Alex J. Cavanaugh’s Publishing Story

Hey all! Today I welcome Alex J. Cavanaugh to my blog to talk about his journey to publication. 

The Journey to Publication

Mini Alex and CassaStorm.jpg

Most writers start with a goal of publication. I just wanted to see if I could rewrite my old manuscript into a decent story. It wasn’t until I’d polished it and let a few friends read it that I decided to take the next step.

I did some research online, as I had no idea where to begin. I already knew science fiction would be a tough sell, as most of what I’d read said it was dead. It seemed a lot of writers seeking publication had been writing for a long time as well. Outside of writing as a teen and some technical writing, I didn’t have that much experience. I certainly didn’t have any credits to my name.
Once I figured out how to compose a query letter, I made a list of those who published science fiction. I didn’t even bother looking at agents, as that felt way out of my league. There weren’t a lot of science fiction publishers who took submissions either. I sent out my queries and it didn’t take long to run through the list. What now?
I broadened my search and looked at smaller publishers. I tried anyone who remotely accepted speculative fiction, and even tried other genres. Most people would say that wasn’t a smart move, but a publisher who was looking for young adult requested a full. (CassaStar is sort of a coming of age story, which is what had led me to them.) They offered a contract, stating they would publish it as an adult science fiction story, and I signed with Dancing Lemur Press.
From start to finish, the whole process of finding a publisher took about eight months. It was another year and a half before the book came out, but that gave me time to establish myself online and prepare. Not that I think anything could’ve prepared me for what has happened in the past few years!
What’s the journey been like? Life-changing to say the least. I never anticipated writing more books. I certainly never thought they would sell so well. I didn’t envision the Insecure Writer’s Support Group or website. Nor did I expect to meet so many amazing people along the way. That last thing has been the greatest blessing in my life.
Everyone’s journey is different. Your journey will be different. My best advice is just to enjoy it!

CassaStorm
By Alex J Cavanaugh
From the Amazon Best Selling Series!

A storm gathers across the galaxy…

Commanding the Cassan base on Tgren, Byron thought he’d put the days of battle behind him. As a galaxy-wide war encroaches upon the desert planet, Byron’s ideal life is threatened and he’s caught between the Tgrens and the Cassans.
After enemy ships attack the desert planet, Byron discovers another battle within his own family. The declaration of war between all ten races triggers nightmares in his son, threatening to destroy the boy’s mind.
Meanwhile the ancient alien ship is transmitting a code that might signal the end of all life in the galaxy. And the mysterious probe that almost destroyed Tgren twenty years ago could return. As his world begins to crumble, Byron suspects a connection. The storm is about to break, and Byron is caught in the middle…
“CassaStorM is a touching and mesmerizing space opera full of action and emotion with strong characters and a cosmic mystery.”  – Edi’s Book Lighhouse
 “With a talent for worldbuilding and a compelling cast of characters, Alex J. Cavanaugh combines high powered space battles and the challenges of family dynamics to provide readers a space opera with heart.”  – Elizabeth S. Craig, author of the Southern Quilting and Myrtle Clover mysteries

“Cavanaugh makes world building on the galactic scale look easy. The stakes affect the entire known universe and yet Cavanaugh makes it intensely personal for our hero. The final installment of this series will break your heart and put it back together.” – Charity Bradford, science fantasy author of The Magic Wakes
$16.95 USA, 6×9 Trade paperback, 268 pages, Dancing Lemur Press, L.L.C.
Science fiction/adventure and science fiction/space opera
Print ISBN 9781939844002 eBook ISBN 9781939844019
$4.99 EBook available in all formats
Find CassaStorm:
Amazon –
Alex J. Cavanaugh has a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree and works in web design and graphics. He is experienced in technical editing and worked with an adult literacy program for several years. A fan of all things science fiction, his interests range from books and movies to music and games. Online he is the Ninja Captain and founder of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group. The author of the Amazon bestsellers, CassaStar and CassaFire, he lives in the Carolinas with his wife.

Thanks for telling us your publishing story, Alex!

BTW, I’m at Crystal’s today with one of the funniest things about English, and at Brandon’s with an interview. Have a great day!

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55 thoughts on “Alex J. Cavanaugh’s Publishing Story

  1. Great to hear your story, Alex! I think we share a lot in common with our original approach. I queried publishers directly, too (although I had a bunch of agent queries still floating around when I finally decided to go directly to pubs).

    Have a great weekend!

  2. I've always appreciated Alex's journey to publishing and look at him with greatest admiration.

    Speaking of which…Misha, heartfelt congrats on the release of your book! I just found out and am so happy for you (my blogging life has suffered lately with a lot of real life happenings). May this book help you with your ultimate GOAL!

    M.L. Swift, Writer

  3. Thanks, Misha, for hosting Alex today. Alex, it is enlightening and encouraging to read your journey to publication. You were, indeed, smart in the choices you made and thinking outside of the box.

  4. Your story is proof that everyone gets to being published differently. I never considered skipping agents and querying directly to the publishers. Mostly because so many don't take an unsolicited query. However, your story indicates that it DOES happen. Thank you for sharing.

  5. Even tho your interview condenses the whole process to make it look easy, I know it wasn't. I know you worked hard at getting published. How do I know? Because everything you do online takes effort. You're a huge inspiration, Alex.

  6. Great post! It's true that everyone's journey is different, and sometimes that's hard to remember when you're struggling. It would be a little easier if the rest of us knew how to clone ourselves. *hinthint*

  7. Your journey sounds hair pulling typical to mine and most writers. 8 months, that's not bad. However, I cried a lot. I truly believe that Science Fiction is making a HUGE comeback. I read Enders Game a while back and of course you've seen it's hitting the big screen soon!! Next it'll be CassaStar!

  8. Hi Misha and hi Alex,

    And your journey of inspiration, continues, good sir. I know that I equally enjoy what I do. Just a little more in the background. Well done to you and well done to Misha.

    A peaceful weekend.

    Gary

  9. I had your sort of thinking, I aimed small. Chose my publisher because I thought she was good people (she's the sweetest of ladies!) and I've never regretted working with a small team. It's like family!

  10. Your story proves that it involves a combination of elements. You were in the right place, at the right time, with the right ms, and made the right publishing choice… and everything fell into place!
    And of course, hard work is also a factor.

  11. HI, Misha,

    Thanks Alex for sharing your story with us. It is a complicated journey and a writer must exhaust every possibility. Thankfully our community is so helpful to give us further insight in where to send submissions.

  12. I really enjoyed reading about your journey to publication. I still remember that feeling when my first book found a publisher. It was amazing. That you have gone on to do so well is brilliant. I am still slowly climbing the ladder myself trying to figure it all out but stories of success really help to keep me pushing forward. 🙂

  13. Wow! You got a publisher in 8 months? That's awesome! It took me a year and a half to land an agent, an there's still no sign of a publisher in sight. I really enjoyed reading this interview!

  14. I have always been curious about your road to publishing, Alex. Cool interview! Very informative. Makes me want to check out the smaller publishers. Thanks! Good luck with book #3!!!

  15. If it only took 8 months for Alex to find a publisher, he was truly blessed. He's probably wondering why I say only 8 months. I know people who've been searching for years, but maybe they don't have a story as good as his. It's hard to say, but I'm so glad things worked out for him. I'm sure the fact the he used those months to build up a brand online didn't hurt either. 🙂

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