Saturday, December 18, 2010

Wild Horse Press, Wicked Nights and Decadent Publishing

A word about my e-pubbing and my publishers.

Much has been said about e-book companies, some good and some derisive, but I am one of those who made e-books my first choice. This was partly because I respond better to smaller businesses, and like being a part of an independent venture - I find independent companies are more willing to work with everybody attached to a project, as a general rule. Primarily, however, I chose e-books because you don't need an agent, and my first attempt at publishing was an experiment; I had a manuscript, and I just wanted to see if someone found it worth publishing. I wasn't in it to write full time right away - I just wanted to see if someone would accept that first novel. When someone did, it was fast. I got word back within a month of submission, a turnover that would be impossible in traditional brick-n-mortar publishing, where the two years in the slush pile is the norm.

Two years of waiting, while life moves on, is simply not conducive to an experiment.

So, e-publishing was for me, straight away. Would I love to move into paperbacks? Sure. I will be thrilled when my current companies move into paper (like WHP has started to do, and Wicked Nights will be doing this year), and I wouldn't say no to a chance to publish something with a big print company someday, now that I know I'd like to stick with my writing for a while. But the general practice of e-publishing, of taking quality works fairly efficiently, and letting new authors get considered for publication without the work of an agent, was best for me at first, and will remain so for a while yet.

I won't be seeking an agent until I decide to write full time, if I ever do. So, e-pubbing is for me.

I now have works out with three e-pubs. I have two other companies in mind for current works in progress, but I am sure I will work with these companies again. Right now, I have my short paranormal erotic Waking Kara and my upcoming full length, Strings Attached, with Wild Horse Press; I have Good for the Goose with Wicked Nights' erotica line, After Dark, and I plan on a further series of holiday erotica with them (in the hopes of benefiting from their move to print). I have only one short Christmas romance, Unwrapping Scrooge, with Decadent Publishing, but I would love to work with them more.

Wild Horse took the very first chance on me, and has been instrumental on me staying in writing, and doing more. I have also met some of the most important writing friends I have through my association with this company, and the more experienced writers have been wonderful at helping me figure out where I am going. WHP is open to all of my creative suggestions, and, despite how busy life is for a publisher, they have remained enthusiastic and happy to hear from me. I owe WHP a lot.

My second company, Wicked Nights, was a heaven sent chance. I had a book that needed to go out by Christmas, and was in a panic because it was growing too long for the anthology for which it had originally been planned. I turned to Stacey Thompson-Geer, one of the authors at WHP, for advice, and she welcomed me to Wicked Nights with open arms. For a small, new company, Wicked Nights is getting it together - slick, determined and fresh, Wicked Nights has a strong future, and I am pleased to get in at the ground level.

My third company, Decadent, was a long shot for me. I knew they were quite powerful and "major league" for a startup, and, unlike Wicked, I didn't know anyone working there. But, I had Christmas romance that needed a home, and WHP simply couldn't accept any more submissions for 2010, as they were packed. Sitting with this romance, I was thinking to send it to Wicked, but I wasn't sure if I wanted to have two releases at one company within weeks of each other. I found Decadent, and was considering it when a happy Decadent author on Facebook gave me a nudge of encouragement, so I sent it off. I knew this book was strong, but I admit I wasn't sure it would be accepted. Then came word - Yes! Unwrapping Scrooge would have a home at Decadent!

I have really enjoyed my time with Decadent. They have lovely covers (which is important, despite the old adage), extremely rigorous editorial quality control, and they also do a bit more promotion than a lot of e-book companies do, which is great for a new author on a budget. They also have an incredibly supportive and active author community who have embraced me as one of their own, even though I am, at the moment, a one-short author with the company.

I would gladly work with all three of these companies again, and very likely will if I can come up with more works they like. Sure, my sales have been moderate at best, which is the price one does tend to pay for e-pubbing, and, in time, I might have been more successful (if you measure that in dollars or stats) had I been miraculously discovered in the slush pile two or three years from now... But I wouldn't have been happier.

And I wouldn't have been more keyed up, that's for sure. Right now, I have a great deal of enthusiasm for my avocation, which might not have been the case if I felt my publishing lacked momentum. Right now, I can feel the rise - when I Google myself, I get more and more hits, and I feel like putting out all of these works are starting to pay off. I may never be Nora Roberts, but that's okay - she has the big times all sewn up. I'm happy producing good work with small, intimate companies.

So, wherever I head now, and whether things work out with the other companies I have in mind, or if I never hit the big times, I am putting things out there, and proud of them all. I will always remain grateful to all of the companies who see in my work something worth taking a chance on.

2010 has been good to me. I wish us all the very best in 2011!


Jamie D. said...

Good for you! If I weren't self-publishing, I'd certainly be targeting small presses...seems like it would be a far more personal experience than with a big house to start with. Kudos for making what sounds like very wise business decisions. You can't help but do well with that kind of attitude. :-)

I really need to get Waking Kara I can move along to your other work...

Anonymous said...

Hi Anne...

We're lucky to have you with us:) Thank you for "taking the chance"!


Anonymous said...

Anne, I am so happy for you. You have given me the inspiration to try for it. I know one of the owners of Decadent who also does editing. She IS really strict about the editing. Good that they are starting off with high standards. Have a great, creative next year. Hope you do more with Decadent.

Anonymous said...

Anne, it's been lovely working with you. Looking forward to more lovely stories in the coming year.

Executive Editor
Decadent Publishing

Anonymous said...

Great to hear about the opportunities for new author with Decadent. Enjoy reading their materials

Jules said...

GREAT NEWS! Decadent IS top notch and you deserve 1st class! Congrats!

Anne Holly said...

Thanks for the response folks! I feel it is important for us authors to periodically discuss our experiences with various companies, amidst all the rush to try to promote our books. These companies are the life's blood, so it's good to share our info.

Best wishes to all for 2011!

Maureen said...

Keep in mind there is an agent specializing in promoting and helping those of us who aim for e-publishing. She's my agent, Saritza Hernandez.

It's a changing world and very exciting!

Anne Holly said...

Yes, it is changing - with traditional publishers and epubs, and self-pub, and everything in between. Lots of good chances to explore.

And, yes, I now know several epublished authors who also have agents. No doubt, eventually epubs will all require agents. But, by then, I might have enough experience to try self-publishing. (scary thought, though, me being in charge of all the organizational stuff.)

Unknown said...

Great blog Anne! I agree, all three companies rock!! I personally think they are lucky to have you Anne!

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