A little over a year ago, the publisher of my fantasy series, The Futhark Chronicles, called me to say they were breaking my contract and not releasing my book in mass market paperback. With my permission they would release my book as an ebook only. I considered requesting my rights back to all three of my books like many of the other authors contracted with them did. I believed even then the way to go in the future would be ebook though the disappointment of not having my book in print was huge. In the end, I stayed with them, mostly because they had already released the first book in my series, The Keepers of Sulbreth, earlier in the year. I feared I would never find another publisher.
Though uneasy about the company's commitment to making my book a success, I dove into promotion and did everything I could to prepare for the release of my second book, Beyond the Gate on January 1st, 2011. The big day came, although my first book was available before its due date, and tada....nothing happened. It was up for sale on Amazon, B&N, or any of the other ebook retailers. I called my publisher on the very next business day. My publisher had the nerve to blame it on the booksellers. Weeks later, Beyond the Gate, finally was available. Some blips still existed like a few days of bleary cover art. So many long days after my blog tour and all the online promotion I did, readers could purchase my book. Was it any wonder word didn't get out?
I nearly pulled my books right then, but I thought I would wait for my first statement. You can guess how it looked. So at the start of the summer, I asked for all my rights back on the three books my publisher had contracted. It was simple since they had broken my contract. Now my options were to either find another publisher who would be willing to take on a book series where the first two had already been on the market though not marketed or to take the plunge and publish them myself.
I dove into the self-publishing chaos storm. I love reading books on my eReader and believe thousands of other people do also. The first obstacle I face was my lack of computer literacy. I read the directions on Kindle self-publishing and felt a little overwhelmed. I lingered over editing, spreading it out over the entire summer months. I talked to colleagues and friends, gathering information on the steps I needed to know before I could get my books back into the hands of the readers. I compiled an entire folder with dozens of emails, blogs and printed instructions from Amazon and other retailers to help me find my way.
So I'm now in restart mode and very hopeful. I realize I had lost confidence in my publisher long before I pulled my rights from the dark pit of their possession. I have lots of people to thank for helping me renew my dreams of a successful career as an author. Let me start with Cate Masters.
Cate answered my call for help. She answered no less than five emails filled with questions, general and specific. And she responded every time within a day and she added encouragement each time. More than a few of her books are in my ebook library. She's a production machine just not in producing new material but in keeping an up to date blog and promoting her books 'every' where and how. Her work ethic shames me when I whine about how little time I have to write. Somehow she gets it all done. So thanks, Cate.
In the next few weeks, I'll be doing a lot of posts on my experience wading through these new waters including introducing the talented young artist who designed my entirely original cover. During that time, I'm hoping to not only pass on what I've learned but also to receive even more tips and advice from my followers.
Has anyone in particular helped you recently in advancing your career or getting over a bump in the road? Have you helped anyone?