Monday, July 22, 2013

Uncertainty Looms, Part Deux

I hope you enjoyed the moth porn last week. Like I said, I'm going to sprinkle a little weird science posts here and there leading up to my blogiversary. I put a fun countdown over on my sidebar. Not sure what I'm going to do on that day, but it's a pretty cool milestone.

Remember my post in June titled Uncertainty Looms? I'm sad to report that my publisher is going to scale back significantly, leading to an eventual shutdown. What does this mean for me? They reached out to me and said that they still planned on publishing sequels to books already published, and some other titles, but the rest were going to get cut. In other words, the publisher was going to give the rights back to the authors.

My book, Dragonfly Warrior, was picked to be published. Isn't that awesome? That means they have faith in me and of my work! But guess what...

I told them NO.

This is my second publisher to close down while just on the precipice of being published. Like I said back in June, I am Type-A and a control freak. But being in the publishing industry and getting kicked around has really taught me that I don't have as much control as I want.

Why would I have my book published, only for the publisher to close down? I have a second book under contract with them too. So I asked them to give me my rights back. I said that I'd even pay for the cover that was already done. Their reply: crickets chirping.

So we will see. I was hoping to do a big cover reveal and ask you all to sign up. But it looks like all of that is on hold. My publishing date was in October. That's pretty much dead in the water.

If I get my rights back, what's next? I'm thinking of just going full indie. It's terrifying just thinking about that. I know nothing about that whole process. I've just picked up bits and pieces along the way, but I'm not even able to put that all together. I'm a sales guy, so striking out on my own isn't the scary part. It's all the unknowns.

I've been fortunate to have some great friends in the blogosphere who have already given me lots of advice and resources. If I decide to go indie, I hope I'm able to use all the great information they've given me and bumble my way through the process.

So thank you M. Pax, Jenn Guerillawordfare, Riann Colton, Tony Acree, Eve Gaal, Miranda HardyMichael Ignacio, and Cambria Hebert for their encouragement and for sharing their wisdom with me as I go down this terrifying, exciting, and unknown road. And also, muchas gracias to all of you who have thrown positive vibes my way during this tough time.


Brinda said...

I think you made an excellent decision. You know I'm supporting you in whatever you do and let me know how I can help. :)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

There are so many who've gone the indie route successfully. RaShelle Workman has sold 300,000+ of her titles. Start asking questions and planning your future.
Really sorry it's happened to you twice, but maybe that's a sign?

Pat Dilloway said...

If you have a contract with the publisher there's probably something in there about getting the rights back. You might want to check out the Writer Beware blog to look for similar cases. You could report the publisher to them too so other people might not get involved with them.

Pat Dilloway said...

Here's the link to the Writer Beware blog:

Miranda Hardy said...

I'm very happy with your decision, and I'm here for you to help in any way! Can't wait to see it out there.

Anonymous said...

As another in the "two down" when it comes to publishers, I feel your pain. Going the Indie route is full of pitfalls, but can reap huge rewards. Those of us who have come to know you over the last year have no doubts you will be successful. Go forth and publish, Young Man!

Anonymous said...

Patt Dilloway, the man who runs Hydra Publications is a first class person and has told all the writers they can have a release and I'm sure Jay will have his as well. It has been a rough weekend for a man who has the best interests of his writers at heart.

Jay Noel said...

Brinda: Thanks so much!

Alex: Yeah, I've been following RaShelle's success. I think today is her birthday too. I will ask for her advice as I move forward.

Pat: Thanks for the resource. I'm going to bookmark it. I don't think it's necessary in this case, but you do hear a lot of nasty stuff happening in this industry. Luckily, the publisher's owner is very honest. The guy is just hurt that a few of us he wanted to stay on have asked for our rights back.

Miranda: It's scary, but exciting! Thanks for everything

Cambria said...

Well i know the decision was a scary one but hopefully you will enjoy it as much as I have. Lots of luck your way!

Jay Noel said...

Tony: Yeah, we've been through some stuff, huh? I'm naturally a risk taker, and if I fail, I like having only ME to blame. I think it's going to be a lot of work, but I'm hoping I can control my own destiny.

jaybird said...

Oh my gosh Jay it's seems so random that it happened once, but twice? Crud. I give you a lot of credit for not giving up. Going Indie sounds like a good plan. Best of luck and whenever you need that cover reveal, you can count on me!

Jay Noel said...

