Exciting news… To celebrate Christmas on Mimosa Lane’s October 23rd launch, we’re giving away 5 ARCs on GoodReads.
Posts Tagged ‘digital publishing’
You have to be willing to take risks in this business of ours. Calculated risks that are nonetheless precarious for the careful thought you put into jumping off whatever cliff of opportunity looms before you. Sometimes a marvelous parachute glide awaits you, easing you into your next step forward. Sometimes there turn out to be holes in your plan and you land in the trees–if you’re lucky. Sometimes you crash and burn completely. My experience with Dorchester Publishing these last few years, like many authors, has been more the latter. But as of last week I can officially say it hasn’t been a crash and burn fiasco, and the trees that were grabbing at my chute are receding farther and farther away each time I look back. Perspective?One might call it that, this ah-ha sensation filling me. Hind sight gives us the illusion of finally seeing things as they were always meant to be. Maybe it’s just dumb luck… You be the judge.
Too often it feels as if I have absolutely NO idea how I got to this moment of deep sighing and appreciation for a journey well traveled and a fight bravely faced and won (Amazon, the publisher who also recently signed a three book deal with me to publish a women’s fiction/contemporary romance series has bought out Dorchester’s list at auction and will not only pay me royalties due from the last three years, but will re-list and potentially buy new titles into my sci-fi/fantasy series).
To be honest, I have some idea. But my mind’s still spinning as I process the twists and turns and decisions and retreats–stopping myself, ultimately, from making several end-game decisions that would have ended this wild ride before I achieved what I’d set out to. What follows is the CliffsNotes version of that adventure, because publishing can be a sucky journey for all of us and I’m happy to share my personal suckage if it might possibly help others finding themselves in their own potentially no-win situations, trying to choose the least objectionable of the unsatisfying options before them.
But first, let’s identify what exactly I wanted to achieve from the start. Because the best business decisions are potentially bad business decisions, regardless of the odds in your favor, if you don’t understand your goal. My best advice to anyone when they ask me my opinion of what they should do about a book, agent, publisher or contract is to figure out what you want and determine the best way to achieve that. Beyond that, I got nothing. Because as you’ll see below, the rules are always changing and what works for me or someone else now may be a no-win choice for you tomorrow. You have to be flexible in this business. You have to dodge and duck and know when to jump or stand still. None of which you can do effectively if you aren’t sure where you’re headed.
My goal with my sci-fi/fantasy series: To establish my mainstream fiction work and to build a series for a broader audience than my contemporary romance roots, into which I could continue to sell future novels. Simple right?
Let’s take a closer look, shall we?
- Round about the fall of 2008: Dorchester offers a 2-book deal for my Legacy Series. Dark Legacy to release nationwide in mass market paperback in the fall of 2009.
- I deliver the book on time, but the advance money isn’t coming from the publisher as quickly as it should. Agent pushes hard behind the scenes, but we don’t pull the book from the schedule. It’s more important to my goal to be established as a mainstream author with bigger stories to sell than my category romance roots, than it is to join in the shrieks of dissatisfaction with the publisher beginning to rumble all over the Internet.
- Fall, 2009: Dark Legacy in stores, positioned well, I’m signing in the B&N flagship store in New York’s Lincoln Center, and we’re off. Sales are good but nothing fabulous. We can do better, publisher says. My series is repositioned away from traditional romance and closer to the sci-fi/thriller market it’s better suited for.
- Secret Legacy due to editor in early 2010 for a rushed summer 2010 release because they want to break it out. They’re behind this very different, edgy thing I’m doing with my mainstream work 110%. They’ve also by now paid me the advance I’m owed to date. Agent and I see this as a good chance to shine within a smaller traditional press, so I keep working.
- Health issues and surgery prevent me from turning the second book in on time. Editor and publisher couldn’t have been more understanding. Deadline for delivering Secret Legacy is pushed to the spring of 2010, with a fall release. It’s the hardest writing period I’ve ever had, and I called my agent to quit more than once, but the book was finished and revised in a gruelingly short amount of time. If nothing else, this experience proved to me that I had to keep writing–if for no other reason than I couldn’t seem to make myself stop.
- Fall 2010: Serious money spent on my part and committed by publisher to promote the book that should break out, even though remaining advance for the second book on the contract hasn’t yet been paid. However, lots of publisher plans–print and digital promotion. Extensive online blog tour being set up. Again, agent and I are staying focused on the publishing possibilities and my investing in my mainstream future, which means I continue to do my job and play nice while she rattles their cages fighting to get me the money owed.
- Two weeks before Secret Legacy’s launch: it’s announced on the Internet (not to individual authors) that overnight Dorchester’s pulling their print publishing arm (meaning all my mass market print books are being yanked, never to be distributed retail) and beginning immediately to shift to a digital first/print on demand business. My break out release: not going to happen. My sizable investment in promoting to mass market retailers and readers: wasted. My remaining faith in publisher: destroyed.
