Some of you may have noticed my blog disappeared off my website many months ago. That was thanks to a problem with a Word Press upgrade I did back in the summer. I installed a newer version of Word Press and it corrupted a bunch of the blog pages…no pictures, files missing, formatting wonky, etc. The same thing had happened a year earlier when I did an upgrade (which my host server tech support told me I had to do to fix another problem…gee thanks, tech support! Grrrrr!), but the problems were less severe and I was able to fix most of them that time. But this last time, the issues were extensive. I started to tweak the problems, but realized it would take me forever to fix every single post. Ugh. So in the interest of time (and being more than a little ticked off) I decided to delete the blog and start fresh. My blog was initially on Blogger for years before I moved to Word Press, so I’m thinking the reason it kept getting corrupted on upgrades was because something in the changeover mucked up the code. :-/
Hence, my fresh start on the blog. Which kind of goes along with the theme for my 2016 in general, since my blog won’t be the only fresh start…
As many of you have probably heard by now, Amber Quill Press is closing its doors the end of March. AQP has been in business since 2002, and for thirteen years had a pretty darn good run. But all things eventually come to an end, and with so many changes in the publishing industry, it was time to bow out gracefully. All of my books were published through AQP, so that means the end of March, all the rights will return to me. I’ve been working in the industry for the past fifteen years–as an author, an editor, a financial manager, and a co-owner of a publisher. I know firsthand how much the industry has changed, especially (and dramatically) in the past 2-3 years. More and more, publishers are struggling to keep their heads above water. That’s not to say there aren’t still some great pubs out there doing an incredible job of staying ahead of the tide, because there absolutely are. But it is getting harder for small presses to make a profit (harder for authors, as well). Over the past couple of years we’ve seen numerous publishers close, while others are downsizing or consolidating their operations. We’ve also seen several large ebook vendors close as well (Fictionwise and Sony, and I’ve heard rumors for a while now that B&N’s ebook division may not be long for this world either) simply because they can’t compete with the behemoth we all call Amazon. It’s sad to see and experience changes like this, but it’s also part of the business world. In any business and industry. Change is inevitable, but it doesn’t always have to be a bad thing. So I’m choosing to look at 2016 as a year of change in a good way.
Since I will no longer have the heavy editing load I’ve had for the past several years at Amber Quill (and that’s not a complaint at all…I’ve had the pleasure of working with some truly incredible authors and I’m going to miss editing for them!), now, for the first time in many, many years, I’m going to have the chance to focus on writing as my main job. I’m actually quite excited about that! And maybe a little overwhelmed, too. LOL! But definitely excited! I had gotten on a pretty good roll with writing back in November during NaNoWriMo, so I’m looking forward to having the extra time to devote to writing and getting back in the groove. I have heroes who are making demands, and I’m finally going to have time to respond! :)
Thankfully, there are options open to most authors when a publisher closes–we can find another publisher (or publishers, for those who like to spread their titles out at different places), or self publish, or do a combination of the two. I’ve decided to self-publish my m/m back list when the rights return to me the end of March. However, since the whole self-publishing thing is new to me and there will be a learning curve, I’m not going to try to re-release everything at once, but rather do it in small batches. One of the first couple of groups of books I’ll be concentrating on is the back list from my Draegan Lords series, since I usually get the most requests for those. I’ll also most likely, in the first batch or two, release Bring the Heat and Wanting, and a couple of others that are my overall bestsellers. I may even have Dark Magick Rising ready to go shortly after that, so a new book released with the old ones, which would be very cool. Then I’ll probably do one or two titles per month until I have everything else out. It may be faster, it may be slower, I’ll just have to see how the process goes. I’m hoping once I’ve done a couple of books, the process will become easier and I may be able to re-release things more quickly. I’ll just have to play it by ear and see.
With some of my stories (I have a handful in mind) I’m going to take advantage of the down-time to rework them, add some content, and make them stronger and (I hope!) better. As an author, it’s kind of fun to have the opportunity to tweak stories because I think we all have a few we wished we’d spent more time on, or had fleshed out in more detail, or had made into longer books. Not to worry…I’m not planning to fundamentally change anything…only polish and strengthen. Also, I’m planning to keep some of my covers, but I’ll also have some new updated covers for a few stories as well.
Any future books I write, my plan now is to self publish those as well. That’s not set in stone–I might consider playing the field a bit. But in general, for now, I’m going to concentrate on self publishing most everything.
As for my personal life…that’s changing in some ways also. For those of you who didn’t see my post on Facebook the end of December, before Christmas my mom had to have emergency surgery and was diagnosed with stage four cancer. My mom is an amazing woman (she’s 92), she’s independent, feisty, reads several books each week, has a busier social schedule than my sisters or I could ever dream of, and she’s rarin’ to get back to her life and not worry about the cancer. So I’m grateful that I’ll now have more free time to hang out with her. Doors close, but others always open, and sometimes we’re unexpectedly presented with all kinds of new things for which to be grateful.
Oh, one thing I wanted to say is that all my books will still be available on Amber Quill’s website until the end of March, and on vendor websites (Amazon, B&N, ARE, etc.) until probably mid-March or so, and my paperbacks should still be available at Amazon into March. After that… look for the re-release of my m/m stories starting this spring and summer! I plan to have have my books in their new, self-published forms available at the usual main ebook vendors and in paperback at Amazon.
If you have any questions, let me know! I will really try to be better about keeping everyone updated, especially since there will be changes in 2016. Keep an eye here on my blog and on my Facebook page, and I’ll post details about my re-releases and new releases as I get a better handle on things.
Until then, Happy New Year!