Monday, November 1, 2021

My second act

So I signed a contract the other day - a contract to terminate a contract.

As of October 28, 2021, the rights to Songbird and A Wider World belong to me.

Three years ago, when I signed with my small publisher, I was a different writer. I wasn't fully educated in the ways of self-publishing, and while I didn't want to go the traditional route of agent/publisher, I did have a need for outside validation. I guess it came from writing only for myself for so long - I needed someone to tell me it was good, and worth releasing into the world.

That has changed. My validation these days comes from within, and from the readers I am lucky to have found. What else has changed is my willingness to do all the work to publish my books myself, and control the way they are published, distributed, and marketed. It came on gradually - first, when I suggested changing the cover for Songbird (because most people saw it and thought 'historical romance,' when I think of it as ' historical with some romance,' the way most lives have some romance). I found a new cover designer, and commissioned the new cover. I also found the voice artist for the audiobook.

When it came time for A Wider World, I already knew where I would be interfering - cover and audio again, and this time I wrote my own book blurb (the description on the back or in the Amazon listing). 

I submitted Lady, in Waiting, the third book in my Tudor Court series, and it was through the editing process in August, 2021, but wouldn't be published until April, 2022, because that's just how publishing works. There are other authors; there are scheduling concerns outside my control; there's a pandemic, which could throw that existing schedule off course at any time.

After much thought, I reached out to the publishers and asked if they would consider rights reversion. I have nothing against my publisher - they were very collaborative and overall it's been a very good experience - but my personality is much more inclined to be a one-woman band. 

My chief reason, as I explained it to them, is that I'm 57. I got a late start as an author, and if I want to make any kind of second act career out of writing, I need to be able to do it on my own schedule, and not hold a book for 8 months because that's when it fits on someone else's schedule. 

They agreed, and within a week everything was signed and my books are slowly being taken down from all the various platforms. Ebooks came down first, which means that's where I'll start in the self-publishing process. My goal is to have them re-published by December 1, so as to catch a few holiday buyers, and to release my new book in February. It's a book about marriage - how could I not schedule it to appear near Valentine's Day?

For those who are interested in the process of self-publishing, and how I'm going about it, I'll post the various steps as I go. If you're not interested in that, I'll still be talking about sewing and craft shows and writing generally, in between.



Lisa Laree said...

I'm really interested in your self-publishing journey! Maybe someday I'll do something with the word files I've squirreled away...

Karen said...

Lisa, you absolutely should! What I'm finding so far is that publishing ebooks is definitely not a steep learning curve. I haven't looked at print yet; that's next.