Everyone loves free books, right? And I love giving stories away, especially to readers who dig what I’m writing. Isn’t that why we do this crazy thing called publishing, to get our words and ideas and characters out there so they can flourish in someone else’s imagination?
My pre-release blog tour is wrapping up (though you can still win a free digital copy of Her Forgotten Betrayal if you hurry and enter at Close Encounters of the Night Kind). Entangled has amazing plans for all the Dead Sexy launch titles, so starting next week look for even more chances to win not just books, but gift certificates and even a Nook!
In the mean time, here are the lucky ladies so far who’ve participated in my guest blogs and won a digital copy of HFB;o) Take a spin around each fun post to see what you might have missed and why my gothic thriller’s getting rave 5 Star Reviews…
From Close Encountes of the Night Kind: A killer look inside the making of Her Forgoten Betrayal–CONTEST STILL RUNNING!
Don’t forget to enter–maybe you’ll win!
From the lovely Ginger Calem’s blog: What’s at the heart of your fear?
From Romance Bandits: A KILLER HFB interview!
From The Writing Playground: A Dark and stormy night. Happily ever after. What’s your favorite part of a thrilling story?
From Stacy Green’s Twisted Minds and Dark Places: Embrace the things that go bump in your night.
From the Romance Author Hotspot: A genre-bending interview ;o)
I’m leaving on a jet plane in the morning to teach this weekend, but I wanted to shout it to the rafters before I go…
Two more AMAZING titles are on their way any minute now (uploading gods willing): NO Hero from Mallory Kane and Sacrifice of Passion from Melissa Bourbon Ramirez. And don’t miss May’s Deadly Secrets, Loving Lies from Cynthia Cooke! All four Dead Sexy launch titles will knock our socks off (and I’m not just saying that because I wrote one of the books and edited two of the remaining three ;o)
It’s been a mind-numbing few months–working hard with amazing editors and publishing professions to get all these books ready. I particularly want to thank Nina Bruhns, Liz Pelletier, and Vicki Wilkerson for all their vision, hard work, dedication and patience. I couldn’t be prouder to be part of your team, ladies ;o)
Keep checking back for all the promotional details. Entangled’s going all out with this launch, so there will be tons of chances to win free books, a Nook and other great giveaways.
Have a GREAT weekend, everyone!
You hear it all the time, how hard this writing and publishing thing has become. Or whatever else your thing is, you know what’s making your journey impossible. ”Suck it up,” everyone says. “It’s just business.” And they’re right. Life isn’t always easy. Sometimes you have to say, “‘Tis,” and battle on. But other times, you need to whine. If you don’t let the frustration and anger and disappointments out, how will you know what’s most important to you and what’s worth waging your epic battle over?
I mean, you need to have a plan, right? Beginning with a goal, so you know what you’re staying in the fight for. When it gets ugly and you want to quit, your battle plan is all you have to keep you going. Make the battle simple and clear, and about what’s most important to you. And your army must be filled with those who see your vision most clearly.
How do you give yourself all of that, if you’re not honest about what you’re fighting for. If you’re not whining with clarity ;o)
My full proof plan for whining with purpose and pride, whatever your battlefield ?
- Begin with a tantrum. A completely out of control moment where your barriers are down and there’s nothing left but what’s driving you round the bend and the people who’re willing to stand beside you, calmly watch the meltdown, and be there when the dust settles to help you pick up the pieces.
- Dig beneath those real emotions for the core conflict that sparked your freak-out. What’s being threatened that’s so near and dear to you, you can’t let it go, no matter how irrational your instinct to rebel? That’s your nugget. That’s the invaluable part of you that you feel powerless to get/protect/preserve/make thrive.
- Now, leave the irrationality behind, and suit up for battle. (more…)
The end-all-be-all of surfing is riding inside the barrel, where the wave hollows out and curls over you and you’re riding free inside the monster. It’s a bitch to get there, it’s a dangerous place, yet it’s heaven at the same time. Much like how a writer feels, cruising toward the last third of a novel’s rough draft. It’s a desperate place, hollowed out and empty, but it’s magic–if you can grit out the ride long enough to get yourself there.
Most writers are clucked from time to time: a surfer’s term for being scared of waves. Writers, we’re scared of our stories more often than we want to admit. Not exactly what we want the world that devours our end-goal to know. Because it’s not really the story, in the end, that freaks us out. It’s the drop (yeah, this will be a running theme, deal with it ;o).
While surfing, the drop is where a surfer first gets up on a wave, then points his board straight down the face of it, plunging toward nothingness, until he either takes the needed turn and flies, or eats it. (more…)