The Strange Life of God's Hammer

It's been awhile since I've last written, though I'm happy to say that my absence is due to great news: God's Hammer and its sequel, Raven's Feast, have both found a publishing home at Creativia Publishing! Creativia 's timeline for publishing was quite fast, so I've been focused on getting the titles ready and have fallen short on blogging.

To be quite candid, God's Hammer has had a rather strange life that exemplifies, I think, both the changing face of publishing and the challenges facing a little-known author such as myself. After pitching the novel to dozens of agents and publishing houses (and receiving dozens of rejection letters), God's Hammer finally found a publishing home at a small UK publisher called Paul Mould Publishing back in 2004. Needless to say, I was ecstatic.

That excitement quickly dissipated as I learned the hard truths about publishing. As a small publisher, they had very few resources to push the book properly, and their publishing partner in the US refused to place it on Amazon or any other online retailer because they weren't satisfied with the royalties Amazon took. So there the novel languished while I wrote Raven's Feast. I can't tell you how many times I questioned writing Raven's Feast given my publishing experiences.

In about 2010, Paul Mould Publishing closed and I took the rights back to God's Hammer. With more self-publishing platforms out on the market, I decided to self-publish rather than go through the process of pitching my book to agents and publishers yet again. Frankly, I didn't think any agents or publishers would be interested in it since it had already been out on the market for years. In addition, I'd had agents tell me they wouldn't take Raven's Feast either since it was a sequel to God's Hammer, which had already been published by another publishing house. Talk about unmotivating!

With self-publishing, God's Hammer found new life, especially on Amazon. I went from selling a few copies a month prior to self-publishing to hundreds of copies a month with very little in the way of marketing on my end. Encouraged, I redoubled my efforts on Raven's Feast with the plan to self-publish it too.  With one caveat...

I wanted to see if Raven's Feast could find a publishing home. After my experience with Paul Mould Publishing, you might ask why. I certainly did. It took a lot of soul-searching, but I finally realized I didn't have the time I needed to continuously promote my books. At least, not yet. So I thought long and hard about the type of publisher I wanted. First, I wanted a publisher to take God's Hammer and Raven's Feast. Second, I needed a publisher willing to collaborate and who understood the ins and outs of book promotion and selling. Third, I wanted a publisher that was responsive. I gave myself six months to find the publisher. If I found one that fit my criteria, great. If I didn't, I'd self-publish.

The latest cover of God's Hammer. Artwork by Dominik Mayer and Reza Afshar. Layout by BlueSpark Studios.

The latest cover of God's Hammer. Artwork by Dominik Mayer and Reza Afshar. Layout by BlueSpark Studios.

Two months into the process, I found Creativia, a publisher that fit all of my criteria. The relationship is still new, but so far, so good. God's Hammer is now receiving the promotional care it's always deserved. It has a new cover, a new layout, and most importantly, the dedication of a team who is experienced in selling. Raven's Feast is following closely on its heels.  

It's been a long, strange road for God's Hammer, but I couldn't be happier with where it has finally landed.