Why Self-Publishing?

This is a question I’ve been getting a lot lately, and with my new book out I thought it was a good time to write a (really long) post about it.

I wrote The Detective’s Brother some years ago and was very proud of it. I polished it, edited it, and sent off dozens of queries to agents and editors. None of them picked it up, though a few did show interest. Disappointed but not ready to give up, I shopped it around to some small presses, especially ones that were focused on romance novels.

img_0113It wasn’t long until I found a very small publisher called Sinnful Books that was just starting out. The publisher loved the book and wanted to sign me at once. I was excited and the terms were good, so I signed and sent it off. He set me up with a beautiful cover and the book was headed to the editor with a tentative release date. Then, out of nowhere, he emailed all his authors and said that the company was shutting down. All rights would revert to us, we were no longer bound by the terms of the contract, and were even free to keep our cover art if we wanted to cut out the imprint.

At that point I considered self-publishing, but thought I’d give the whole small press thing another try. I submitted my book to Booktrope because I felt like it would give me more creative control – small press marketing with indie control, what could be better? They also wanted it with some slight edits, so once I got it into the system and picked out my team my book went into edits.

img_5455My editor whipped it into shape, teaching me some very important lessons along the way, and I credit her with The Detective’s Brother turning out so well. Once it was a book we were both proud of, we set it up to be published! Then, about two weeks after it was released, Booktrope said it was shutting down at the end of the month. Unlike Sinnful, though, we were left with the options of either paying back our cover artists and editors or selling them and divvying up the royalties as per the contract. My cover artist decided to just give us the art, but my editor preferred a payout. Of more than a thousand dollars, which would be her fee for my manuscript If I’d gone directly through her.

Since it’s rare for me to even get one paycheck of that sort of money, The Detective’s Brother has gone back on the shelf until I can pay her or the contract runs out in five years. I really do want to pay her and was willing to do it in installments, but then my husband became disabled and I became the breadwinner of our family. As for The Detective’s Brother, I can sell the last few copies I have but that’s it.

treasured Love coverI was pretty depressed about the whole thing. What was the point, I thought, to signing with these small publishers only to have them go under? Thankfully, Tammy Andresen had contacted me before Booktrope shut down, asking if I wanted to be part of a pirate-themed historical box set. As depressed as I was, I had already agreed to it so I wrote the novella for Treasured Love and had a great time. I was also included in Every Rogue’s Heart, another box set with them.

The box sets, as many are, was self-published and consisted of mainly self-published authors, most of whom are very successful. After firing a zillion and one questions at Dawn Brower, I decided to take the plunge and self-publish Drowned History.

I don’t yet know how things will turn out, but I’m pleased with how the book is doing and love the way it looks. It would be nice to have a publisher deal with the marketing and such, but I don’t have to have one to validate me. If there’s one thing I do know, though, it’s that I love writing and I’ll never sell myself short again.

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52 Week Short Story Challenge #1

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Welcome to Week One of the 52 Week Short Story Challenge!

This challenge was created by SM Cadman, based on the advice of Ray Bradbury:

The rules are simple: write one 200-10,000 word story a week using one of the prompts provided, then post on your blog – even if it’s terrible.

The first prompts were posted Saturday and are St. Patrick’s Day themed, and I’m really excited about doing this! I’m planning on posting my stories on Tuesdays, much the way I did the Yeah Write challenges. If you want to play along, here are the prompts for this week!


StPatricksPrompt

“Come on, it’s only one drink.”

“Can you just tell me what exit I’m supposed to be taking?” According to his GPS, Ellis had driven off the side of the world ten minutes ago and trying to get help from the extremely intoxicated woman in the passenger seat was almost impossible. In addition to being nearly incoherent, she also wouldn’t stop flirting with him. Poorly.

Continue reading “52 Week Short Story Challenge #1”

Drowned History – Excerpt

img_7014Their footsteps were loud against the stone and the sound of water had become further away again, but the air had turned cool and damp. Water dripped from the unseen ceiling and pattered onto the ground. The echoing sound of the droplets and their steps made her think of the time she had gone into a cave behind a waterfall with her friends as a girl. Alice’s mind was taken over by the sounds of water and the sight of George holding a gun, so when her foot slipped on one of the steps she didn’t notice until she pitched forward with a cry of surprise.

