’d hoped that a fresh story, strong characterization, and our version of a 21st century Buffy might find a readership but the literary doorkeepers disagreed. Even the agent who loved the story said she didn’t think she could sell it.
Going a different route, we pitched the tale directly to acouple of publishersAfter a few months, we received a warm rejection, if any rejection can be considered “warm” – and, then, days later, the second publisher responded even more warmly. They sent us a contract, offering a small advance, and promising to release print and e-book editionsin late 2012.
Unfortunately, their contract held a couple of conditions we couldn’t negotiate away. If we signed on the bottom line, the book would remain under the publisher’s control for…well, forever, unless sales fell to just above zero during anycalendar year. Secondly, “You have to change the title,” Ye Olde Publisher said. “Our reader almost passed it up, thinking it was a religious book.”
I know, those aren’t the most awful terms in the world. For us, though, they were deal breakers. We’d self-published our first YA novel and Renéwas ready to do it again. She said,That way, we keep our copyright and our title. From now on, no more agents, no other publishers.
(A publisher in the UK is putting out our forthcoming s-f novel but, per Renée, “Doesn’t count. We signed the contractmonths and months ago. I said, ‘From now on….”)
Self-published books struggle to find a market,” I reminded her.
Candace won’t like it, she’s a Twilight girl, but give us some time and the right readers will love it. Besides, we’ll put romance in the sequel.”
So here we are, C., about to launch our baby into the world and delighted to have a forum to spread the word. We’re grateful.
We have one more favor to ask: When you use this Guest Post, please feel free to schedule it before our book launch of September 14. We only ask that you don’t run the post on August 26th. As we both know, it’s the one day of the year that book blogs receive their least amount of traffic.
I mean, truly, a YA horror novel without romance is going to be a tough sell, anywayWe need every advantage we can get.
— Harrell Turner
The Atheist’s Daughter. Out in September.

Thank so much for coming by Harrell!  It was great to learn more about the book and why you decided to go indie.  

Giveaway:  *This Giveaway has ENDED*
They are offering up 2 ebooks of The Atheist’s Daughter to 2 random commenters!
Open worldwide.
Must be 13 or older to enter.
Ends 9/5/11 

To Enter: This Giveaway has ended
Leave a comment telling us your thoughts about this post and include contact info!  

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  1. This is an interesting delima they have here. In all honesty though, I’m finding more and more that I really, really like Indies. The more I read, the more I find that they really are more interesting for me. (not that I have anything against formally published works) I just tend to like the freedom with which Indies write. so anyway, there’s my opinion. Thanks for the giveaway Candace.

  2. I think this book sounds really good. Not everyone wants to read about romantic “monsters.” I have to admit that knowing a traditional publisher offered a contract is a plus for me. That says something about the quality of the writing. But I can certainly understand why the author’s didn’t want to sign. I don’t have a problem with the title; and I think the cover art makes it clear that it is not a religion book.

    geebee.reads AT gmail DOT com

  3. Even though it’s posted on August 26… I’ll comment for a chance to win…I read several Indie authors and I think the plus for reader are good too..the authors are more accessible (more apt to geta personal reply when you tell them you liked the book) and sometimes cheaper! Now…if the rest of the world can realize it’s not just the horrible I can’tget published authors self publish there would be more sales!

  4. I think this book looks really cool, I saw it on Goodreads before and enjoyed the synopsis and the cover-very eye-catching. I would love to read and review this novel, very intriguing characters and plot. edysicecreamlover18@gmailDOTcom

  5. I do love this idea, it sounds wonderfully different. Honestly, I’m more of a character-plot person than character-romance, Twilight bored me a little actually with the contast romance between Edward and Bella (because by book 3 we still don’t get how in love they are) and the lack of work done with what could have been a very intruiging plotline.
    Anyways, thanks for the giveaway ^_^

    faefever25 at hotmail dot com

  6. In al honesty I don’t understand exactly why publishers would not be interested in publishing your book. I mean yes their opinions are valid in a way but sometimes a reader wants some change. Personally I welcome it. The title does sound religious but when you see the cover (at least when I did) you don’t think “oh yeah this is going to be another religious book I don’t want”. I had the opposite thought I loved the cover of this book. It’s beautiful and artistic, I also think the dark spooky feeling it gives off draws people in. Also the fact that the heroine is different from most books is also alluring. Instead of living up to fantasy standards it’s more of a real world standard and I like that. I can’t wait to read your book and hopefully the many more to come. Thank you for your time and the giveaway.

  7. I think it’s a brave, bold, and the right move to stick to your guns and self-publish. I don’t mind the title at all. I’m glad you with the title and that you kept control of your intellectual property and I wish you the best with this book.

    mljfoland AT hotmail DOT com

  8. Thanks to everyone for their kind comments. (I’ve noticed that this is Post #13. Seems appropriate, considering our book and all.)

    You are definitely my kind of people. Thanks, Candace, for letting me ramble on here and please let me know who won the e-books!


  9. This sounds like a fantastic book. It appeals to me because there isn’t a strong romance component to it. I’m glad they decided to publish themselves if they didn’t agree with the conditions. I hope there book is a hit! I know I would love to read it.

  10. I am not going to knock the current tread of pub house YA novels because there are some great reads out there, but it is also time for them to wake up and know that us readers like to mix it up a little. I personally do not want to always have the story come out of the same mold and have consequently read a lot of indie reads. I am very interested in reading this book and thank you very much for sharing and for the wonderful giveaway opportunity.


  11. Interesting post. I welcome all great reads whether it’s from a bug publishing house or self-published. I have to admit I don’t read a lot of indie books just because I don’t know they are out there but I’m noticing them more often, especially in the reading online community.

    Cambonified (at) yahoo (dot) com

  12. This books sounds like a breath of fresh air!
    I cant WAIT to read it! I have seen the cover model on another book recently..
    What is it about the 2th that is a bad/slow day for bloggers?

    Thank you for the giveaway & guest post..

    fcoleman76 @ gmail . com

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