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What's Coming Down the Publication Pipeline For Me


By Jody Hedlund, @JodyHedlund

It's official! I recently signed another 3-book deal with my publisher, Bethany House Publishers!

I'll continue to write inspiration historical romances, but this new contract is for a series. The series will center around Michigan lighthouses in the 1800's and some of the characters will be based on real women keepers, especially since Michigan is known for having had the most lighthouses as well as the most women keepers.

In the line-up of my publication schedule, book 1 of the lighthouse series will release next fall of 2014, and then books 2 & 3 in 2015.

Before the lighthouse books, I'll have two other releases:

1. Rebellious Heart releases THIS fall in September. (Be watching SOON for signing up to get an Influener copy of the book!)

Rebellious Heart follows in the same vein as my first two books The Preacher’s Bride and The Doctor’s Lady in that it’s also inspired by a famous couple from history. The story is set in Colonial America and is based on the beautiful courtship of John and Abigail Adams.

Of course, as I've done in the past, I've changed names and fictionalized the account, but it still gives insight into one of America's most famous couples. I hope that you’ll enjoy reading it as much as I loved writing it!

2. Captured by Love releases NEXT spring of 2014. (Be watching soon for the COVER REVEAL!)

Captured by Love is another Michigan book. It's set on the famous Mackinac Island in the northern part of the state (the picture is one I took on my research trip there last fall). Here's the blurb my editor recently sent me:

It is 1814 and the British have taken hold of Mackinac Island and its fort, forcing American residents to swear an oath of loyalty to the British crown in order to retain their land. Pierre Durant is a voyageur—a fur trader who left his family home to find adventure. He’s been gone five years and when he returns, his family’s farm is at the mercy of the British invaders.

Torn between the life he’s grown used to and guilt over leaving his brother and mother, Pierre’s drawn back into the loyalist fight against the British—and into a relationship with Angelique Labelle, a beautiful local girl who’s been befriended by the British commander's daughter. As tensions mount and the threat of violence increases both Angelique and Pierre must decide where their loyalties rest, how far they will go to find freedom, and how much they will risk to find love.

So what's the status on all the books? Rebellious Heart is DONE and ready for publication which is just around the corner in a matter of weeks! Captured by Love is completed too. I'll be starting in-house macro-edits in the next couple of weeks.

As far as the lighthouse series, I'm about half done writing the first book in the series, and I'm really enjoying the story! It involves deep dark secrets, betrayal, pirates, storms, and a marriage of convenience.

With the coming of age of self-publishing, I'm sure there are plenty who may question my decision to continue with traditional publication rather than going at it alone. There are several quick reasons why I'm sticking with my publisher:

1. I love working with my publisher. Yes, they've been effected by the changes in the industry just like everyone else. But in spite of the difficulties, they continue to provide quality editing, excellent cover design, top notch marketing, and have an aggressive sales team who gets my book into most brick and mortar bookstores. They have a reputation for quality historical fiction which has helped launch my writing career in a successful way.

2. I've been able to rapidly grow a worldwide readership. Of course self-publishing provides the opportunity to grow a big readership too. But in my genre especially with stand-alone novels (versus series books), I'm not sure I would have been able to gain a substantial readership as well on my own–at least not as quickly or efficiently. My publisher still has the capability to gain me new readers through a variety of channels including libraries, book clubs, audio books, and even contracts for foreign language editions.

3. I want to focus primarily on my writing output. At this stage in my life as a busy homeschooling mom of five, I don't have a lot of extra time to put into the venture of self-publishing. That's not to say I won't ever try it. When I do take the plunge, I'll make the time to learn the in's and out's of self-publishing. But I know I'd have to sacrifice something else while I go through the self-publishing learning curve. For now, traditional publication allows me peace of mind and the ability to keep my writing top priority.

Obviously, none of us knows what the future may bring and what will ultimately happen with traditional publishers. The only thing that remains true is that WRITERS WRITE. One way or another, I'll continue to write because that's my passion.