“Alice!” Phillip reached forward and caught the back of her shirt as she fell, and Alice heard the fabric tear.

I just bought this shirt, she thought, realizing as she did how ridiculous it was. It didn’t stop her falling, though, and George turned toward the sound of Phillip’s voice to see Alice coming directly at him. He dropped the lantern and caught her in his arms, an action that pushed him off the edge of his own step. The lantern crashed on the stone floor beneath them and burst in a splintering of glass and metal, giving off one bright burst of light before being swallowed by the darkness. Alice hoped that when they hit the ground he wouldn’t land on the mess. The last thing she wanted was for him to get hurt again because she wasn’t paying attention.

George was under her, so when they hit the floor together he broke her fall. Alice lay in his arms for a moment, trying to decide if they were really all right before she got up. The worst thing that had happened to her was her ruined shirt but George was coughing and trying to catch his breath.

“Are you all right?” She sat up and got off him but didn’t stand, waiting instead to make sure he was going to be okay. George pressed a hand to his chest and nodded.

“Just got the wind knocked out of me,” he said.

“Thank you,” Alice said quietly, not wanting the others to hear what she was saying. She wanted to keep as much between her and George as possible. “You could have just let me fall.”

“I could’ve,” George said looking up at Phillip and Nadir, who were coming down as fast as caution would allow. “But I won’t.” The light of Nadir’s lantern reached them, throwing shadows onto George’s face and he smiled. “As you can see, I didn’t even lose my glasses.”

“Are you okay?” Phillip knelt down beside Alice and she nodded. “Thank God. I’m sorry about tearing your shirt, I thought I would be able to catch you.”

“It’s all right,” Alice said. “Thank you for trying, though. I can forgive the loss of one shirt.”

“I’ll buy you a new one when we get back to the States,” Phillip said. “Whatever kind you like.” His words touched Alice but she knew she couldn’t let him do it. She had felt his feelings for her growing the longer they spent together, and he was a sweet boy, but that was all he was to her. Before she could reply, George started to get up.

“Let me help you,” Alice said, shooting up from her place on the floor and offering George both of her hands the way she used to. He gave her a dubious look and for a moment she thought he was going to tell her not to be ridiculous and stand up himself. Instead he took her hands and let her put on the old charade. Alice didn’t know if he could see it but she was smiling hard enough that it hurt. “You’ve definitely put on weight.”

“Age will do that to a man,” George said, standing up as she took a step backward to pull him. “Happens to the best of us.”

“I should say so,” Alice said. “I know I—” Her words were cut off before she’d really gotten a chance to say them as the stones beneath the heel of her shoe crumbled away under her slight pressure. When she realized she was falling again, Alice immediately let go of George’s hands so she wouldn’t pull him down with her.

“Alice!” This time it was all three of the men shouting at her as she fell backward and the fact that their voices were echoing made her realize that they must have come into an open chamber. She couldn’t sense the floor or more steps coming up at her and it dawned on Alice that she was most likely falling to her death.

She could hear her companions shouting again and this time they seemed much further away. It was getting darker and cooler by the second as she fell away from their warmth and what little light was left to them with the one lantern. It looked like one of the fireflies she’d seen while she was playing outside in summer.

This is it, Alice thought. I’m really going to die. Rather than try to look into the darkness, Alice closed her eyes and stretched her arms out to her sides like wings. I wonder if it will hurt?

Thoughts warred and spun through her head; images of her parents and her friends, the work she did for the translation company, her mother’s noisy little dog. Mostly she thought about George and how happy she was that she’d gotten the chance to tell him that she loved him. She hoped he would be able to forget everything that had happened since they met again in Nadir’s office and remember the time they’d spent together in Surat, only this time he’d know how she felt.

I’m sorry, George, she thought as she finally felt something rushing up at her. For everything.

Alice clenched her teeth and braced herself as best she could for the impact, hoping that she would die right away and not suffer. She didn’t know how far she had fallen so it was impossible to tell, but she knew that it wasn’t a question of whether or not she would die, more of how painfully she would do so.

