Today on the tour for OVER THE RAINBOW by Brian Rowe, I have a guest post by the author on self-publishing. I agree with his stance, and the care he took in preparing the book is evident in reading it! The tour is hosted by Reading Addiction Book Tours, and you can check out all the other stops here.
I was supposed to review the book as well, but I’m having trouble putting down my thoughts for it. OVER THE RAINBOW has to be the craziest retelling of The Wizard of Oz that I’ve ever read. There’s everything from the Rapture to dinosaurs and sabertooth tigers. It’s crazy — in a good way. So for now, what I’ve done is included a short excerpt from the book, and someday soon I will get my thoughts organized on it to write a proper review.
Title: Over the Rainbow
Author: Brian Rowe
Release Date: August 6, 2013
Genre: Young Adult, LGBT, Fantasy
Page Count: 260
A modern re-imagining of The Wizard of Oz!
Zippy Green never meant to fall in love with a girl, but when she does, her ultra-conservative father tries to send her to anti-gay camp. At the Kansas City airport, however, she hides inside a giant suitcase and sneaks onto an airplane headed not to the camp, but to Seattle, where her online love Mira lives. Halfway through the flight, the plane barrels out of control and crashes into the ground, knocking her unconscious.
When Zippy awakens, she finds that most of the passengers have vanished. She doesn’t know what’s happened, but she’s determined to find out. She begins a quest on foot toward Seattle, and along the way, she meets a teenager with a concussion, a homeless man with a heart condition, a child without a shred of bravery, and a terrier named Judy. Together the group discovers that more than two-thirds of the world’s population have mysteriously disappeared. But that’s only the beginning…
All Zippy wants is to find her Mira, but before she can she has to contend with two outside forces. The first is her homophobic father, who does everything in his power to keep her from the girl she loves. And the second is extinct creatures of all shapes and sizes, including living, breathing dinosaurs, which have replaced the missing population. (summary from goodreads)
By author Brian Rowe.
OVER THE RAINBOW marks my ninth self-published novel. I love the control I have over my work in self-publishing, and no book I’ve ever written has needed as much control as OVER THE RAINBOW. This is a book that incorporates science fiction, fantasy, action adventure, and coming of age; it’s a book that deals with lesbianism, the rapture, The Wizard of Oz, and dinosaurs. I queried agents with this book between August 2012 and March 2013, and even those who liked it said that the book would never see the light of day without some of the creative elements being toned down a little, or eliminated completely. One agent, for example, told me I should cut out the dinosaurs. I knew from the beginning OVER THE RAINBOW was going to be a difficult book to sell to agents and publishers, and in the end, I decided it was best with this one, probably more than any book I’ve written, to ultimately go the self-publishing route.
I’ve self-published many young adult books before, including the Happy Birthday to Me trilogy, but I’ve never written a book I care about more than OVER THE RAINBOW, and this time, I really wanted to do it right. Not only have I pulled out all the stops with the marketing of the book, and worked hard to make sure the book had a beautiful cover, I’ve done all I can to ensure the manuscript is the best it can be. Many are wary of self-published books because they’ve been burned before, with so many typos and inconsistencies in the texts. But such is not the case with my new book. Not only have I done ten full drafts, twice the amount I usually do, but OVER THE RAINBOW has been professionally edited by a traditionally published author, and copyedited by two different professional copyeditors. I’ve worked tirelessly night and day for the last few months in making sure the book reads just as professionally as would a traditionally published novel. The reader, every time out, deserves only the best.
OVER THE RAINBOW is the first book I’ve self-published that will be appearing on five different platforms—Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Apple iBookstore, and CreateSpace. For too long I stayed exclusive to Amazon, and this summer I decided to branch out to all the various platforms customers use to read their books. I’ve never been, and am still not, against traditional publishing, and will start querying my next young adult novel MAGIC HOUR later this year. But self-publishing should never be looked at as a last resort. It is a viable option for all authors, and can be loads of fun. And in the case of OVER THE RAINBOW, it proved to be the best route to go.
The end was coming, faster and faster, as the plane plummeted. I peered into the carrier to see a little white terrier staring back at me.
When I closed my eyes for the final time I felt two ice-cold tears roll down my cheeks.
“Mira… I love you… I love you… I—”
The plane collided against the Earth, and I launched forward, struck my head against the cargo door, and blacked out.
About the author:
Brian Rowe is a writing fiend, book devotee, film fanatic, and constant dreamer. He’s written nine novels, dozens of short stories, five feature-length screenplays, and hundreds of film articles and essays. His fiction has appeared in Dreamspinner Press, Mobius Magazine, and Wilde Oats Literary Journal. He is one half of the YA book blog Story Carnivores, where he reviews the latest in books and film. He is currently pursuing his MA in English at the University of Nevada, Reno, and is hard at work on his first New Adult novel, which will be released in November 2013.