You’re in the midst of writing your series when your publishing contract ends. It’s not the end of the world, and RU co-founder Tracey Devlyn explains why.
Welcome back, Tracey!
Today, I’m going to talk about what happens when an author’s contract comes to an end, but her series is alive and kicking.
When I signed my debut contract with Sourcebooks back in 2010, the contract stipulated three books in the “Lady’s Revenge series” with an option for two more books in the series.
I wrote my third novel, A Lady’s Secret Weapon, with the mindset that there could be two additional books contracted. So, I added a few characters and left the overarching storyline open for future heroes and heroines to tackle. Genius, right? Would have been had my publisher offered me a contract for books 4 and 5. LOL
Some of you are thinking, “No problem, just revise Book 3’s ending during edits.” If only! Unfortunately, I learned about the end of the Nexus series while reviewing the galley for the third book. Once a book reaches this step, an author can’t make any major changes–and this would have required a rewrite of the last third of the story.
What’s a girl to do? I really, really wanted to tie-up the loose ends I’d left. Not only for my wonderful readers, but for myself, too. For those of you who have followed my publishing journey, you have heard me say that the traditional approach to publishing is the right approach for me. That I don’t have enough time to balance family, a demanding full-time job, and coordinate all the aspects of self-publishing a novel.
Well, I was wrong. I found out that when you want something badly enough time’s not a problem. Who am I kidding? Time is always a problem! However, developmental editors, copyeditors, proofreaders, cover designers, etc. are incredibly accessible and affordable, these days. And there’s a huge network of talented, business savvy, and successful self-published authors out there who are eager to share what worked for them and what didn’t.
A few short years ago, my options would have been limited to either watching my Nexus series fade into oblivion or writing an alternative ending and slapping it up on my website. Today, I can overcome a difficult situation by providing a quality, satisfying e-story that will be available to many (not all) of my Nexus readers.
There’s freedom in self-publishing that I didn’t fully appreciate until I was faced with the death of my series. Although I’m not quite finished with my next Nexus story, I have thoroughly enjoyed working one-on-one with my cover designer and editor. I’ve also established a business and set up business accounts with all the major booksellers. It’s been an incredible experience, and I can’t wait to share more about my super secret project in the next few months.
Just to be clear–I’m not turning my back on traditional publishing. I’m greedy and want both, because my goal is to reach as many readers as possible on as many platforms as possible. An author with a diversified publishing portfolio is currently labeled hybrid author. I’ve never been overly fond of labels, but I know some folks need them to form clear pictures in the minds.
You can call me hybrid author, self-published author, traditionally published author–or simply just author. To me, publishing is about the stories, the readers, and building a sustainable, fulfilling career. Everything else is ephemeral like a spring wildflower.
I’m incredibly excited about 2014. Until I sign with another publisher, I’ll be going it alone and loving every minute of it!
Website – October contest – 3-book Nexus Series, plus a custom made Nexus book thong (Ends 10/31)
New Release – Be a Nexus Agent contest – iPad Mini (Ends 10/31)
Readers: Have you ever wondered why an author doesn’t finish a series?
Authors: Have you ever been faced with the death of a series? What did you do?
Author Melinda Curtis joins us on Monday, October 21st.
Bio: Tracey Devlyn is an award-winning authors who writes historical romantic thrillers (translation: a slightly more grievous journey toward the heroine’s happy ending). She’s a co-founder of Romance University, a group blog dedicated to readers and writers of romance, and Lady Jane’s Salon-Naperville, Chicagoland’s exciting new reading salon devoted to romantic fiction.
An Illinois native, Tracey spends her evenings harassing her once-in-a-lifetime husband and her weekends torturing her characters. For more information on Tracey, including her Internet haunts, contest updates, and details on her upcoming novels, please visit her website.
“Devlyn is a smart storyteller who crafts taut, exciting, emotional novels–the type of story that lingers long after the happily ever after.” ~ RT Book Reviews, TOP PICK, 4.5 Stars
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