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Thursday, January 7, 2016

Orphans and Inkprint

If you're reading this blog it probably isn't because I'm as entertaining as I think I am. You're probably here for either writing advice, publishing advice, or some idea of when the next Heroes and Villains book is coming out.

So let's talk about all three.

Way back in the dawn of time when dinosaurs still had skin and not feathers, I signed a contract with a small publisher called Breathless Press to publish my then stand-alone novella EVEN VILLAINS FALL IN LOVE. I was excited. I was naive. I was overly optimistic. And, although I didn't know it at the time, I was in really big trouble.

Breathless Press was newer, and some of their editors were freelance, and the editor I wound up with was a flake. I don't even remember the person's name any more. We exchanged emails once, when I sent in my first set of edits, and then there was nothing. Time passed. My publication date crept closer. Nothing.

I emailed the senior editor for advice. My main concern was that I'd been dropped without warning. Maybe the book wasn't good enough. Maybe I wasn't what they wanted in an author. Instead, it turned out my editor had quit leaving me orphaned.

Being a publishing orphan is actually very, very, painfully common. An editor leaves for a promotion or because of the demands of life, and all the authors attached to that editor are left in a very bad situation.

I got lucky. Another editor picked me up, encouraged me, and helped me brainstorm the Heroes and Villains series. Other authors aren't always so lucky. At larger houses a change of editor can often mean a book dies. Without someone to champion a series authors often find themselves without a contract, and sometimes they have trouble getting the rights to their books back.

Several years after EVEN VILLAINS FALL IN LOVE was published I found myself in another orphan situation: Breathless Press closed.

Finding a new house that wanted to take on the series mid-way through was a daunting task, and would have likely proved fruitless since any new publisher would want to see sales. Most authors find themselves in this situation at least once in their career, unless they are self-pub only. I was lucky in that I had a good contract. The rights reverted to me and I was able to buy the cover art from the artist. Other authors have had their books lost to the tangle of legal jargon.

After Heroes & Villains was orphaned I made the executive decision to not shop the series. I didn't have the time, and the Villains didn't have the sales numbers. Instead, Amy Laurens and I put a long-talked-about plan into action: we started our own press.

Inkprint Press is now home to the Heroes and Villains books and all my short stories. The new Heroes and Villains stories will be published through Inkprint, along with any new Apex War (PRIME SENSATIONS) stories, short stories, or novellas that I write.

This is the future of self-publishing: for the author to sell directly to the reader. Inkprint Press is how Amy and I are doing this.

When you buy a print book from Inkprint you get the e-copy free. If you sign up for the Inkprint Newsletter you'll receive 30% off every print title you order directly from the Inkprint website.

For those who don't want to do the math, that means that instead of paying $16 for EVEN VILLAINS FALL IN LOVE you could pay $12, and receive the $4 ebook for free. Of course, if you'd like to pay full price to support your favorite author, I won't object to that either. :)

WRITING LESSON OF THE DAY: Be flexible. Adapt to the circumstances. Don't be afraid to do your own thing. Editors come and go, but stories are forever.

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