What do you think of my new contract and publishing schedule? Do you have any advice for me?

62 comments:

  1. Get a supply of good coffee! :) Great for you Jody!

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    1. Thanks, Anne! Can I just hook up Starbucks coffee (or Panera) to the above pipelines and have it delivered directly to my front door? ;-)

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  2. Yay for you!!! This is super exciting, especially the Michigan books (I'm a little biased, if you haven't already noticed.) In fact, I've OFTEN wondered as I've looked at all the Mackinac Island books out there why NO ONE has recently written a book set in the War of 1812. If I were going to write a Mac. Island story, it would totally be the War of 1812. Hello! The island was captured by the British!!! So excited to read Captured by Love when it comes out.

    And the hero is a fur trader? Be still my heart (so says the woman who spent half the winter with her husband's beaver and muskrat firs hanging in her basement). :-)

    I'm excited about the lighthouse series too. Can you tell us what part of Michigan it's set in? Upper Peninsula or Lower? All in the same town or a different lighthouse for each book? So neat to see someone bring Michigan history to live like this.

    Okay, done gushing now, but serious congratulations!!!!

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    1. Hi Naomi!

      Yes, when I suggested a book set on Mackinac Island to my editor, he was immediately intrigued! But . . . as you know, mid-to late 1800's sell the best for historical romances. So the book is set a little outside the sweet spot. But I had a lot of fun writing the book and of course had to sneak in a research trip. It was such a trial to have to travel to Mackinac Island, I tell you! ;-)

      My lighthouse books will all likely be set on Lake Huron. I'm partial to the eastern side of the state, I suppose because it's just a hop, skip, and jump away for me!

      I'm totally with you in bringing Michigan history to life!! I'm LOVING it!

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    2. Oh yes, that research trip to Mackinac Island would have been torture, indeed. :-) Thanks for filling in some of the details. I'm excited about the books you've got coming!

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  3. So excited for you.It must bring you real comfort to have received the new contract. The lighthouse series sounds awesome. I love that it is based in Michigan! I'm curious, because you have so many books out, what is your writing schedule like? How many hours a day do you write?

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    1. Great question! I break up my writing day into two parts. I spend the first part of my time working on my WIP and getting in my daily word count. Some days my word count goal is 2K, some days only 1K depending upon how much time I have. But I try to meet a weekly total of 10-12K (so I break that down over 6 days).

      After I meet my daily word count, then I will try to spend a little bit of time writing blog posts, interviews, or other things that go onto my to-do list! I squeeze those things into my leftover time.

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  4. Jody! Great going my friend! I can hardly wait to get hold of it. So good to read the prelim of "Captured by Love". You've captivated my interest already!

    Take care.

    Rosie

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    1. Thank you, Rosie!! Hope things are looking up for you with all that you have going on! Been thinking about you and praying! :-)

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  5. I've just discovered your blog, and i'm very interested in reading some of your books. Good blog, more interesting than the regular author blog. I'm going to check out some of your books...

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    1. Thank you!! Hope you'll enjoy my books! Let me know how you like them . . . :-)

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  6. Those all sound like wonderful books! I can't wait to get reading!

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    1. Thank you, Chantal! Hope that you'll enjoy them all! :-)

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  7. Congratulations, Jody!!! That's so exciting!! And I'm sure a huge relief to you. Your next books sound amazing. My advice? Keep doing that thing you always do! :)

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    1. Thank you so much, Heather! Hugs! :-)

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  8. Congratulations :) I'm very excited for your upcoming releases and for the new series.

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  9. I have always had a "thing" for lighthouses - that series sounds wonderful! Can't wait to hear more about them :) The blurb has definitely peaked my interest!

    And, yes, I agree with Heather - just keep on doing your thing!

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  10. Big congrats on your new contract, Jody! Yay!!! Your series revolving around lighthouses sounds lovely. So excited for you! Keep us the great work!

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  11. Congratulations Jody. This is so exciting!

