Late last night I learned Eating Bull was not selected by Kindle Press for publication. (Note to self: do not check your email before bed…)
Of course, I’m disappointed. The book was “Hot and Trending” for a good percentage of its month-long campaign, and many people voiced an interest in reading it. So naturally, I hoped it would get picked.
Had I not sought reviews for the book, I would’ve worried Amazon’s passing meant it wasn’t ready for publication. But the novel has received good reviews with comments like:
“A solid thriller that manages to infuse one boy’s coming-of-age with a whole lot of murder.”—Kirkus Reviews
“I can honestly say without a doubt that I have never read anything like this before…The one of a kind plot is accompanied by beautiful character depth and background writing…Carrie Rubin is a very talented writer and I can’t wait to read what she thinks of next.”—Samantha Coville for Readers’ Favorite
“Eating Bull by Carrie Rubin was a surprise and a delight…Eating Bull will help people as well as entertain them with a great story.”—Mary DeKok Blowers for Readers’ Favorite
So with these reviews, I have confidence in the story and the writing. But I’m becoming increasingly concerned the subject matter is holding me back. I’ve received positive feedback from the few agents who requested a full manuscript, but the final word has been discomfort with representing such a sensitive topic.
Yes, Eating Bull deals with obesity. Yes, it raises issues of the food industry’s culpability along with society’s role. It’s a topic I’ve researched and studied for years. But at heart, it’s a story about a boy struggling to find his way, and a headstrong public health nurse determined to help him do so.
So at the risk of swallowing sour grapes, I’ve come to the following conclusion:
- John Grisham can take on Big Coal.
- Robin Cook can take on shady areas of alternative medicine.
- Unknown Carrie Rubin should not take on the food industry.
But I did, and my boxing gloves merely jab where Grisham’s and Cook’s clobber. (Though, of course, the book and its specific references are fictional.)
Or maybe the Kindle Scout reader assigned the book found it too violent or just didn’t like it. Who knows?
So where does this leave me?
- I could go the small press route again like I did with my first book. I have no quibbles with my publisher and enjoyed working with them. But even after their recent acquisition by a larger company, I still shoulder the bulk of marketing. Plus, as a mostly e-book publisher, the POD paperback price is hefty.
- I could keep querying agents in hopes of finding one who’s not hesitant to take on the subject matter and try to snare a larger publisher. The problem is, Eating Bull involves a timely topic, and I worry it’s time to move things forward. So that takes me to number three.
- Independently publish the book, a thought that makes me tremble since I have no experience with that route.
I’m not sure how I’ll proceed. I guess I need time to mull it over. Meanwhile I’ll continue to work on my third novel, because that’s what writers do.
But before I go, I want to extend a huge, huge thank you to all who nominated the book and spread the word on social media. The first step of any book’s publication is getting the word out, and you’ve all helped me do that. I am so appreciative of your support.
Do you think unknown authors should tackle social themes? Do you like learning something from a novel, or do you just want the story?
Update 8/15/15: I’m happy to report Eating Bull has found a home and will be published by ScienceThrillers Media in the fall!
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