It’s been a long year and yet the months have flown by so fast that I’m still trying to catch up. A lot has changed in the publishing world over the last few years and I have even fewer answers now than I had when I first started out. I feel like I’m always running under caution laps while most others are running at 200mph…
I’ve been working, trying to learn what many of my peers already know, but it’s a slow process. I’ve had several releases this year already, but my royalties don’t look like it. They are the lowest they’ve ever been and like other authors I know, I’ve had to re-evaluate my books, and my publishers.
There are those of you waiting on the next book following Stick Shift. It’s coming. I promise. The issues at this point is Loose Id, the publisher of the first book. I love them. I have enjoyed working with them and adore my editor. I’ve felt a very strong sense of loyalty to her and to Loose Id, however the money I am *not* making isn’t worth my sending them any other books. At least not at this point. This is a business and I have to look at it that way. I may not be paying my mortgage with what I make off books, but what I do pay is no less important and the $100 or less/month royalty checks, even with new releases, aren’t worth it.
What does this mean? It means that book, Drive Shaft, will be self published next year. But there are other things at play right now and that’s all I can say.
There are those of you waiting for the next Simple Need book. I’ve got it started and I will be sending it to Ellora’s Cave when it’s finished. Ellora’s Cave takes several months to get books out, between the reading, contract process, editing, etc… 6 months, at least. After release, there’s another 2 months before any royalties are seen from it. That’s a long time.
There are those of you waiting for the next book in the Denali Heat series. That book is bound for Samhain Publishing. But, when I submit a book to Samhain, it’s roughly 10-12 months before release.
I can’t make a living like that. I wish I could.
Writing books take a while. We all write at different speeds, we all have different responsibilities above and beyond writing. I used to write a lot and write quickly. I am not in that place anymore. I am writing. I am revising. I am learning. I am progressing. I am changing.
So, how does this affect you, the readers? Books are coming. Maybe not what you want right now. Maybe not what you’re expecting right now either. But books are coming. The following is the schedule I’ve been working on for releases through February and it’s pretty set…
October 22 – Love and Tattoos
November 19 – The Cupcake Cowboy (Lone Star Sweets)
December 31 – Eli’s Promise (The Bar Next Door, Samhain Publishing)
January 21 – The Sticky Cowgirl (Lone Star Sweets)
There’s more, lots more (Exposed (Masked 4), The Tattooed Barista (Lone Star Sweets), In The Corner, Drive Shaft (Stick Shift #2), to name a few, but the dates aren’t set yet), including Slide Down On Me (Ellora’s Cave) but I don’t have a date on that one yet either. I’ll also be revising and re-releasing Arrested Holiday as soon as the book rights revert back to me in December.
You’ll get the books you’re wanting, I just have to be a little smarter in how I approach things. I appreciate each and every one of you. And I am grateful that you’ve stuck with me. I hope you’ll enjoy all that I have planned for your reading pleasure…
The boys are racing in Alabama on the superspeedway of Talladega today. The race is starting a few minutes early due to weather concerns. I’m glad Nascar is finally doing this. Starting early rather than cutting a race short at the end. Believe me, the fans and the rednecks will show up no matter when you start it. But they’ll be some kinda pissed when you force the ending.
Superspeedways like Talladega and Daytona has seen some of the most incredible racing (save for those few a couple of years ago where they just ran around the track in single file) and some of the most heartbreaking.
It’s exciting to see them on the track at those speeds, full throttle, huge packs of cars moving together.
One of the things I’ve learned watching this sport, is that at the speeds they drive, whether on superspeedways or on smaller tracks, once the driver decides to make a move, in that moment, he can’t second guess himself. He had to keep going in the direction he chose, whether he’s making the move alone or taking other drivers with him. If he second guesses himself, like in yesterday’s Nationwide race when Joey Coulter started to move out of line but then changed his mind at the last minute… He was wrecked. He wasn’t able to communicate his change of heart.
Sometimes life is like that. Sometimes writing is like that. Once you choose a direction, dropping to the inside or going up on the high side, it’s often hard to back out of it because you can be wrecked. Going with your gut, be it right or wrong in someone else’s eyes, or in your own hindsight, is always the best policy in my book. Only, I haven’t been doing that with my writing for a long time time. I second guess every word I write, I do things now I didn’t used to do, I hold back… And it burns me every time. Readers are ‘meh’ about my books, reviewers are even worse than ‘meh’ and I’m left feeling like I shouldn’t even bother, day in and day out.
In racing, when you lose your edge, you should probably get out of the car or you’re going to get run over and put into the wall. You’ll cause more crashes than you’ll stay out of.
In writing, when you lose your edge, for whatever reason, you’ll get passed and eventually no one will remember the books you wrote.
Is there a way to get the edge back? I don’t know. I’ve been trying but I can’t seem to quite do it. In the end, we all have to work on our own cars in the garage and our own manuscripts in the folder, hoping that maybe we’ll find that extra bit of something that will keep us competitive and in the race rather than crashed in the middle of the pack, our day ended early, and that sick feeling in our gut again.
Best of luck to Kyle Busch in the #18 M&M’s Camry today… He’s starting 13th.