What I'm reading: Spellbound, by Nora Roberts
First, if you missed yesterday's contest winner post, the winner of Rebecca York's contest is Maryann Miller. Congratulations to Maryann, and thanks to all for stopping by and leaving comments.
Updates and reminders. My 50% off coupon for When Danger Calls at Smashwords is still in effect. Don't miss the bargain price. Use coupon code ET46A at checkout.
In just a few weeks, it'll be a brand new year. We tend to look at January 1st as a 'clean slate' day—a time to promise to do better, to think about changes.
Sometimes these changes come from factors over which we have no control. Writing is a difficult business, and when you're starting out, you think that publication is the end of the road. Get that contract, get a book published, and you can call yourself an author, and then writing books becomes your business, not your dream.
However, having that signed contract isn't the end—not by a long shot. I write primarily for small presses, with relatively narrow target markets. While on the one hand, a small press can provide individual attention, there are some other pitfalls.
With a small staff, when something happens to one member of the company, things can come to a major slowdown. I have a contract for a pair of short stories that should have been released in an anthology over a year ago. Due to staffing circumstances, that book hasn't even reached the editing stage. In other cases, the "we'll have an answer for you in 3-4 weeks" stretches well beyond that time frame, because there just isn't enough staff to fill in when someone faces personal issues.
Two of my publishers are discontinuing the imprints where my books have lived. One is folding the imprint back into the parent company, but that still creates a dilemma. Do I leave my books there and see if they do well under a new brand, or do I request the rights back and either try to re-publish it with another publisher, or join the ever-growing list of authors who are taking back list titles and putting them out in digital format?
And what about an already written book that's part of a series but now has no home? Or the almost-finished one that's also connected?
These aren't only problems with small presses. Some major publishers have discontinued imprints over the years, leaving authors stranded. Others have shifted to a total change in format, no longer putting out mass market paperbacks, instead changing to digital books.
It would be easy to say, "this is nuts," and find another creative outlet. But writers write.
Tomorrow, my guest is author Maryann Miller, and she's talking about The Wonder of Gifts. (And it's pure coincidence that she's Rebecca York's winner.)