I found out yesterday morning that the publishing company that published City of the Gods: The Descendant is closing. If you’ve followed me since the beginning, you know this is not the first time this has happened. This is the 4th time since 2011. I’m beginning to think I have a black thumb of death for publishers, like I do with house plants (I just can’t keep those suckers alive!). Let me explain.
Each of these publishing companies were small, independent, brand-spanking-new companies. The best part about these companies? They are looking for authors, new or old. They want your work and will actually return your inquiry with a yes or no. Every time I queried a company like this I got an email saying they were interested in my work. When I queried an agent, I got rejection after rejection, probably because my query writing skills suck (as I’m sure my synopsis does as well). Summarizing a 400 page book down to two paragraphs is hard and stressful. It’s that simple.
Any hubblebubble, it was nice to get positive recognition back from someone about my work, from someone who could actually help me get my story out to an audience.
The first company I signed on with was a e-publishing company. I wasn’t thrilled about the fact that my book would only be available in ebook, but I thought to myself, ‘It’s a step in the right direction.’
I started working with an editor and received the cover within just a few weeks after signing the contract. Things were moving quick. About a month before my book was to be published the company closed. I had just finished the first round of edits and was about to send it back to my editor when I got the news that the company was closing. It broke my heart. I was so close to finally being a published author.
The second company I was signed with was the best company I’ve been with to date. I received an email from another author telling me about a new press that was opening and that my story would be perfect for them. I sent my query and the manuscript and a week later I signed on with Ruby Lioness Press. It was a great experience. My cover art was fan-freaking-tastic! I absolutely adored my editor (& still do). My fellow Lioness authors were awesomely supportive of each other. AND I actually got paid! There were a few hiccups along the way. My book released a few days later than anticipated and my promised author copies arrived about a month and a half late, but overall, looking back, it was a good experience. The company changed owners and about 2 months after that the company closed. Again, I was heartbroken.
Shortly after Ruby Lioness closed, I signed on with Midnight Hour Publishing, another new small publishing house. I had high hopes for this one. Third times a charm, right? A new cover was created and not much editing needed to be done because it had already been published once before. While Midnight Hour was handling the release of The Descendant, I was working with my editor from Ruby Lioness, editing book 2, The Betrayal. I thought about self publishing the second book, but honestly had no idea where to begin. I was afraid I would muck something up, so after editing book 2, I contracted it with Midnight Hour as well. Big mistake! The owner pretty much fell off the face of the earth and when she did resurface, it was to say she had things under control and would be answering any questions or concerns the next day, or in a couple of days, or next week, whatever, you get my drift. Eventually no one was able to get ahold of her. I held out as long as I could, but nothing was getting done. I sent a letter to the owner explaining that she was in breach of contract (no royalties were ever paid to me) and that I simply wanted the rights back to my books so I could move on. She never answered, probably because she was in a legal battle with other authors. The company eventually closed. I was glad to be out of that mess.
In order to got out of the Midnight Hour catastrophe, I had to sign The Descendant on with another small new publishing company. Luckily the cover art was able to be transferred to the new company and editing and formatting were already done. It was published about 2 months after I signed on with them. That’s about the only thing that was done right. There was a lot of talk about growing the company and using services to get the books into book stores and such, but nothing ever came from these claims. I never received a statement of sales or any royalty payment for sales. Things slowly started to fall apart, authors started to leave the company, and I knew it was just a matter of time before the company crumbled, after going through this 3 times, you start to see the signs. I was smart enough to figure out how to self publish the second book and hired the cover designer who designed the current cover.
It sucks. It’s crazy. BUT I’m finally free to be able to give The Descendant the attention and recognition it deserves, being the 1st book in the City of the Gods trilogy, and being the 1st full length novel I wrote.
I’m giving up on the small, independent, brand-spanking-new publishing companies for a while.
Once the company has pulled The Descendant off Amazon, I will self publish it. It will take some time as I’m going to comb through the manuscript again and have my wonderful cover designer modify the cover. All of this will be done after I finish writing the 3rd and final book for this series.
I have many other stories outlined and ready to write, maybe one of those will snag an agents attention, or the attention of a bigger publishing house, if not, no worries, I’ll self publish those as well. I love writing. I love sharing my stories with my audience. I will continue to do so for many years to come.
I’m excited to explore these new opportunities, and hope to breathe new life into my writing career.