So. Plot twists. They're cool (and necessary) in books, but in real life, they can be, well, a little less welcome.
Case in point: When my publisher emailed last week to say that she'd made the heartbreaking decision to close her publishing company.
That's right, the publisher that helped turn my dream into a real Book Baby wasn't going to be able to do that for Book Two, Three, or any of the other books/stories in the Fangirl series and beyond.
Devastating, right? What's more, ALL ACCESS, my tiny three-month-old infant Book Baby, was going to be taken down (as in, no one could buy it ... anywhere!), and all rights would revert back to me. Taken down! After all that hard work, it was just going to disappear as though it never even existed. Waaaaaah!
Of course, I did not expect this one bit. My publisher has been a dream to work with. Dedicated, enthusiastic, and a true friend. But life happens and instead of falling to pieces like I could have, I strapped my lady balls back on and explored my options.
Option 1 - Let It Go (Also known as Option HELL NO)
I COULD just let ALL ACCESS fade into the sunset and say, "Eff this crazy-a$$ industry. I've had enough!" But if you know me and you know how much I want this author career, you'll know this was never, ever an option for me. So, on to Option 2.
Option 2 - Find Another Publisher
There are other indie publishers out there with very strong sales records and an exceptional editorial staff that accept previously-published books or that pick up series where a former publisher left off. Another author I know took this route when her publisher closed several months ago and she's got a solid deal and a bright future with a new press.
I definitely considered this option ... for about a day. Why? Because ALL ACCESS is only three months old. It's just gaining traction. Even so, it already has 51 Amazon reviews, pretty rad sales, and a 4.9/5 star rating. Readers (fans!) are looking forward to Book Two. If I tried to place The Fangirl Series with another publisher, that would take months and months. Probably two months or so to even get an offer to publish (that's assuming I'd *get* another offer), then weeks or months to go through their editing process, possibly (probably) a new cover, a re-release, etc. A timeline like that would FOR SURE put Book Two way, way behind AND I'd probably lose all of my Amazon reviews. No thanks! I spent way too much time bugging you all for those reviews to let them just go away. *wink* So, Option 2 was not the right option for this project, either. Onward.
Option 3 - Self-Publish
Ah, yes. Self-publishing. The phrase that seems to have gotten a lot of stigma ever since the Amazon revolution made it possible for anyone with a pulse to publish. But what you don't often hear, unless you're in the industry, is how viable of a career path self-publishing is. I could go on and on (and probably will in a future post), but when an author self-publishes their books, they have complete control over things like pricing, promotions, cover design, release schedule, and more. Plus, we don't have to share our earnings with anyone (except Uncle Sam. ha!). The drawback, of course, is that all production expenses are on you (professional editing, cover design, formatting, etc). All marketing is yours. EVERYTHING gets handled by you (or you hire it out). Some authors want nothing to do with that. They just want to write. I happen to have a hardcore entrepreneurial spirit and LOVE the business and marketing side of things. Doing all the "other stuff" is just as fun as the writing itself (well, almost). Ergo, I always had self-publishing in mind as a "maybe someday" option for future projects, but I guess the Universe is more in the "How 'bout NOW?" camp. And I'm actually really, really cool with that. In my mind, I see self-publishing as a way to build a beautiful empire. So I will.
Not to mention, if I self-publish, ALL ACCESS will come down from Amazon on September 30 via my publisher, but I can put it right back up on October 1 on my own. (And that's the plan as of this writing.) No loss of reviews, no waiting time, very little interruption, if any. Plus, Book Two can stay on schedule. Hooray!
So ... there you have it. The Fangirl Series WILL still be published as planned, even though a big, fat plot twist shook things up a little. But I love this series and this career way too much to let this train lose even the slightest bit of steam. Plus, Niles and Kallie would be PISSED if I left them hanging, amiright? ;-)
I'm so thankful to Marching Ink and Samantha March for giving The Fangirl Series a fantastic start. But it's time for me to grab the reins myself now and see how far I can take this. I'd appreciate your continued support SO MUCH and I thank you for every single thing you've done for me so far. Every Facebook like, picture, or post. Every review. Every private message. Every Goodreads rating. Every everything. Thank you. I love you.
Let's keep this Fangirl Party Bus rolling!!