QUANDARY!


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As an (at the moment) unpublished writer, my biggest dream is to get published—obviously.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.

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8 thoughts on “QUANDARY!

  1. Heeeeeeeeeeeheheheheehhe. First: ::clapping:: ::clapping:: ::clapping:: ::clapping:: ::clapping:: ::clapping:: ::clapping::

    Second. I know what you mean. 🙂 🙂 🙂

    1. I know you know what I mean. Just as you know what I mean when I say I know what you mean. Ha! 😀
      Expected you to show up. Almost expected you to have more to say. But … I’m already getting your opinion. Hehehehehe 😉

  2. I really have no idea what to suggest as far as the quandry – except that it sounds like a good problem to have, relatively speaking.

    Congrats on the good news emails. No matter what way you go, I know how great it feels to get that first acceptance.

    1. Well … I’ve pondered all week, and now I may have finally made up my mind. I’ve spent the day proofreading and editing the piece I sent to them, looking for any weak spots that can be improved, and over the weekend, I’ll write that new ending. And, thanks, it does feels pretty darn good. 🙂

  3. Congratulations! 🙂 I see what you mean about offering a free short read relating to a self-published work. Lindsay Buroker did that with her Emperor’s Edge series and is having pretty decent results.

    So I’m wondering, does the publisher only do short stories/novellas? Would the be interested in the full length also or are you dead set on self-publishing?

    On the other hand, if you do sell your novella rights to the publisher, it doesn’t mean you miss out on the publicity. Unless they sit on it for an extensive amount of time, which some publishers are prone to do. But if you’re looking at a release in 2-3 months (not impossible with a small press) and are willing to hold onto your full length that long, it might still be used to boost sales.

    Folks who read the novella from your publisher would likely want to move on to the full length regardless of if it’s published directly by you or someone else. Folks have been talking about a correlation between number of works published and success.

    What to do? What to do? I say make sure you have all the facts. Exactly what is the publisher asking? When can you expect your book to be released? How much are they offering? What are they offering in terms of marketing and such? How big of a reach do they have? What’s the average in terms of sales for authors? The questions go on and on.

    Then do a cost benefits analysis. Do you think you can do better for yourself than what they offer? Don’t forget to look at your costs… you’ll likely have them whether you self-publish or go traditional.

  4. I rewrote my ending, Reena, and subbed it back to the editor this evening. A lot of thought went into my decision, and I went with the chance of experiencing publication with a publisher over my initial decision.
    If all goes well, I may show them my first full length ms to read through, but there’s certain content in it I fear they may shy away from, and so I will have to wait and see.
    Don’t worry, I asked questions I needed answers to, prior to creating a new ending, otherwise I wouldn’t have sent the updated ms back.
    And now, as they have just been voted number 1 ebook publisher by Preditors and Editors, I’m feeling pretty fortunate to be dealing with them. 🙂
    Thanks for the congrats 🙂

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