I hit a milestone this week with the re-release of my novel By Right of Blood, formerly published under the title By Right of Will.
Formerly? What does that mean? It means, like most business deals in the 21st century, the original publication was done under a contract. The publisher agreed to publish my book, market it, promote it, and keep it on their catalog for two years. Sadly, the only part of that promise they kept was to keep it on their catalog for two years, and then as soon as that term expired, cut it from their listings, sending my book to the publishing purgatory known as OOP; Out Of Print. They never did do any marketing or promoting, and indeed, I am in dispute over the number of copies they owe me a royalty for. When they did send royalty it was through a third party who took a fee on the transaction, and I had no recourse as it was the only way they would send. They even made me change the title of the book because there was another book in their catalog that had the world ‘blood’ in the title. Needless to say, all these factors together, and the unceremonious way they informed me “times up, you’re out of print” deflated any elation I felt for actually writing and getting the book published in the first place. The final insult was when they made me buy the leftover stock — that would have sold if they’d done their job promoting. In short, the whole experience left me with little or no confidence in the publishing industry.
Notice I did not mention the name of the publisher. I’m trying to take the high road there. (But if you want to know, go to Amazon and search for By Right of Will by Lorrieann Russell — they seemed to have forgotten to take it down off Amazon — you will see the publisher information. BUT DON’T BUY IT! I wouldn’t want them making another dime off me, even by mistake.)
So, what makes this dip into the publishing waters different? Plenty!
For starters, I’ve reclaimed the original title. The book has had a scrubbing up, and fresh layout. I have a publisher I can get on the phone when I need to, and a publicist who is actually publicizing! Edin Road Press is a new startup, independent publisher. So far, they have a small catalog, and until now it has been 100% ebook. Mine will be the first one offered up on paperback (at the end of the month). Small potatoes? No way! In the first 24 hours after the release of the ebook, I had already surpassed the number of sales the former publisher actually reported to me — not how many they actually DID sell, just how many they told me about.
Independent publishing is the way to go for any writer who wants complete creative control over their work. I was able to do the cover art the way I wanted it, do the interior the way I wanted it, and write in a genre that isn’t pigeon holed into a mass market cookie cutter mold. I don’t happen to want to write about vampires thankyouverymuch. The indy press gives me the freedom to explore cross genre, write as long or short as I wish, and be true to my own style. And I’m getting some kick-ass publicity to boot!
I may never sell a million copies. That’s really not my goal. But I’m selling far more than I would be on my own. Independent Press is the way to go.
So the book is now out on the Amazon Kindle bookstore, soon to be available on iTunes as well. Be sure you get the right one.
The paper edition will be published May 29.