As many of you know, I recently re-released The Keepers of Sulbreth on Kindle after having a falling out with my publisher. It hurt when my publisher made the decision to break my contract. With my first book released and doing pretty good in mass market and the next two under contract, I felt my career was really taking off and the next big step with a sale to a major publisher was around the corner.
Then the phone call came. My publisher wanted to release my second book, Beyond the Gate, in ebook only. I was crushed. My spirits were low for nearly two months as I tried to make the decision. I made the wrong one. I allowed them to release my book and they made a real hash of it. No promotion, no reviews, and they didn't even get it to the retailers on the release date. So I divorced them.
It's very strange. I was angry, beyond angry, with the publisher when they told me they would only be doing ebook, but I hid it and held on. I tried to work with them on promotion and pin them down on what they would be doing. They did nothing despite their promises. But once I told them to forget it and give my rights back, I felt free and energized. I no longer felt my writing future was out of my control. I no longer felt so helpless before the cold-hearted decisions of a corporation.
Being contracted with a publisher is something like a marriage but it can turn into a bad one. An abusive one where the party holding the power takes advantage of the other member. I'm happy with my separation because I decided I didn't have to put up with the 'Worse.' I deserve better.
Have you had a bad experience with a publisher? Do you know someone who has?