One week ago, I found out that one of my publishers, Secret Cravings Publishing, was ceasing operation. I can’t say the news was shocking, I had an inkling things might not be going well for them, as it isn’t for many small presses in this current market. But it’s definitely sad to learn that my two babies are now orphans. It’s a distressing situation for everyone involved with Secret Cravings, especially the publisher, Sandy Sullivan. Sandy’s a good person and this must be heartrending for her. I give her kudos for trying to do the right thing for her stable of authors. I’m actually luckier than many others, because my books aren’t new releases. After that initial new-book flurry of sales, they only sell sporadically now (not the lucky part), so I’m not out a great deal of money in unpaid royalties (the lucky part).
Now that my books are no longer for sale with SCP, I’ve been weighing my options. I’m fortunate to have several possibilities available to me. My first inclination was to just let them fade away into the oblivion they’ve already begun to sink into. That inclination didn’t last long. Who knows, as I write more stories, readers might want to check out my backlist and these two books deserve to be available.
Many of SCP authors are in the process of self-publishing their books and for a brief second, I questioned whether I should go that route too. But for me, self-pubbing would likely be the same as not publishing them at all. Everyone I know who might be interested in reading those books has already bought them, and in order to garner fresh sales, I’d have to promote the hell out of them. My promo efforts thus far haven’t been hugely successful and I honestly have no idea what else to do, so why waste the time, effort and money when there’s little chance of viable gain?
Two publishing houses have expressed interest in taking these stories under consideration, so that’s likely the direction I’ll take. Once accepted, the books will get new covers, as I don’t own the rights to the current ones. I’m okay with that, but I hope the titles can stay the same, because I wouldn’t want anyone who previously purchased these books to accidentally buy them again. That won’t be my decision though. Whichever publisher I end up with gets the final say on the titles. I, personally, intend to market them as re-release regardless of any potential title change.
Does this set me back a bunch? You betcha. Instead of continuing to write the third story in this series with the likelihood of it being published next spring, I’m back to editing the first one. Realistically, I can’t expect it to be released until late next year. Then I move onto the second story and repeat the process. Meaning my current work-in-progress is now on hold and won’t see the light of day for two or maybe even three years. That’s sad and frustrating. It’s my reality though, so I have to suck it up and move forward, thankful that at least my rights have been reverted back to me and I have options for new homes.
The process of removing my buy-links from various postings was emotionally difficult for me. Even though one day I’ll have new links to post, it seemed so final and sad. For the time being, I’ve decided to keep the information on both Show No Weakness and It’s Complicated on this website and my Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/Joyce.M.Holmes) because I still have a few paperback copies of each book available for sale. If anyone is interested in purchasing a copy, please contact me through this email address for details, firstname.lastname@example.org.