Yes, publishing companies do close their door, and more often than you think. Here are some of my sci-fi romance titles recently republished with new covers, after their previous publishers closed their doors.
You have slaved for months if not years writing the perfect book. After pitching it at conferences and being rejected by many agents and publishers, you are finally accepted by a small publisher. They love your book. They want to publish it. After doing your happy dance, you sign on the dotted line, and soon you will be a legitimate published author. Congratulations. Now, you are a professional author, with deadlines, edits, and promotion strategies. Finally, friends and family will take you seriously as an author. You are on your way.
Small publishers are wonderful, and I love them. They take chances with mixed genres, like sci-fi romance and medieval fantasy romance. They provide the same services as a large publisher with editors, cover designers, some marketing… and they get your books out in the world, in all formats, on all retail sites, and in print… although the print is sometime on demand.
It means that they are ecologically responsible, but most likely, your local bookstore will refuse to order that book for its shelves… because most print on demand books are non-returnable, and chain bookstores refuse to stock them. They still operate on the newsstand magazine model, where what didn’t sell that week or that month goes straight back to the publisher.
Never mind the naysayers. You are happily published. You love your cover, the book does sell copies in the first month. Your social media friends are buying it. You had a successful book signing in an independent (or second hand) bookstore, and you are writing the sequel. You are living the dream.
I forgot to tell you, the weakness of small publishers is that they are small, usually operated by a handful of people, but owned only by one or two of them, who are in charge and oversee the entire operation. Without them, the company cannot survive.
As you all know, life has a way of throwing off the best laid plans. Even in a large publishing company, if your editor goes on maternity leave and decides to stay home and raise her child, you may not get along with your new editor. He/she may not like your book as much or have a different idea of what your characters should be. He/she might request changes that will make you cringe. Unfortunately, you are locked into a contract, and your only option is to grin and bear it.
But when the main operator of a small publishing company has a life-altering accident (like it happened for Sapphire Blue Publishing after a few years) or is diagnosed with a serious health problem and can no longer handle the stress of running the company, (like it happened last month with Desert Breeze Publishing after a decade of success) the small publisher will have to close their doors.
That will make you an orphaned author, with orphaned books most established publisher will shun, because they are last year’s chutney… Of course, you get your rights back. Which means you could self-publish your orphans, or, if you are lucky, find another small publisher who will love them, like it happened for me with BWL Publishing. It’s all part of an author’s life.
If you lose your publisher, don’t despair. Keep writing. Nothing like a new release to lift your spirits. And this new publisher of yours might like your new book so much, they’ll ask you if you have anything else ready to go. Then you can pitch them your little orphans.
I was lucky that way. White Tiger was published several times by different publishers. The last one was Desert Breeze, where it became a series. But this book is in its twilight, and next time, I’ll republish that series myself, as I did buy the rights to the covers, just to keep it available. Aren't the covers stunning?
Two of my Desert Breeze sci-fi orphans, however, will be republished next year by BWL Publishing, for whom I’m currently writing the new Azura Chronicles sci-fi series. These two, set on a space station, will be a spin off from the Azura Chronicles. Of course, I’ll be rewriting these orphans to fit in the new universe I created for BWL Publishing, then add new titles to both series.
It sounds like a lot of work, but I think authors like challenges. I’m excited about re-writing these. Sci-fi was my first love and creating new universes is my thing. I also like kick-butt heroines, brave heroes, and cats. So, get ready for more sci-fi romance coming from Vijaya Schartz in 2019 and 2020.
In the meantime, you can read ANGEL MINE, Book 1 of the Azura Chronicles.
What in the frozen hells of Laxxar prompted Fianna to pursue her quarry to this forbidden blue planet? Well, she needs the credits... badly. But as if crashing in the jungle wasn't bad enough, none of her high-tech weapons work. She'll have to go native, after the most wanted felon in five galaxies. It's not just her job. It's personal.
Acielon has never seen an outworlder like this fascinating female, strangely beautiful, and fierce, like the feline predator loping at her side. He always dreamed of exploring the universe, despite the legends... and the interdiction. Is it truly a hellish place of violence, lies and suffering? If it spawned this intriguing creature, it must also be a place of wonders, adventure and excitement...
Fianna's instincts tell her someone is watching. Sheba, her telepathic feline partner, doesn't seem worried... yet, something on Azura isn't quite right.
"I don’t know how Vijaya continues to write books that both aggravate you to no end and keep you on the edge of your seat. You can’t put it down until you know what happens next. Before you know what happened, you are at the end of the book and wondering how you got there so fast. It is hard not to get caught up in and lost in the imagery created on the pages of the locations. You can even smell what is in the air. Yet another page turner I couldn’t put down! Thank you Vijaya for keeping me entertained." 5-stars - Beverley J. Malloy on amazon
Vijaya Schartz, author