Tell you what … the business side of being an author is a royal pain in the butt.
I self-published my first novel in the year 2000. Here I am fourteen years later having just finished my second novel.
Fourteen years!!! I’m the Rip Van Winkle of “authorship.” And like Rip, I’ve been re-born into an entirely new world.
Not that I knew all that much about the “old” world. I was a fairly young guy (fourteen years ago weren’t we all “fairly young”?) who had a passion about a particular historical occurrence that very few people knew about or maybe even cared about. I wanted to bring attention to the occurrence and thought the best way to do that was to wrap it in a fictional setting. I procured an agent who was unable to procure a publisher; so I took the manuscript back and self-published. I was fortunate to sell quite a number of books, and then went back to my real life, chalking up the author experience as a pleasant diversion that I could brag about when I got older.
But now I am older and, since no one wants to hear me brag about things past, I decided to write another novel. I know this makes me sound like a dilettante, and while I’ll cop to the moniker, I really have pushed beyond that. Having finished the new novel in November, I’ve spent the intermediate time learning about the new publishing world. Thanks to the blogosphere and authors like:
Kristine Kathryn Rusch, M. Louisa Locke, Nathan Bransford, and Tom Corson-Knowles among others, I have gone from knowing squat about the business side of publishing to knowing squat+. But the + is so huge that I’m feeling more and more confident venturing into unknown realms.
One of those unknown realms is the ownership of my first novel (again, thank you Ms. Rusch for reminding me that my self-published book is my asset). I kept the contract that says I own it 100%. After all these years, it’s still on Amazon, for goodness sake. The last time I received a check from the publishing house was 2001, so apparently it hasn’t sold a copy since then. But then again, the original publishing house went belly-up many moons ago. Maybe the new owners don’t even know that I exist. Or maybe they lost my address. Maybe I have a ten-year Amazon best seller and don’t even know it. The truth is I never even thought about it until I finished my new novel and started to immerse myself in the “new” era of publishing and the passive and active marketing that goes along with it. (Thank you, Ms. Rusch. Again!)
I want to get my first novel back. I want to edit; re-cover; re-name; and re-publish it as a “loss-leader” introducing my new novel.
Just today I tracked down the company who bought my original publisher. I am going to call them and ask for my novel back. I’m hoping the whole experience isn’t going to be a royal pain in my ASSET!
Wish me luck.
Click here to read the first chapter of my new novel One Death Too Far. Haven’t got a publishing date yet, but as soon as I do, you’ll be the first to know.
For book marketing purposes, I am looking for “followers”. If you click “follow” at the extreme bottom right of this page, not only will I be grateful, I’ll even send you the second chapter of my novel free.