Now, some of you may know that I started my writing career with Samhain, and my One Night...books are still published with them. So is the stand-alone title Summer's Song (published back in 2010 and still one of my favorites). Some of you also probably know that I ventured into the indie publishing world about 18 months ago, in part because the editor I had worked with and loved, had left Samhain. There's always a period of adjustment when that happens, and at that point, things just didn't gel with me there.
Fast forward 4 years, when my newly-assigned editor emailed me (I later learned that the Samhain editors were reaching out to all their former authors, I'm guessing in part because of the success of indie authors flooding the market and their desire for new/additional talent.) I thought long and hard about whether to submit to them, because I've been moderately successful publishing on my own and enjoying the total control of that.
Why did I decide to go back to a traditional publishing house? A few reasons:
1. The up-front costs to publish a book are pretty high. If you do it right, you're going to pay anywhere from a few hundred to a couple thousand dollars to indie publish a single book. This includes editing, proofreading, formatting, cover design, and marketing/advertising. Having a publisher take on all those costs for me is an advantage. True, the royalty rate is lower: 40% from a publisher instead of 70% if you do it itself. But if my sales are greater with publisher, then that's kind of an equalizing factor for me.
2. Publishers still have greater access to certain marketing and distribution channels that indie authors don't. They can get sweet advertising deals that authors can't get on their own.
3. Most influential in my decision was the fact that Summer's Song is still contracted with them for another 2 years. So I decided to build a series around that title, since I've learned through my own indie experience how well series sell. My grand plan (of course, I still have to convince my editor of this...) is to write 3 additional books, set in the same small town as Summer's Song, each set in a particular season (since the summer one is already done, LOL). This Christmas novella is my introduction to that series. So yes, this novella set in Pine Point, and you'll see a few familiar faces there. It was actually fun to return to that town and develop new characters.
4. Finally, for me, there is both prestige and convenience in being a "hybrid" author. I'm looking forward to both working with a publisher again and keeping the flexibility and control of releasing my own books on my own timeline. I hope this will actually boost my visibility and sales.
Next week, I'll give you a little peek into this Christmas story, which should be coming out in November 2015. Can't wait to share it with you!