Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Sorting Options

Publishing is in flux. Advancements in technology and the ease of digital publishing have democratized publishing, allowing anyone to self-publish and causing the quantity of books available to skyrocket over the past decade. Here's how Steven Piersanti explains it in The 10 Awful Truths About Book Publishing.

The number of books being published in the U.S. has exploded. Bowker reports that over one million (1,052,803) books were published in the U.S. in 2009, which is more than triple the number of books published four years earlier (2005) in the U.S. (April 14, 2010 Bowker Report). More than two thirds of these books are self-published books, reprints of public domain works, and other print-on-demand books, which is where most of the growth in recent years has taken place. In addition, hundreds of thousands of English-language books are published each year in other countries.

When my publishers announced they were closing their doors on May 31, I felt the proverbial magic carpet being ripped from under me. It had been a wonderful ride.

I calmed. I took a serious look at my options. I made a list:
  1. let my books die
  2. try the agent route
  3. self-publish
  4. seek another indie press
Then I sorted through the pros and cons of each option. The clouds cleared and decisions formed.

First Decision:   I do not want The Alki Trilogy to disappear. I love Gemi and the gang. I want them available to readers in both print and digital formats.

Second Decision:  I do not want to seek an agent. I'd gone that route before. And frankly the chances of any agent or Big 5 New York publishing house taking on my three novels for re-release is basically nil.

Third Decision:  I could self-publish through CreateSpace. I've done so with No Talking Dogs Press. But I have neither time nor energy to dig into the process. The greater royalty rate isn't my driving force, and I believe the right indie press will lend my books professional appeal.

Fourth Decision:  I support indie publishing. I've had good experiences, built loyal relationships and enjoyed the process. It's where I belong.

All this to say, I'm very pleased to announce I've just signed a new publishing contract with Barbara Brannon and Kay Ellington of Bookadelphia.

The Alki Trilogy will be re-released under the Bold Face Books imprint with fancy new covers early next month.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Who Invented Memorial Day?

Memorial Day is just around the corner. How will you spend your three-day weekend?

Here's a post from Pamela Hobart Carter at No Talking Dogs Press about the history of the holiday. For those of you who are teachers, I know you'll find some curriculum ideas here. I know I do. Thanks, Pam!
Who Invented Memorial Day, 
and What Does Memorial Day Mean Now?

The post office closes. Banks close. Schools take the day off. Stores mount sales. It is a national holiday.

On Memorial Day most families relax, maybe out of town because Memorial Day always falls on a Monday and gives us a three-day weekend. Most Americans plan for Memorial Day as they do for any vacation days. They plan for fun. They plan to catch up on household chores. They plan get-togethers with friends. They plan trips. Most do not plan visits to a cemetery to place flowers on a grave.

This was once the practice. Our country shifted course in 1971 when Congress’s 1968 Uniform Monday Holiday Act became the law and moved four national holidays to Mondays to create three-day weekends. Read More...

Monday, May 2, 2016

Begin Again Giveaway

Sometimes life sends unexpected curveballs. For the past three years I’ve been wonderfully comfortable in my writing and publishing world. Perhaps even lackadaisical. I had three novels published, two memoirs lined up for publication, and a third in the making. I was confident I had a home – a permanent home – for my work. I was wrong.

A little history. On July 1, 2013 I received an email from a man I’ve grown to admire and respect, a man who has been the recipient of my innumerable questions, always with clear, good-humored responses. When Jesse James Freeman sent that email on behalf of Booktrope, an offer to publish my first novel, I was thrilled, beyond thrilled, walking on clouds thrilled.

By New Year’s Eve 2013, Running Secrets was in print. Biking Uphill was in editing, and I was writing Walking Home. By April 2015 The Alki Trilogy was complete.

For personal reasons, I decided to hold off on publishing the memoirs right away. Now I see the error of my ways. I was confident, cocky, and terribly naïve about the publishing industry. Last Friday I opened my email to these words:

We are deeply saddened to share the news that Booktrope will be ceasing business …

Ceasing business? I didn’t see it coming, didn’t even think about the possibility. In today’s world of publishing, you’d think I’d have considered this. I didn’t.

Still, I am grateful to the folks at Booktrope for giving an unknown writer a chance. I am equally grateful for the friendly, supportive community of talented writers and editors, designers and publicists I’ve met through the unique team-based model of publishing that defined Booktrope.

I do not know my next step. I have no clear idea how to begin again. I’m guessing the traditional publishing route is no longer an option (if it ever was). Having lost confidence in the indie press world, I may opt to self-publish. But these decisions do not need to be made just yet.

For now I simply want to thank all of you who have bought, read, and reviewed my books. Your support has been a true gift.

To anyone who has begun the trilogy and might be considering the purchase of the remaining titles in paperback, now is the time to buy them. As of June 1, 2016 The Alki Trilogy will be unavailable in e-book or print format with the exception of out-of-print editions sold by third party vendors on Amazon.

If you prefer e-books, please contact me at aw@arleenwilliams.com. I would like to offer you a free e-book in exchange for an honest Amazon review. If you'll post on Goodreads as well, all the better!