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Thursday, 23 April 2015
Sales, A Shiny Thing and a New Schedule
Until my publisher finally shuts up shop on the 1st of May, there's a real sweetner of a sale - all books just $0.49!! Trust me, you won't get that good a deal on all my books ever again. All my titles are HERE. And to answer a concern raised on Facebook - yes, I will get the royalties from these sales. It's in our contracts, and royalties will continue to come through until money stops being paid to the publisher from external retailers. Since I don't have a definite date for re-release, I'll say this again - if you really want my books, this is the best time to grab them. And especially Zombie Girl: Dead Awakened, since I have no current plans to re-release that one title. I've just signed the official rights reversions for all my books, and will be going ahead with preparing them for a return.
So, as a bit of good news to counter all the sadness. Yesterday I got notification that Restless In Peaceville got an Honourable mention in the YA/NA category of the LR Cafe's Best of 2014 Awards. So stoked! This is the first award for my adorable zombie story, and I guess it's good to be leaving my publisher with a shiny thing for a book that, if not for Breathless/Lycaon, I might have consigned to the dusty depths of the hard drive. It was the first thing I submitted to them, as an unfinished sample during one of their NaNoWriMo critique sessions. I never expected anything more than the 5 page critique they offered. Instead I got a request for the full once it was complete. I was stunned! I had so many doubts with the story but it wouldn't leave me alone. It was the first time I'd had a request for a thing not yet finished. It was my first contract with BP, even though it ended up being my second release there.
But now, for the new schedule. Due to Justyn's extraordinary offer to allow us to keep and use the edited versions of our books (the publishing standard is simply rights reversion of you unedited original, and often including the clause that you cannot use any of the edits provided by the publisher) and to buy our covers, I have my year planned back out. I have to wait on cover art, both adjusted versions from BP and two new covers from my freelance designer Dani, and reformat the insides of my four BP/LP titles. However, I'm confident I will have these all back up at retail sites by the end of May. This means five re-releases in May, including Keir.
I'll be starting edits for Keir's Fall in June, and I already have the cover art for it (squee!), so that will definitely release before the end of the year. To prevent myself from the same freak-out over deadlines, I won't be announcing a release date until edits are completed. Work on a side story in the series (set directly after Keir) is the project for October. This will initially be offered as a free gift to those who have bought, read and reviewed Keir, then offered for sale at a later date. In the new year I will be working on something tied to the same universe for release in June 2016.
Because of the BP closure and my current intention not to re-release Zombie Girl, I've also stopped work on ZG2 for Camp NaNoWriMo (technically I've already won because I've surpassed the 20K target though the story isn't complete). Because it had no chance to prove itself through sales and because my ideas for it have changed in the last few days, I'm going to shelve the trilogy. Some of you might ask how I can drop a project half done, with so much work gone into it already and when it would-be so easy to put book one straight back up. Well, firstly I wrote book one specifically in answer to a request by Lycaon for YA short stories. Now Lycaon is gone. The idea for the trilogy came after I completed book one, but it was a struggle to fit writing the remaining two books in the editing/releasing/touring chaos of the past year. I had scheduled the two remaining books for both Camp NaNoWriMo events, but obviously the closure came as I worked on book two. Now I need to get my other Breathless titles back up, because not only do they sell but they are in various contests that require them to be available to buy. Otherwise I lose my entry fee and they're only eligibility for the contests (they are all first publication date restricted).
So, I just don't have time to work on a whole trilogy right now. And I'm considering other plans for Zombie Girl. As I wrote the second and realized it was going to go well over my 20K estimate (I had the story mapped out in my head), I knew book three would also be over. Potentially it could give me a 70K+ novel that could stay in its three parts, each section told by the central POV character, but still a complete novel in its own right. Not one I can pitch to an agent (a plan that still hovers at the back of my mind but not my ambition just now) because I've seen too many tweet about being burned out over YA dystopia. But one I could publish myself in the future.
Or, there's serialization, either to sell or to post for free on WattPad. I'll admit I've looked at the current trend of serialization and thought, nah, not for me. Not for MY books. But with the success of TV series The 100, and me more than willing to take risks with Zombie Girl and feeling it's a suitable candidate for such a project, it's tempting. Stay tuned!