Out of Print

Friday April 29 my publisher announced they were going out of business and soon, yes very soon, all of the books they published would be out of print. The announcement (as you can imagine) caused mass panic in the BookTrope community and some mighty ugly laundry was dragged from the hamper and aired publicly.

Tagore

From a currently out of print book, Fireflies by Rabindranath Tagore.

Me, well I just got drunk. 

For those of you unfamiliar with hybrid publishing, well – in a nutshell – here’s how it works:

1. The writer

  • Submits part or all of a manuscript
  • 8 to 12 months later – if MS is accepted – the writer is initiated into the publisher’s workflow and marketing philosophy which includes:
    • Finding, interviewing and accepting an editor, cover designer, proofreader, and book manager for your team.
    • Signing contracts for both book rights and insurance that your team will receive a share of your royalties for their hard work.
    • Creating a social media presence by blogging, tweeting, pinning and on and on infinitum.
RumDiaries

“You want a media presence? I’ll give you a media presence!”

“What? Are you kidding? I’m a great writer!”  (this is the point at which many writers unfamiliar with the cutthroat world of publishing climb on their high horses and ride off into the sunset)

  1. Meanwhile, the editors, cover designers, proofreaders and book managers
  • Sign on with projects they think might have a chance of bringing in some revenue. A tricky proposition as Laurel Busch points out in this essay, just because a book is well-written doesn’t mean it’s going to sell. 
  • Pray that the author creates a King Kong social media presence, the book hits NY Times best seller list and author signs a million dollar movie deal. 

It was a Utopian dream which ended up, as many Utopian dreams, hurting many people. But they were lovely people who gave freely of their talents and their knowledge. Because of them I know so much more about publishing than I did before. Because of them I’ve come to know so many supportive and fascinating bloggers who are themselves self-published. PS – you know who you are and eternal thanks for giving me hope! 

In closing, the Booktrope dream fed this dreamer for four years. That’s a feast for which I will be forever grateful. However, as I negotiate the swift waters of republishing, I probably will not have time to keep on blogging regularly nor will I have the time to keep up with my blogger buddies. I will miss you all.  I’ll be back as soon as I get it all sorted out.  Jan