Tuesday, October 07, 2008

RIP


One of my books is no longer in the left column--an old-school, sweet romance that's always been near and dear to my heart and touched some readers, as well. Wha' happen?

Well, you see, I'd been selling Silvermist through an outfit called eBookLove. It was kind of like a microscopic version of All Romance eBooks, except the rights for all titles posted there had reverted to the authors (meaning there was no publisher behind them). I'd contracted directly with eBookLove to sell Silvermist. Since I'd received no statement in recent months, I hopped on over to the site . . . only to discover it no longer exists!

This is no big deal, really. Silvermist, as it stands, is too much of an anachronism for today's market, and the rights to it are still mine. But I was rather disappointed to realize that the site's owner, my first editor in e-publishing, never bothered to alert authors about eBookLove's demise. It's rather embarrassing to tell readers a book is available when it has, in fact, evaporated from cyberspace.

Anyway, I'm curious about what other writers do or have done with earlier works that aren't under contract. Ditch 'em? Rewrite them to bring them more in line with today's tastes? Cannibalize them and use characters, settings, and/or descriptive passages in other works?

13 comments:

Mary Winter said...

Well, if you still believe in the story and you still think it's a good story (because frankly the market is fickle) you could either see if you can sell it as an Amazon short, or see if another publisher would take it. You could also offer it as a free read on your site/group/whatever. Or, you could self-publish it. I'll admit, I have a couple of those titles myself, and they've been on my TBR list (to be revised) list for ages. They're older works of mine, and I know I can really polish up the writing/story line with them. Once that happens, I'll be looking for a home for them even though they're *gasp* sweet romances. Most likely I'll publish them through my own company, Pink Petal Books. Really it's up to you and how you still feel about the story. While I think we should take a look at the market, if there's a book of our heart still out there, I don't think we should let the market put it in a dark drawer somewhere. Hope this helps!!!! Lovely cover, by the way. :)

K. Z. Snow said...

Hi, Mary!

*GASP* indeed at sweet romances! Doesn't that phrase have an old-fashioned ring?

Silvermist actually isn't a crappy book. Aside from the head hopping -- which, I'm surprised to see, quite a few authors still engage in -- it's fairly well written. However, it utilizes a certain plot device that today's more sophisticated audiences would sneer at. So I'm even balking at offering it as a free read.

Transforming Silvermist into a marketable title would be a monumental undertaking, and one that would alter the book so drastically it would no longer be the same book. My time would be better spent just working on something new.

Your ideas are good ones, though. I've known other authors who've taken one or another of these routes.

How are your various and sundry publishing ventures going, by the way?

Ann Vremont said...

Hi, Kate. Unless the program's changed, the Amazon Shorts Mary references don't take previously published. However, I'm test driving the Kindle program. They take a steep cut (you only get 35% of retail), and you have to provide them with a taxpayer ID number (this could be your SSN (ehrm, assuming you're American) or you could get a business license and get a TIN for the biz and use that), and there's only one file type, but you don't need an ISBN. Plus, Sony is supposed to be opening a similar portal, so the work is pretty much done other than a few (I imagine) format tweaks.

I like how it's progressing for me so far. I have released short stories (which are a tough market all on their own) that were either already released at prior publishers or had some time free at Literotica or on my site. I did clean them up, sometimes significantly :::blush::: I think in some respects, similar distribution methods (but with MUCH BETTER MARGINS for authors) are the wave of the future. A number of recording artists already do it, sometimes building their audience from scratch, sometimes having already built their audience with an established studio.

K. Z. Snow said...

Welcome, Ann, and thanks for the info. Such an option hadn't even occurred to me, technitwit that I am. I'll have to look into it, though, just for future reference.

Ann Vremont said...

Once you get through the first posting of a file and see how things work, it's pretty easy. I don't have a kindle myself so I gave someone a GC to look at the first couple and see that the file was turning out okay. Didn't trust just the preview. The more titles you have, or the higher price points you are able to have, the quicker you'll meet the payout minimums (which is accumulated $20). As a side note, m/m seems to do really well on Kindle.

Lena Austin said...

I've a few orphaned titles myself. Some I'll rewrite now that I have more experience, and possibly re-sell. Some will be put aside for when the market turns.

I don't want to file and forget these stories. Some were hard-won. I'm not afraid to sit on a story for awhile, if necessary, if the market just isn't buying that type of story.

I like Ann's idea.

K. Z. Snow said...

I know what you mean, Lena. I'm extremely fond of Silvermist, which was my first published book. I just can't see the market reversing itself and once again embracing sweet contemporaries with tropes that are now considered hackneyed.

So . . . I still don't know what to do with it!

Ann Vremont said...

Ehrm...I think you should send me and Lena and Mary a copy so you can have a second (third and fourth) opinion. :-) I promise for my part at least to read it w/in 30 days.

Really, tropes are like musical notes, stories are like algebraic equations -- it's how you play the notes or the complexities of your calculations that count.

Ann Vremont said...

(or the breathtaking simplicity of your equations -- those'r good, too :-) )

K. Z. Snow said...

Wow, Ann, I love how vivaciously you can mix metaphors (actually, similes and metaphors) with a result that makes sense!

I love me some sparklin' figurative language that leads to a good point.

That said, you guys would probably laugh, or groan, your asses off if you read that story. Seriously. It's the kind of novel only the fool who wrote it could love. Now it is, anyway.

Daisy Dexter Dobbs said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog, KZ! :-D

Sorry about your Silvermist experience. Regarding my out of print books, I felt that one in particular (it had been an award-winning bestseller) would lend itself well to erotic romance after a rewrite.

It was about 100k. I swear to God that rewrite damn near killed me because it took so long and was so hugely intensive (head-hopping galore!). LOL But I’m really thrilled with the outcome and it’s become one of my top sellers at EC (and it’s still over 100k).

I have two other previously published romances, also in the 100k range, that just wouldn’t work as erotic stories. They do need rewrites before I submit them anywhere else though simply because my writing style has changed and my skills have improved since they were first released in 2000.

I’ve also fleshed out previously published short stories and turned them into full-length books, both for Samhain and EC.

I think it comes down to how you feel about the book, KZ. If you love it then you may want to bring it up to date and submit it somewhere. A good time to do it, at least for me, is when you’re between books and don’t have anything concrete in mind for your next one. That’s when doing a rewrite seems to work best.

You could also think about making it a serial and posting it by chapters in a newsletter or on your blog or website.

Good luck!

K. Z. Snow said...

Hiya, DDD! The old ads on your blog cracked me up!

What you did with your older romance is a stupendous accomplishment, especially for a book that length. (Now I have to go sniff around EC and try to find it!) And head-hopping? I hear ya!

I think I'll just let Silvermist rest for a while. It's earned a breather. The way things have been going for me, I never seem to be "between" other projects. Before I'm finished with one book, I'm already thinking about and eager to get started on the next.

My proposed series for Loose Id will likely be eating up a good portion of my creative time. I may just have something else in mind for EC. And I have fun devising hot "shorts" for Changeling.

So, away I go! Thanks for stopping by!

Teddy Pig said...

How about LuLu?

Make a couple of books off your back catalog.