A coffee and a contract

Two great things have happened since my last post. 1) I was in the UK for a while over the holidays, and because my new publishing house is in London, I had a chance to meet my publisher for coffee. In person! And 2) I just signed my contract, so now I can officially start talking about the publishing house I’m with.

I’m so happy to say that I’ve signed a deal with the awesome Joffe Books, an exciting, innovative, digital-first, independent publishing company that has taken the British literary world by storm since its 2013 founding by artist Jasper Joffe (pronounced Joffey, FYI!). It’s a different kind of publishing company, in that it’s somewhat untraditional and focuses on e-books distributed via Kindle, with paperbacks also available via Amazon. The company spends a lot of its marketing budget elevating its authors’ books above the noise, whether via social marketing campaigns, ensuring its books are part of reader newsletters, getting them into virtual book clubs, advertising on Amazon, and more. And this yields amazing results, as its authors are frequently in the Kindle bestseller lists, and Joffe Books has twice been shortlisted for Independent Publisher of the Year.

Joffe Books has a huge place in the detective and mystery literary world, but it’s expanding its romance list all the time, as well as increasing its focus on the North American market. I was just lucky to have my submission sent in when the new publishing director, Kate, joined the company and emailed some New York agent contacts to solicit any new manuscripts – including my agent. So I feel extremely grateful for the opportunity, as there’s a lot of potential here, and I’m really excited to be part of the Joffe Books slate of writers.

While I was in London just after a family Christmas, I was fortunate enough to meet Kate – who kindly championed my book to her new colleagues within the first few weeks of being at Joffe – for a coffee in Soho. It was wonderful to get together in real life, and discuss our ideas for the new title and cover art, as well as marketing and promotional campaigns (I’ll keep you updated on these processes as they happen!). Kate is lovely, warm, and smart, and I know my book is in great hands with her. It was also so gratifying to hear that several of the team at Joffe have read my book and enjoyed it, when they didn’t have to! It’s great when friends and contacts tell you that your book is good, but it’s really something else when complete strangers – and literary professionals, at that – genuinely like it.

When I got back to Vancouver recently after my long Christmas break, I soon received the final version of the contract from Joffe Books, which the contract team at Levine Greenberg Rostan – my agency in New York – had done a back-and-forth on. It’s now DocuSigned, metaphorically sealed, and delivered via email to my new publisher, and I couldn’t be happier.

I now eagerly await my “Welcome Pack” from Joffe about all the things that I’ll need to do in the ramp-up to publication date. Plus, I hope we will decide on what that date will be! Kate is thinking June, so I’m hopeful for an early summer release to hit the vacation market.

To be continued…