Thursday, 16 October 2014

Is it time to say goodbye to your publisher?

Sometimes it's time to say goodbye
As I write this, I'm scared, very scared. After a thoroughly demoralising time with one of my publishers that made me ill, I decided to get the rights to my two books with them back. Moving from having a publisher to doing everything yourself and self-publishing, is very scary indeed.

Now I'm responsible for everything from cover design to editing and the thing that scares me most is getting it wrong. But, my publisher's actions left me with no choice. 

You see, I had high hopes for these books. They were the first two in a series I'd created called Die Hard for Girls. They were my babies, lovingly crafted. I'd already written the third.

Judging by the readers reports by the publisher, they shared my enthusiasm. Sadly, that didn't translate into any real effort on their part. In fact, the publisher started to charge for services that they shouldn't have. Things like converting your book into an eBook and even, at one point, putting it into print. 

I won't go into all that. It's a long and boring story - hey, even I'm bored with it. But, what I will say is that I spent hours and hours trying to get my book the marketing they promised me and getting basic things like categories fixed and my author name spelled correctly.

Example - Throwaways, my crime thriller about Glasgow sex workers being kidnapped, was listed as true life and erotica. My, was my mum surprised about that:)

Now, it's down to me to do things right. It's daunting, but invigorating at the same time. Having two covers designed was particularly exciting. 

12 comments:

  1. I wish you much success in going the self-publishing route. This is the route I've chosen and it's frightening, but thrilling too. Sort of like a non-stop roller coaster ride. :)

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  2. Thanks, Anna. It is frightening, but liberating too. Good luck to you too😀

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  3. It must be very difficult to step away from a publisher, even one who didn't seem to be doing that great a job. But it sounds like you made the right choice, Jenny. I wish you the best of luck!

    With regard to the covers, I think the image on the new version of Throwaways looks much better, but if it were my book I'd be tempted to move my name beneath the title (so it fills that slightly awkward gap) and shrink the subtitle a bit. Alternatively, you could move the subtitle up and put your name right at the bottom. I don't think it matters a great deal but at the moment I do find my eye drawn to that black space, wondering what's missing.

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    1. Thanks, Dan for your comments. I think you're right about the space in the cover for Throwaways, so I've changed it. Hopefully, this one looks better.
      Good luck with your writing too😀

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  4. Good luck with your move. I also left my publisher and found the research side of self-publishing overwhelming but it was a great feeling too. I blogged about the steps along the way : www.orlascode.com. I'll be interested to know how you get on. Like your cover. Fiona

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    1. Thanks, Fiona. It is very overwhelming, but in my case I had no choice. My publisher didn't just do little to market my books, they hundred my efforts by not even getting the fundamentals right, like putting my book in the correct categories and spelling my name correctly.
      I'm off to check out your blog. Need all the help I can get😀

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  5. If you were unhappy with what your publisher was doing and were being charged for services when you shouldn't have then I agree you had no choice but to leave them. I do see it can't have been easy though.

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    1. Thanks, Patsy. I'm fast realising that it's not just about getting a publisher, it's about getting the right one.

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  6. Good luck with this, Jenny. It's a big step, but you have to do what is right for you and your books.

    And yes, the new covers are better. :)

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  7. Thanks, Carol. It's scary self-publishing, but the publisher made me so demoralised, I had to walk away.

    Hope your writing is going well:)

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  8. Self publishing is the way to go. You have control over it all. Publishers are living in the past and not adapting to a changing market, just as they did when paperbacks were introduced. They were convinced that would kill the publishing industry. I want the right to have a say in all that I do including my covers, so I'm with you all the way. Hard work but all your own work and worth it. Good luck

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  9. Thanks, Glen. The publisher I was with didn't seem to know social networking existed and they moved towards what was basically vanity publisher. In the end, I was glad to get my rights back.
    Good luck with your writing:)

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