When my steampunk book got interest from an upstart, indie publisher I was incredibly excited. Wren had launched on Jukepop a few months earlier and I was trying to figure out what I wanted to do with the whole “author” thing that was slowly happening. I write at my day job all day long in a more technical format so entering the world of genre fiction was incredibly liberating. Whole worlds could be put down on paper, characters brought to some sort of definition, stories of adventure and daring hashed out in a word processor. Writing is an amazing way to spend some free time and with the publisher’s interest, I thought, “eh, let’s see what happens.”
So now I’m seeing what happens. And right now what’s happening is someone making a good profit off my work and refusing to answer emails. I am not surprised by the lack of communication or follow-through on the publisher’s part. It is upsetting and I would have liked to see my cut of the sales, or some data on what was sold, or had any sort of marketing support, or had more of the contract between us fulfilled.
I wrote the publisher for the last time early last month that we should just call the contract null and walk away from it. I really wanted to think they would come through. My best guess is that the company dissolved and I was just forgotten in the shuffle. Hopefully the cause of their silence is so simple.
The interest in the steampunk book from the publisher was a huge confidence booster. Someone thought my writing was okay enough to make money off of. I’m going to sound like a total sell-out here, but making money from writing is totally awesome and everyone should try it out. I was excited at the prospect, and working with a small publisher seemed punk rock enough to ease my mind. I want to point out that my parents used to utter the phrase, “lousy yuppies” fairly regularly during my childhood so being a sell-out has been a fear of mine for some time (sidenote: my parents are pretty cool folks).
I cannot be mad about the failure of the publishing project though. I learned a lot, gained the confidence to write for public consumption and really lost a lot of my “what if it fails?” fears since the book was published. I have nothing but thanks to give to the publisher (I’ve calmed down a bit since three paragraphs ago apparently).
This is a great opportunity to learn something new still. I am incredibly proud of the final product that is the steampunk book I wrote years ago. It is not very polished, and as I go through it now it is very embarrassing. Structure is off, word choice is poor; I could not write this book today. And I love it for that. I read it and think, “wow, I had no idea where I was going there.”
Right now I am working on learning how to format ebooks and will have the book republished soon. This is a great opportunity to learn a new skill, take control of the book’s future and just enjoy the book again. These are characters I love, but the ugliness of the publishing problem has really made getting into the second book a chore. I’m excited to get reacquainted with the crew of the Egress and soon everyone will be able to come along without paying $8 for a not-quite-full-length first time author’s book.
Thanks for reading my blog. You rock.