Wednesday, June 10, 2015

"Fantasies in Color" Finds a Home

Second story (steampunk)
in Fantasies in Color, original cover
Last year I blogged a little about an erotica project I’d been working on, a series called Fantasies in Color. At first it was just for fun, and maybe a little part of me wondered if I could do it. As it turned out, it WAS fun. (See my post on Smart Girls Love SciFi: Death to the Dirty Little Secret.) And my beta readers liked it and convinced me I should do something with it. 

It seemed like a great way to dip a toe into indie publishing, but after initial steps in that direction, I realized I was in way over my head. I’m going to hazard a guess that I’m not the only one who noticed that over the last twelve months the whole author thing got exponentially harder. 

Discoverability. Attracting new readers. Effective promo. These days it takes far more than “getting the word out” to impact sales. And if like me you have a family and a day job, you can end up spending a heckuvalot of your precious writing time on activities with a very low return. 

After talking to the digital specialist at my literary agency while attending Digital Book World in January, it dawned on me that what I really wanted was to be back in partnership with a publisher. 

I know that a lot of folks think major publishers are going the way of the dinosaurs. But over the last few weeks as my agent submitted my series to her editor connections, I began to see that these guys are still very much in the game. They are putting a lot of planning and resources into marketing their digital imprints, and they are making competitive offers for content. 

Does that mean they know more about promo than Hugh Howey? I can tell you they definitely know more about it than me. And they have whole teams of people doing the stuff that was slowly draining away my writing time. 

Loveswept, the digital imprint for romance
at Penguin Random House
That’s what led me to accept an offer we received last week for my Fantasies in Color series. In fact we had two strong offers. After a little back and forth on numbers and a one-on-one discussion with each editor, I had to make a very tough decision. In the end we chose Penguin Random House’s Loveswept imprint. 

The contract is for six novelette-length stories, which will be published individually and in anthologies. My agent refers to them as vignettes, and I think it’s a good description. All of the stories are speculative and to some degree geeky. The first, THE GARDEN RULES, is a modern story with a fantasy setting, and it includes a cool bit of biotech. The second, RAVEN TAKES A PEARL, is a steampunk story with an archetypal trickster figure as its hero.

I don’t have dates to announce yet, but I expect the first story will be out in early 2016. I’m excited about this new publishing adventure, and I hope you’ll stick around to see how it plays out! (To stay up-to-date on release dates, etc., sign up for my author newsletter.) 

4 comments:

  1. Many congrats on finding a great home for your Colors series. It sounds like the start of a beautiful relationship with Loveswept!

    This was so exciting to watch unfold, Sharon. Bet it almost felt like having your work go to auction. :)

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    1. Thanks so much, Laurie! Yes, it was very exciting. I honestly had no idea what to expect. My agent was excited about the stories, but you just never know whether editors will feel the same.

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  2. A well-deserved congratulations for this, Sharon! I know your new path will tke you to great heights!

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    1. Aw, thank you for the vote of confidence, Donna! :)

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