Tuesday, 29 March 2016

How I Got My Publisher by A.C. Land, Author of A SHOT OF BOURBON

Today, I have the pleasure of hosting a blog tour stop for BookFish Books' latest young adult contemporary novel, A Shot of Bourbon by A.C. Land! Stay tuned at the end of the post for an amazing iPad giveaway!

About A Shot of Bourbon

TitleA Shot of Bourbon (Bourbon Series, Book 1)
Author: A.C. Land
Genre: Young Adult
ReleasedMarch 29, 2016
PublisherBookFish Books

In the little highway town of Bourbon, Missouri, deadly secrets lurk behind Southern charm. 

Seventeen year old Charli Valentine didn’t expect to spend the last few weeks of summer break nursing a broken heart, icing a black eye, and watching her ex kiss another girl. Since being a good girl has gotten her nothing but heartache, Charli decides to give rebellion a try. She pigs out, drinks, and hangs with Luke Parker, the son of the infamous Bourbon Butcher. 

But there’s more to Luke than meets the eye. His tough exterior and terrible dialect hide a good person despite his bad boy reputation. No matter how hard he tries to fight it, Luke is drawn to Charli’s innocence and finds her clumsiness too charming to resist. Though they’re from opposite sides of the tracks, neither can resist the magnetism drawing them together. 

When Charli discovers a box in her mother’s closet, she pieces together the truth about Bourbon’s past and uncovers a deadly secret about her family. And once Luke learns of it, he vows to protect Charli no matter the cost. 

A photo from the real Bourbon, Missouri
Photo Credit: BGI Photography


How I got my publisher

First of all, thank you so much for hosting A Shot of Bourbon. This is my debut novel so this is my first blog tour and this has been an insane experience. I cannot tell you how awed I am at the bloggers who have taken the time to look at my book. You all are such a hard worker, organized group of people.

The question of how I got my publisher is a bit long winded. First of all, I didn’t go about the process of writing A Shot of Bourbon the way a normal person writes a book (I guess that means I’m not normal—go figure). I’d written other books, and had absolutely no luck with agents so I decided I was going to stop trying pretty much. I wrote A Shot of Bourbon because even though I was done trying to be published I couldn’t just stop writing.

As you may, or may not know, A Shot of Bourbon is a series (the Bourbon Series). I wrote it out of order. The second book in the series (A Double Shot) was actually the first book I ever had a full rough draft on. Then the third book (A Flaming Shot). From there I’m not exactly sure who’s book came next or in what order. I had about seven rough drafts all laid out and I loved all of them equally, and none of characters would leave me alone. I think the one that I decided to write and polish was the first standalone (Straight Bourbon) from there I wrote all of the standalone books. Then I wrote the series (All three Shot books). To me, the story has always been the same so it didn’t really matter what order I wrote it in.

Then the tricky part. I had seven fully completed books—the three shot books; four standalone books.

Anyone who has ever pitched an agent or publisher knows you cannot pitch a series like that. I decided that I didn’t want to pitch agents because I thought that I’d spent enough time writing the series, I was just going to self-publish A Shot of Bourbon and then go from there.

I’m not sure if it’s kismet or fate, but I was actually researching self-publishing when I stumbled on MSWL and I saw BookFish Books Twitter feed. I actually had a very inactive twitter account at the time, but I perused through BookFish’s feed and noticed the things they were looking for seemed to fit not just my first Shot book, but almost every book in my series. I typed out—looking back, a very poor—query and just sent it. I didn’t even question myself or let self-doubt sink in. In the back of my head I said that if they rejected I’d have the first book edited and I’d make a cover and self-publish. That would be it.

The day I sent them the query and first few chapters, I called my mom and told her I’d sent out another query. I’ll never forget it because she said, “Another one, I thought you were done with all of that.”

It wasn’t a day later they wanted the full manuscript.

I researched them and learned there was basically no information about them which was pretty disheartening. So I sent out my book to other publishers who all seemed just as eager to take it—along with my sloppy query. Which just kinda irked me that I’d spent weeks (sometimes months) fretting over different queries before!

All summer I bit my nails waiting to hear back from these publishers, but I couldn’t shake this really good feeling I had about BFB. Sometimes before I went to sleep I’d look them up, just to see if anyone was saying anything bad about them, or if they had any bad buzz. There was never anything new (the way there will be about new publishers sometimes!)

My birthday’s in June and when I was blowing out my candles (because I’m an adult child) I wished that BookFish Books would take my book. I didn’t even think about the other publisher (there was only one other one left at that point and I didn’t even care that they were bigger).

So when I got the message back from them that BFB weren’t just interested but IN LOVE with A Shot of Bourbon I was ecstatic. I’d mentioned the other books in the query, of course, so they wanted to see all of them.

In the meantime, I heard back from another publisher that was also interested, which felt like a dream come true.

BookFish Books decided they wanted four of the Bourbon books right away, and the enthusiasm and love they showed for my characters was really what made me go with them. I knew that I was going to need just a little bit of extra attention because I’m so new to all of this, and BFB has been able to help me the way a larger publisher wouldn’t have. I signed my four-book contract at the end of last summer/early fall and I’m so glad I did. I feel like I’ve joined a family and my books are getting the love they deserve.

Author of the Bourbon series, A. C. Land has been a lover of stories since she first read about Peter Pan giving Wendy an acorn and teaching her to fly. She always dreamed of telling big stories about small towns.
Residing on a cattle farm in Missouri, A. C. loves playing with her rambunctious Jack Russell, Riley, making decorative cakes, taking pictures, drinking pumpkin spice coffee, and hanging out with her nephews.

Find A.C. online: 


  1. Congrats, Amy! It was fun to read about your journey. Your book is excellent! BookFish made the right choice!

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