Then, to her surprise, Alice plunged into water so icy cold that it sent a shock through her body. It wasn’t at all what she expected and she opened her mouth to cry out but nothing came out. A moment later her heart stopped and everything was black.



Drowned History

Now on sale for $0.99 on Kindle, or free with Kindle Unlimited!

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07B9SDHKP

Paperbacks coming soon!

 

Drowned History Notes and Rogue News

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I haven’t had any crochet to post for a little while because I’ve been so busy working on the final formatting for Drowned History. It’s still going to be coming out next Tuesday as planned, but some of the formatting for the print version was a little wonky and I’m still waiting on my proof. I had hoped to do a preorder but that doesn’t seem likely at this point so I’ll just keep in mind the timeline for the next one.

Speaking of the next one, I’m planning on releasing my book Only a Rogue Knows this summer! It was originally part of the Every Rogue’s Heart box set but I’m now allowed to sell it on its own, and I’m very excited. I’m planning on expanding some parts of it that I would have liked to write before and there will be a fantastic new cover, so even if you bought the box set there will be plenty for you to enjoy in the expanded version. I’m working on the new bits right now, and will send it to editing right away so I can get it formatted sooner than this one.

I suppose these little hiccups are all part of learning the ropes of being an indie author. Self-publishing offers an amazing amount of creative control, but it also comes with a bit of a learning curve. Hopefully I’ve done Drowned History justice and everything will go more smoothly next time. Eventually I’d like to buy a bundle of ISBN numbers and really print them under Frozen Flame Press, but that’s way out of my skillset for the moment. For now, I’m happy to let Createspace take care of all that while I work on increasing my skills.

Getting back to next week’s release, here’s a bit of important information: Drowned History will be released Tuesday, March 13th and will be $0.99 for the first two weeks, then go up to $2.99 after that. The paperback price will be $10.99, and I’ll be selling signed copies for the same price plus shipping. If you’d like me to reserve one for you, send me an email at beccalovebooks@gmail.com and I’ll get one out to you!

Presenting…Drowned History!

I was getting a little panicked because I wasn’t exactly done with the first book in the vampire series, which I was hoping to release in March. But never fear! I will have a book out in March and it’s one that’s very close to my heart.

Drowned History is the story of four people who get drawn into a search for a mysterious artifact buried in India in the fall of 1940. They quickly discover that some things are not what they appear, and the past comes back to haunt two of them. A lost love binds them together, but their trip into the far past may well tear them apart.

The release date for Drowned History is March 13, and I’ll open pre-orders at the end of February. There will be both print and e-book copies and I plan to have them available at every retailer. I’m so excited!

 

Alone Again, Naturally

Detective's BrotherWell, I have some incredibly sad news. As of May 31st, The Detective’s Brother will no longer be available as Booktrope is closing down.

I got the news on Friday and immediately started texting and messaging other Booktrope authors that I have become friends with, as well as my editor. As near as we can figure out, until I pay the team what their usual rate would be my book will be stuck in limbo.

I’ve decided – as have a number of my fellow authors – to go the self-publishing route. I’ve learned a lot from my time with Booktrope and I think I can go it alone as well as possible. I have a day job that I love so I’m not in danger of losing a large chunk of my income, and I’ll have a little more control over what I’ve written.

A couple of friends have encouraged me to try and explore small presses but honestly, I’m not looking forward to doing that again. I’ve been down that road before and it only leaves me stressed and unhappy when no one wants to read historicals or requests chapters and then never says anything again. Not to mention the fact that the two indie publishers that picked up The Detective’s Brother both went under. Sinnful at least returned the rights to me with no strings attached. Booktrope is returning the rights but, as I said before, I can’t republish until my team is compensated and that will take a while if they want the money up front. I adore my editor but I can’t afford her rate unless she lets me pay her back in installments or something.

Turn the Page is still slated for a release this year, though it may be a little longer in coming than originally planned since I’m going to have to shell out the money for the editing and cover myself. However, I’ve got a designer I like picked out and a couple of stock photos for her to work with. I’ve got a few ideas for contemporaries and historicals, so you definitely haven’t heard the last of me, and I hope you’ll stay with me through the next big adventure.