Cliché. There, now that’s done and I have something to copy and paste.

So we signed contracts. Everything was all squared away. I was a contracted novelist.

A lot of things happened in a very short time. First, there were the introductions. I received an email from Lisa Gus to me about a dozen other people. In that email, she listed each person at curiosity quills and their area of expertise if I should need some help. What came after were a flurry of replies, people saying hi, introducing themselves, welcoming me. At the same time, they added me to their super-secret Facebook group. The one I haven’t told you about.

That came with a second introduction, so I not only had a dozen people on the business end introducing themselves, but I have a couple dozen authors. It was a great time, of course, but the fact that I came out of that experience remembering six new names is something of a miracle. A miracle, I tell you.

Of course, I knew a few of the authors. I already knew James Wymore, Jason King, and Holli Anderson from convention work. One of them may have helped me bury a body. You’ll have to guess which. I met Nathan Croft at the local convention Conduit, but I believe that was after we signed contracts. At any rate, the rush of well wishes and introductions was a little overwhelming, and I squirreled away more than one email to help keep it all straight.

One thing Curiosity Quills is pretty clear about is that the lion’s share of the marketing falls on the shoulders of the writer. They set up a lot of things for you, of course, but you have to do the actual work. So with these introductions also came a whole knew phenomena.


I expected the editing passes. I was not ready for the level of other homework. There are two questionnaires and a cover worksheet they tell you they aren’t going to use (Insert smiley face here).

The purpose of the cover worksheet is to figure out what your vision of the cover is, but more importantly, you supply them with a list covers that inspire you and covers of books that are similar to yours. They tell you they probably aren’t going to use your idea for the cover itself, but that your notes on other covers will be crucial (for instance, I showed them Pratchett and Asprin covers that I thought had a style that might inspire the cover artist for my book.)

The new author questionnaire is a pretty extensive Q and A. In it they ask you things like bios, credits, more questions on covers (they ask at least one in all three pieces of homework), marketing text and many many other things. I filled those out, some of it painfully, and sent it in.

Nikki Tetreault, marketing guru, was vacationing right about the time this all started, so I put the full marketing questionnaire on the back burner. However, by that point I was writing this blog series, and while my first few emails about it were spam filtered, Clare Dugmore, social media guru, found them and decided they warranted going on the CQ site. She also told me they needed the cover worksheet and questionnaire right away. They needed to make me a person who actually exists on their site. Of course, they still haven’t done that, but it’s the thought that counts. (Second smiley-appropriate location) [note from Clare Dugmore - We actually have, and Robert’s profile can be found here:]

Also in there, they assigned me my editor, Michael Cristiano, so things were moving. I just needed to get back my edits.

I hunkered down and prepared to be bloodied.

[originally published at]

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