Tuesday, March 8, 2016

The Final Contract #publishing

I had one very big, official thing-that-must-be-done at the top of my March to-do list. My last remaining contract with a small press was due to expire/renew on the 3rd of June 2016, and I didn't plan to renew. Although I'd already sent a note with that intention back when the new contract terms were announced (terms I wasn't willing to agree to), I wanted to do it properly. And so I did. The termination notice was acknowledged and set to go ahead, meaning my YA scifi novel Gethyon will return to me in about three months, the one and only title I've had to terminate in this way.

YA Scifi Novel
GOODREADS | Available from...
BURST | Omnilit | B&N
Amazon | Smashwords
Kobo | Google Play

Despite being a SFR Galaxy Award winner, an EPIC eBook Award finalist in the SF category, and generally good reviews. it has not, alas, been one of my best sellers. As part of the Travellers Universe, and almost a kind of prequel to my Keir books (Quin being a major character in it), I'm hoping a major revamp, new cover and blurb will fix that. But we'll have to wait and see. Being my second novel published and back in 2013, I have no doubt that all I've learned since will contribute to some improvements. >.<

This will also mean I've become a fully independent author, with no publisher. It wasn't how I imagined it would be when I first looked into publishing. For the record, I started off by looking for a UK literary agent before moving to the then uprising number of digital first small presses in the US. Out of my three top picks, it was Lyrical Press who offered me my first contract (only to be bought out by Kensington at the start of 2014). Champagne Books offered me my second contract for Gethyon. The short lived Definition House offered me contracts for Keir's Fall (rejected by Lyrical before their sale) and for my SFR novella Tethered, before being forced to shut by personal reasons. Then Breathless/Lycaon Press gave me several contracts for various works. I fully intended to keep publishing longer works with small presses while self publishing my shorter ones for myself, giving me the best of both worlds.

Then last May I also lost my main publisher Breathless Press. In the space of my slightly less than four years of being a published author, I have lost three of my four publishers. And just last week, the small press that I would have put as least likely to have to close their doors (Samhain) announced they were...closing their doors. So it's not just my love for complete creative control and better royalties that are prompting my move to being fully self pubbed now. The future of small presses looks insecure to say the least. 

I also don't foresee me submitting anything else anywhere from now on, except possibly for anthology calls (though I've had little enough luck with them, most being cancelled due to too few submissions). If, and it's currently a big if, I ever submit again, it'll most likely be to an agent or a big publisher on the occasion of them opening to unagented subs. Being self published offers me the security of not having my books suddenly taken down because the press has failed (believe me, I know right now that a lot of the Samhain authors probably feel like the world has ended. I know I did when it happened to me). 

Self publishing is not for everyone, though it is a viable choice. I also don't feel it should be seen as a 'I can't get published any other way' alternative, or as 'this is the ONLY RIGHT WAY!'. It should be a path you want to pursue. Although I've come to it rather sooner than intended and in a roundabout way, it's the path I currently prefer. Though with the publishing industry forever changing as it is, it's always worth keeping all the options open...

Status Update

Quickshot releases at the end of this month, although it's already up for pre-order. Woot!
A Space Opera Short Story
Goodreads | Webpage
Amazon inc KU 
Reunion at Kasha-Asor is still being revised/edited. The June project is still awaiting first round edits. And don't even get me started on Revived and Keir's Shadow. >.<

Chook Update

Our four new girls are settling in and socializing with the older and bigger four, though still somewhat intimidated by the originals!

Left to right: Spaghetti, Pitch, Chiana, Rush, Kyru and Effie

Left to right: Pitch, Spaghetti, Kyru, Chiana, and Effie

Spaghetti investigating my phone, with Kyru and Rush in the background

A close up on Pitch, with Scoop, Chiana, Spaghetti, Fizzgig, Kyru and Effie
left to right in the background
Have a good week!


  1. I had a similar experience to yours with small presses. I was also surprised when Samhain said it intended to close its doors. It was one of the more established publishers with a good reputation.

    I understand why some people would wish to go with a publisher and my best advice is READ the CONTRACT. Especially the bit pertaining to getting your rights back.

    Like you, I'll stay with self publishing. I like the autonomy.

    1. I'm still stunned about Samhain. I'm not going to write off going with a publisher ever again, but for now self publishing is the way. We'll see when my money runs out. >_< All roads have their pros and cons!

  2. Pippa, the bright side is you already have all the skills to self-pub once you get your rights back. I don't blame you for not wanted to submit again after having so many publishers fold. I think going indie will be more profitable anyway.

    1. P.S. Love the pics of the chooks!

    2. Yeah, not like I haven't done this before, lol! Thanks. I can't wait for the warmer weather when I can sit outside with my girls and watch them forage around.


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