Cambria: You know how I feel having gone through this too. Thanks for all your wisdom!

Jay Noel said...

jaybird: Yes. Twice in a row! The rejections I got years ago was much easier to take. I think it's time to take charge. Thanks so much!

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

You have to go with your gut and if your gut said no, then that was the right decision.

It's hard to see it now, but it's all a learning experience and it will definitely work out in the end. :)

Michael Offutt, Kaiju Smack Down Artist said...

I don't mind going full indie. I can take or leave publishing with an actual publisher (I'm easy). I think $2.99 has really worked for my book that I published that has lots of porn in it. I never did a book tour or anything like that for it because I think it's the kind of book that really has no benefit along those lines.

Also I'd suggest going KDP Select for the first three months. I've had positive experiences with that.

Send out electronic ARCS or pdfs. Example: send one to me and I'll put a review up asap.

Make sure to get the book on goodreads before it's actually available to buy to allow it to get some buzz.

Have some print copies available because Goodreads runs giveaways which are great exposure for authors (but they only handle print). They're picky like that.

Become a goodreads Librarian (like me). It's free and you can add yourself to lists and stuff and add your book.

Don't pay for an ISBN. Just use the Amazon ASIN that you get for free for publishing on KDP and then after three months, publish on Smashwords and they'll issue you a free ISBN and put your book up everywhere (like Nook and Kobo).

Post extras on your website for fans. I use pages for mine. I have art that I've done and excerpts, and maps, and exclusive content buried in the pages.

I also think you should do a short story that relates or introduces your work and publish that at a zero price on Amazon or someplace that has readers with links to your book.

The Desert Rocks said...

As a sales-guy you already know that 'loving' and believing in your product makes the job fun and easy. I think you'll be super successful and I am honored to be mentioned in this life-changing post.

M Pax said...

Great suggestions by Michael.

Write your ex publisher a formal letter requesting your rights back. Their intent to shut down is outside the spirit the contract was signed in. Get it in writing for both titles and don't lose it. Cyberstalk them if it comes down to it. I found this to be very effective when business goes hooey.

You'll do great, and you'll enjoy getting your book out there. You'll have so much fun, you'll want to do it again.

Robin said...

I think you made the right decision in saying "No." You don't want your book tied to a Sinking Ship. If you word the correctly (in terms of legalese) you should have no problem extricating yourself from the contract. They are closing shop, so you have every right to terminate. You signed with them when they were still an "active" publisher. Now, they are not.

I can see from the above comments that even more wonderful advice is coming in regarding self publishing should you decide to go that route. I know that more and more people are doing it and making money at it. So, it is something to consider. If you do it well, it can work for you. And there are people who have figured out how to do it well!!!!

In other news, I dedicated something to you on my last Thursday post. I hope you like it:)

Anonymous said...

You already know my take on this so I won't reiterate it here.

Just know I'm rooting for you and DFW - whatever you do with it in the future.

Jay Noel said...

Madeline: Thanks for your encouragement!

Michael: Whoa! That's all just so incredible...I hope people bookmark this post to come back to this. Or hell, I might have to just make your comment a future post. I think I'll have to do that.

Eve: Yes. I've tried to sell stuff I didn't believe in. It wasn't pretty. I'm not a very good faker.

Mary: Just found out that I'm getting my rights back. I have to buy the cover, since I love it.

Riann: Thanks for everything. Now about some of those fonts....

Jay Noel said...

Robin: I will check out your post! It was tough to say no. But I had to go with my gut. If I don't take a chance on ME, who will?

Maurice Mitchell said...

Congratulations on your upcoming anniversary and I had no idea how much uncertainty there is in the publishing world. No wonder writers are going the self-publishing route.

Jay Noel said...

Maurice: Thanks! And yeah, it's enough to drive you crazy.

DEZMOND said...

maybe it could be a good thing for you. We have a friend in the blogosphere who went indie a year or so ago and already sold 300,000 books :)

farawayeyes said...

Holy carp! You are one brave, courageous, and pretty darn smart dude. I haven't read the other comments or advice, but I applaud your integrity and faith in your work. How can you not go far. All the best to and for you.

Mr. Shife said...

Good luck, Jay. Sorry it happened to you but it sounds like you will be much happier since you will be in control. You will do awesome because your book is awesome. Take care buddy.

Phats said...

Good Luck with everything I think your book sounds great so hopefully it will be published somewhere :)

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