The Insecure Writer’s Support Network Monthly Blog, January 3, 2018

Insecure Writers Support Group BadgeHello and welcome to my blog, Living the Dream. I’ve been unable to participate the last little while, but I’m here today.

I started writing and publishing in 2013. Sadly, for me, 2017 was the worst year on record for my writing career. My primary publisher, Crimson Romance, was acquired by Simon and Schuster. You would think being an author with one of the top publishing houses would be a good thing. Sadly, it had the opposite effect. For one, during the transition, all my books were taken down and not available. Then, I discovered the books now have different ASIN numbers depending on where they are purchased, so I somehow lost most of the following I had in the UK. Add to that, the new publisher canceled the lucrative deal we had with Amazon Encore and essentially consigned my first novel, Fire Angel, to oblivion. Finally, to add insult to injury, they raised the prices on all of our books, virtually ending sales. 

This left me in an awkward position. I’m not ready to stop writing, but I needed to see a return on my investment soon. I couldn’t just keep spending and not earning!  I participated in two Kindle Scout campaigns, neither of which resulted in a contract with Amazon publishing, but the first book I tried. Sworn to Protect, actually has outsold one in the same genre that I released through Simon and Schuster, No Good Deed. In fact, if you don’t count bundle sales which Crimson continues to do even under the new publisher, my independently published novels outsold my traditionally published ones.  So, that brings me to this month’s question.

January 3 question – What steps have you taken or plan to take to put a schedule in place for your writing and publishing?

A very good fiend has shared marketing advice with me which I intend to try. I’ve taken the first step by putting Wedding Bell Blues, my second Kindle Scout book up for pre-sale and not limiting it to Amazon as I’ve done in the past. I’ve also stopped the auto-renewal for the KU on the other books I have published on my own with Amazon. I’m not sold on this since most of my income this year came from pages read, but I will try it for six months and see. Hopefully I won’t lose my shirt in the process. I’m also going to try for a Bookbub spot. It’ll cost me money to give a book away, but hopefully it’ll generate sales of my other books. I’m putting a lot of hopes on Wedding Bell Blues to do well. Once the time runs out on my KU books, I will gradually move them to more publishers. Am I doing the right thing when we all know Amazon is the sales’giant? I don’t know. Time will tell. In the meanwhile, I have books to finish and edit. Let’s hope something good happens in 2018.

Check out other posts from the Insecure Writer’s Support Network here. http://www.insecurewriterssupportgroup.com/p/iwsg-sign-up.html

 

 

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About mhsusannematthews

Finally retired after more than 30 years as a teacher! Now, I get to spend my time gardening, enjoying my grandchildren, and writing. I finally completed the number one item in my bucket list and Crimson Romance published my first novel, Fire Angel, in April 2013. Since then I have sold 24 other manuscripts to date and don't plan to quit writing for a long time yet.
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20 Responses to The Insecure Writer’s Support Network Monthly Blog, January 3, 2018

  1. Megan Morgan says:

    Gosh, that sounds like a huge mess! You would think a big publisher like that would make the transition a bit more smooth and sensible. I hope things look up for you in 2018!

    IWSG post: Taking Chances

  2. Elle Marlow says:

    Here is hoping for a more lucrative year. With so many changes happening with publishing, I depend more and more on my indies. I love your stories and hope you continue to find your way.

  3. trishafaye says:

    Wow, Susanne. I didn’t realize what a mess you had with the publisher complication.
    I’m with you about branching out. I have a few earlier books on Smashwords, then went just with Amazon. With my limited time, it was easier just to go there and keep going. But for 2018 I’m planning on looking into other avenues.
    I enjoyed reading about your current publishing path.

  4. emaginette says:

    All big plans. I hope it works out for you—shirt wise. 🙂

    Anna from elements of emaginette

  5. Eden says:

    What a… wow! I am sorry you had all that to deal with. I’m always leery when I hear there about corporate restructuring of any kind because of these types of things. That said, I think leaving KU might be a wiser choice in the long run. I recently left as a KU reader because the need to plow through enough books that interested me in the system left me unsatisfied with most of the books I read. I’d rather buy a book I got a teaser on. Maybe this method will work best for you in the future? (just my thoughts as a reader)

  6. mlouisebarbourfundyblue says:

    My heart goes out to you, Susanne! What a publishing mess for you. I’m wishing you all the best as you tackle writing and publishing in the new year.

  7. That IS rough year. Sounds like you’re bouncing back. You’re still a great writer. People want your books. Keep looking ahead.
    Thanks for visiting my blog.
    Mary at Play off the Page

  8. Great post, Susanne. Yes, Simon & Schuster hasn’t done us any favors . My books did really well on AZ Encore and now miserable sales. My indies have outsold my CR books by thousands. I have been with KU the whole time with my indies, but I’m going wide with The Cavanaugh House in a few weeks. Like you, I’ve done well with pages read, but I’m ready to test the waters with other venues. Good luck to us both and Happy New Year!

  9. csheldonblog says:

    I am really sorry you are having such a shit time with publishers! I hope that you find your way through the maze soon. All the best for 2018

  10. Welcome to the IWSG!
    What a crappy deal for you with your new publisher. Hope that never happens to my publisher.
    I know another author who sells better self-published than with the books she has agented and with big presses. Sounds like you are on the right path.

  11. ahtdoucette says:

    That’s terrible what your publisher is doing. Congrats on sticking with getting your words out there and trying something new, though. Hope it goes well.

  12. Nick Wilford says:

    Sounds like you’ve been through a bit of turmoil recently, but you’ve got good plans in place and I hope they all work out. Good luck!

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