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  12. Well, I am new to your books, just got the copy of Unending Devotion... but I so like the titles you have now and the new one sounds sorta irrisistable ! would love to read an influencer copy and review it for you. Congratulations on the new contract. yes I would say coffee and or capachino and some chocolates.....smile
    Blessings in Jesus
    Linda Finn
    Faithful Acres Homestead
    faithfulacres7@gmail.com

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  13. Congratulations on the new contract, Jody! The stories sound great.

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  14. This is so exciting! I can hardly wait to read them! It made my day to know there are at least 5 more Jody Hedlund books for me to look forward to!

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  15. How exciting for you and for those of us who love your books. :)

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  16. Sounds so exciting. Keep up the good work and God be with you. Lots of coffee and chocolate will be needed.

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  17. I'm so excited for you!!! Congrats on the new contract...and your upcoming releases! Everything sounds amazing and I can't wait to read each and every one of them! Your new series sounds exciting, especially the marriage of convenience...I LOVE stories that include that.

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  18. Congratulations! I have been anxiously anticipating the book based on John and Abigail Adams. I am also so excited to read that you will be doing the lighthouse series!
    Brittany McEuen

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  19. Oh my word! I can't wait for these to release!!!!

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  20. Hooray! I love more books by authors I love, of which you are one. The faster, the better.
    I'd love to be an influencer. I've been blessed to be one for several wonderful Christian authors so far and I've always enjoyed their works.

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  21. Can't wait to read your next one!! They keep getting better and better. :)

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  22. I LOVE your books! Can't wait to read your new books! Congrats! :)

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  23. So is your series going to work as stand alone books as well or are you going to leave us with a cliffhanger and watching the days pass on the calendar till we can get the next in the series in our hands? (Not that we don't do that with stand alone series as well!)

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    1. Sarah, That's a great question! The series will be stand-alones (no cliff-hangers). But for example, my plan is to have the second book be about another prominent character in the first that hopefully readers will fall in love with and want to read about more! :-)

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    2. Awesome! Those are my favorite kind. I don't mind series with cliff hangers but I have to wait till they are all published then read them together. I HATE having to wait a year to find out what happens.

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  24. I can never patiently wait to read ANY of your books, but that first in the lighthouse series sounds like I'll be super impatient to read it! I'm glad you shared so much about your publishing schedule. I like to see the ins and outs of how things work. :)

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  25. I'm so excited! And glad for more Michigan novels. And thrilled you are staying with Bethany House.

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  26. I can't wait to read these books! My advice, keep writing! :-) We are vacationing to Mackinac later this summer! We go RV style in our travel trailer!

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  27. So excited for you! Yay for more books from Jody! :)

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  28. I love all your other books (though Noble Groom is still on my TBR list) so I'm SO excited to hear more are coming! I love to benefit from authors different interests--I can learn about Civil War NYC, fontier CO, goldrush CA, regency England...the list goes on & on! I've read a historical series on lighthouses but not set in Michigan.

    I'm also a big supporter of publishers because many of the big names release e-books to libraries, which allows people like me to devour books without spending a lot of money! It also introduces me to new authors I probably wouldn't have tried and makes me more likely to purchase a later book!

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  29. Alright, Jody! That's fun to learn. Hoping the books get better and better. Go Jody!

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  30. This post just made my day! FIVE more Jody Hedlund books?! Yes please! I have already been excited for Rebellious Heart and Captured by Love sounds so good! Also your new SERIES (LOVE that!) sounds amazing too! I can't wait to read all of these books! Can't believe it'll be until 2015 before we can read them all! It feels so far away, but I'm sure time will fly!

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  31. This is fantastic news Jody...love the idea of lighthouses and women keepers, didn't realize there were some. I know any story you write will a good one.
    I am looking forward to reading Rebellious Heart too, don't know lot about this couple.
    Thanks for sharing your good news with us. Keep all those wonderful stories coming.

