The publishing world is nothing if not a roller coaster. My first book was contracted in the summer of 2007, so I’m creeping up on ten years as a published author. And HOLY CRAP–you couldn’t believe how much this world has changed since then. My first sale was to Samhain Publishing. They contracted a spicy little novella titled Erotic Research. I signed a seven year contract, opened a bottle of champagne and grinned for weeks afterwards. Then I signed a second Samhain contract (Tequila Truth) and a third (Kiss Me Kate) with Ellora’s Cave.
Fast forward four years from there and BOOM! Amazon’s Kindle took off–somewhere in 2011-12. Sales were through the roof on e-books and I hit the New York Times bestseller list twice with two of the Compass Brothers books. It was a great time to be in e-books.
Wiggle forward another year and you’ll find me sitting in a hotel bar with Lexi Blake and Shayla Black at Lora Leigh’s RAW, getting the recipe for a Liver Transplant cocktail and listening to them talk about self-publishing. In 2007, self-publishing was called vanity publishing and no one would be caught dead doing it because it meant no publisher wanted to buy your book. That changed fairly quickly as talented authors discovered how easy and profitable it was to publish your own books directly with the vendor. And even with Lexi saying–you NEED to be self-publishing, I remained with Ellora’s Cave and Samhain because I’d contracted books (lots of them) and I had commitments to meet. Took me almost a whole year before I had time to dip my toe in the self-publishing realm.
I wasn’t sure how I felt about self-publishing initially. There was definitely a learning curve. However, after just a few books in, I was hooked. Don’t tell anyone but I’m a control freak. Like big time. Everything about being an indie appeals to me. Seriously. Everything. I set my own schedule. I write projects that appeal to me/speak to me. I design my own covers. I set my own prices. I’m freaking Pretty Woman. “I say who. I say when. I say WHO…” It’s a good life.
Except…I wasn’t just self-pub. My older works were still with the smaller pubs where I started. Contracts and all that jazz. Zoom on until last year when the bottom fell out on Ellora’s Cave. I didn’t receive royalties from them for a year and a half before they finally closed up shop. In the end, I wound up giving them money simply in hopes of saving my books and buying back my contracts, which I did. Believe me, no one was ever happier to be free from a publisher than I was when I finally got away from them. *insert all the nasty words here*. Those 29 EC books are all mine again, the last few returning to me in October 2016. They’ve since been re-covered and republished. The last of them (Cocktales) are all releasing this month.
Last night, Samhain announced they were closing at the end of this month. Which means–come March 1–19 more books are going to fall back into my lap. The difference between Samhain and EC is the way in which they closed their doors. Samhain hasn’t missed a single royalty payment and when February ends, the owner is giving us our rights back. Just like that. Even though the contracts say they are still hers. Class act. All the way. I cried when I read they were closing, though the announcement came as no surprise. And then sadness quickly gave way to two other feelings–joy and bone-crushing pressure. Because putting 19 books back out there–with new covers and blurbs–takes time. A lot of it. If you’ve looked at my coming soon pages lately, you’ll know that time isn’t something I’ve left myself much of. Between my writing schedule and the day job (yep–I’m still employed full-time with a school system), I’m already burning the candle at both ends.
However, I’m buckling down, doubling down and I’m going to make some shit happen! For the time being, I have taken the pages for Compass and Second Chances off my site until I have time to create new covers, reformat the books and upload them to the vendors. My initial plan is to get Second Chances back out come August. Jayne and I haven’t set a date for Compass yet, but we’re both committed to moving on this as quickly as our schedules will allow. And as a bonus–the two of us are chatting about writing the Compass Boys. So if there’s a silver lining to all of this–I certainly feel like that’s it. It’ll be wonderful to return to Compton Pass with her.
My other Samhain books will also return, sprinkled about here and there. For longtime fans, I don’t plan to make any changes to the actual stories, so there’s no need to repurchase them. For new readers, I’m hoping to entice you with the new looks and affordable prices.
As for the rest, I have NO idea where the publishing world will be in ten more years (or even next year, for that matter). All I can do is hope I’m still riding the roller coaster with all of you! Because all in all, it’s been a great ride! Have a great weekend!