We’ve all been in a quandary at some point in our lives. Some are good. Others, not so.
I happen to be in a pretty good one right about now.
However, that does not seem to make the decision an easier one to work through.
As an (at the moment) unpublished writer, my biggest dream is to get published—obviously. When the New Year set in, and I’d received one rejection after another, after another, the chance of becoming published looked a lot less promising with each passing day. And I’m not only talking about my novels; I speak of my short stories I’ve attempted publication for, also.
Due to the lack of positivity from those in the industry, I’d made the massive choice that I would self publish if my books had not been picked up by the summer (see earlier post, dated: 1/1/2011). I had a plan. I knew when I wanted DARKNESS AND LIGHT to be released. I also knew when I wanted the second novel in the series, BLUE MOON, to be released. In addition to those two, I have a novella from Sean Holloway’s point of view that compliments DARKNESS AND LIGHT. My plan for that? To release it as a promotional supplement alongside the novel, available free for a limited period of time.
So … what happened to stall my set-in-stone plans?
Five days ago, I received two emails.
The first was from an online magazine I’d decided to take my chance on and submitted a short story to. They loved it. They’d also love to see it published in their summer issue. As it contains characters from the epilogue of BLUE MOON, who also play pretty big roles in my current NiP, I had to do some checks with their rights to my characters. I got the all clear and am now waiting to hear back from them with regards to the contract. Not that big a quandary, I know. BUT … when you’ve tried and tried to get something—anything—published, that first correspondence from someone saying they loved your work (instead of the usual: no thanks; or even worse, no response at all), it kind of tilts your world on its axle and all rational thoughts seem far from your grasp.
The second email was from a publisher I’d heard of, had recommended to me, and checked out and been following. At the end of last autumn (fall to those across the pond), I submitted my supplement novella to them for ebook publication. They liked it. A lot. Their only problem is that the ending isn’t a clearly-stated ‘happily ever after’ that they require for works sold by them. They didn’t dismiss the work based on this, but requested I extend the ending to give firm proof to the reader that both characters were happy with the end result (obscure, I know, but I hate spoilers). Their request is not the issue—it’s an easy fix, and one I’d be willing to do. My issues? If I go the self-publishing route for DARKNESS AND LIGHT, I won’t have the novella to offer as a free supplement. If the offer/request had arrived pre-New Year, I would not be as much in a quandary over it as I am—because then, I’d have given anything to be published by this company. Now, after allowing myself to believe I can do this publishing lark alone, it requires a lot more thought. I also needed to be certain they’d hold no claim to other works of mine containing my characters, as I didn’t want to be restricted as to what I could do with my novels. I received an email of explanation this morning that quelled those concerns for me.
If I hadn’t received the answers I sought in that email, the decision would have been an easy ‘no thanks’.
But now? I have more thinking to do.
And while I wait, I’ll get on with that alternative ending to my novella … just in case.