    Paula O(kyflo130@yahoo.com)

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  32. Woohoo!! More Jody Hedlund books in my future...this makes me a very happy camper. :)

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  33. Love the Mackinac Island setting. I went there as a kid and can still smell the fudge that every other shop made and sold. My advice? Keep publishing with Bethany House! They're the best(says this BHP editor). :)

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    1. The fudge smell is EVERYWHERE there! :-) I wonder if they have some kind of fudge scent that they blow into the air! LOL And I love your advice! I couldn't ask for better editors! The editors at Bethany House are one of the key reasons Bethany House books shine! :-)

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  34. Congratulations! This is exciting news. When I go to a book store, I am definitely drawn to a book by its cover. Your covers are beautiful and the stories within those covers are top notch. Just keep doing what you are doing.

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  35. THANK YOU ALL so much for the sweet outpouring of love and support today!! I'm humbled and overwhelmed by your kind and encouraging words!! Hugs to you all! :-)

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  36. Jody, you just made my day! More Michigan books! Bless your heart!

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  37. HaPpY dAnCiNg with you, Jody! Congrats on your latest contract. I definitely want to read those lighthouse books. My family took a trip up the east coast last summer and we really enjoyed seeing the lighthouses in Maine and Connecticut.

    I'll be keeping my eyes out for the influencer opportunity. I love those! Free books for me, and free advertisement for the authors. It's certainly a win-win situation. :)

    Your schedule sounds busy, especially when considering that you're homeschooling five kids and writing. My advice, use every minute you have very wisely and don't forget to make time for family-time. It's so easy to get zoned in too much on schooling or writing and forget to spend quality time with the people we love the most.

    May the Lord provide you the wisdom to figure it all out! Blessings to you, Jody.

    Andrea

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  38. Jody, just keep on doing what you do best Will keep looking for them in e-book form because I am beginning to loose space on my traditional book shelves May God give you strength and insight as you continue giving us "real" characters who make mistakes,fall down and get up and keep going.

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  39. How exciting to have another contract with Bethany House. I think, in the season you're experiencing with home school, traditional publishing is best. Besides, the name Bethany House is widely known and well respected. AND I'm glad you have the ability to focus on the writing aspect of your career right now. It shows in the quality of your stories.

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  40. Enjoy all your books, and look forward to those listed above.

    It is very important to have your books in libraries. It really gets your name out for those who can't afford to buy. Also, others who start recognizing your name will go out and buy so they don't get put on the waiting list at the library.

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  41. Really exciting, Jody! And your discipline is amazing, by the way...Your upcoming books sound great! -Jessie

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  42. Congratulations Jody on your new series. I love the concept of doing a series on female lighthouse keepers. I'm especially interested since I used to live in Michigan along the coast of Lake Michigan and one of my favorite places to go camping was on North Manitou Island. There is a lighthouse there and the view from the top is just fabulous. I can't wait to read the series!

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  43. Jody, huge congrats on the new series, and kudos to you for sticking with a publisher that you have nothing but praise for. I really enjoyed this post and your reasons for remaining with traditional publishing.
    Best wishes to you on a long and successful career!!
    Have a great evidencing,
    Tamara

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  44. I think it's AWESOME and I'm so happy I have more books from you to look forward to. =)

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  45. Congrats and I am looking forward to the Lighthouse series especially since I love anything that has to do with Liighthouses. I collect Lighthouses too Ca.n't wait

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  46. Yeah!!!! More Jody books!!!! I'm sure they will be FABULOUS and I can't wait to read them!!!

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  47. Congrats on the new contract! I'm so excited that there'll be more Jody books on my shelf soon!

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  48. I'm thrilled for you!!! And totally amazed by your ability to produce so many quality books so fast. Go Jody!!!

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  49. I certainly don't have advice, but congratulations! Wonderful news, beautiful cover, intriguing blurbs.

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  50. How exciting! :) Thanks so much for sharing a peep around the corner in your writing life. All the best with your writing and editing!

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  51. Yay for another contract and more books! Can't wait to read all of them. :) I love how you offer your readers a vast array of books/subjects/themes/settings, etc. Really looking forward to the Michigan lighthouse series. Congrats, Jody!

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