Monday, December 14, 2015

Entering Limbo

I admit, I felt that particular leg of my foundation in writing shaking quite a bit since the loss of the Director of Publishing who had championed me to my publisher. Loss as in no longer working there, not because she had passed. I now begin the strange journey of transition from being a published writer to being, well, something else.

I felt the loss more acutely when the Director of Publishing left. She was the creative spark that directed the fiction side of the business. Without her, all the fiction titles and authors have floundered a bit. My excitement to join the publishing company had more to do with access to real marketing and publishing expertise than it did with the "reputation" of being a professionally published author. Just when my book came out, my champion disappeared and so did the push that was supposed to come with my debut novel.

Still, I can say I've sold about as many books in my first year as an average book by any author this year. many authors have sold less and a few have sold more. I've gained experience in web site design (to a degree), seen some very well done cover designs and book layouts (enough to know I need someone else to do them), and a splash of insight into book marketing. It has been a great learning experience, but I'm now at a point where I can't exactly take advantage of that experience and move forward. Limbo has its drawbacks.

My options from here forth are to find another publisher or create my own publishing company. Actually, the third option is simply to go back to self publishing which is just a step down from creating my own publishing company. I honestly had another publisher lined up, but things have changed for them since our last chat a few months ago and they're no longer an option for the foreseeable future. It may be best to go it alone, take on all the pieces of self publishing and simply get the thing done on my own. The advantages are that I'll have complete control over every aspect of the books' life and marketing. The disadvantages are essentially the same - all of those bits and pieces will take time I simply haven't had in my schedule to take over.

What I didn't have before is access to people who controlled every aspect of building a professional quality book. With the contacts I have now, I feel confident I can arrange those pieces and get them into place. The marketing contact I found is probably the biggest key. Still, the production of this book series at this point is a vanity project of sorts now. That's the reality of the situation. Have people commented that they loved the book? Absolutely! For fans of that genre, it's really spot on. The question of how to reach my target audience that I haven't met yet without spending a ton of money is the real conundrum. I suppose it's the same problem most self published authors face - how to reach their audience and not go broke in the process.

In the mean time, The Adventures of Reztap and Mishaps and Mayhem are still available for sale, and I still get paid royalties for them. It's actually unclear at the moment if I'll be pulling them from Chart House Press or leaving them there. All signs seem to point to the publisher wanting to relinquish control as soon as possible. What files and data I'll receive in the process in unclear. Even book two is in a basically completed stage, just waiting on me to get the cash together to push for the marketing reviews of The Adventures of Reztap and, possibly, Mishaps and Mayhem as well.

New job, bills stack up and the cost for getting review copies sent out seems further and further away every day. I'm taking a deep breath and pushing forward. I want to get those reviews online before March 2016. I'd like to get book two reviewed shortly thereafter and published some time in 2016, hopefully by the summer. I just don't want links to point to a book that's no longer there! Hence, limbo.

Wish me luck and keep on reading!


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