Hello everyone! I hope all is well with you. I’ve got Nell Dixon here as a guest and she’s explaining what it’s like to write for different publishers. I’m sure you’ll enjoy her thoughts! Take it away Nell!
Writing for Different Publishers
I didn’t begin my writing career intending to write for lots of different publishers. Back in 2006 when I sold my first book I sold two books in one week. My first was to a small – now sadly defunct – US sweet romance specialist, Moonlit Romance. That was on the Monday, on the Friday I sold another story to a UK print company. I went on to sell several books to Moonlit Romance and then they asked if I could write something short for an anthology for their Inspirational sister company, By Grace. So of course, I did. This took me up to three companies.
I still had rights from my UK print sale, so I sold large print rights to another UK print company and e book rights to Samhain. It helped that the book, Marrying Max, had won a major UK prize. Samhain also bought one of my chick lit titles too. By then I was up to five different companies in two different countries and three different formats. I began to worry, maybe it was better to concentrate just on a couple of companies. I was told it made it easier for readers to find my backlist.
Other authors told me it was good to diversify, to spread my risk in case anyone folded. I’d just sold my first single title to Little Black Dress, part of the Hachette publishing group when Moonlit and By Grace folded, returning my rights to me. It looked as if the diversify group were right. I went on to sell four books to Little Black Dress who in turn sold my books into Turkish, Bulgarian, German, Spanish and Indonesian before that line too closed.
Undeterred, I’ve since sold to Myrmiddon, Freya’s Bower, Clean Reads and E-Scape Press and in audio format to Audiolark. I also had an agent for a while but at this point in my career it isn’t what I need right now. As publishing houses and lines closed and different rights returned I launched my own press house.
Brierley Rose Press publishes some of my stories and some for other authors. It also acts as a promotional company and helps other writers find editors, cover artists etc. I now have twenty-nine books in various formats, I have won two major UK national awards and several US awards. Some of my titles have been Amazon best sellers having hit the top 100. What have I learned from all this?
Check your contracts carefully – always look to see what rights you are selling – if the company wanting them aren’t going to do anything with them then keep them and sell them yourself. Large print, audio and foreign rights can be lucrative. Check that you can get your rights back if the company folds. Check the standard of editing, book covers and marketing. Make sure you understand cover price, gross and net and third party sales.
Don’t spread yourself too thin. You need time to meet deadlines, promote properly and ensure the quality of your writing. Don’t be afraid to ask for advice from other authors. Always remember that money flows to the author and not the other way round. Be realistic about setting your advertising budgets. Most of all enjoy the ride – you’ll meet some great readers, bloggers, reviewers and fellow writers on the journey.
Fliss is running away from her past. Jack isn’t looking for anyone in his future.
This short novella was first published in the anthology 2003 Hardin Way
Click here to buy.
Nell Dixon is a Black Country author, married to the same man for over thirty years she has three daughters, a tank of tropical fish, a crazy Cockerpoo dog and a cactus called Spike. Winner of the RNA’s prestigious Romance Prize in 2007 and 2010, she writes warm-hearted contemporary romance for a number of publishers in the US and the UK. Her latest titles include Christmas Ever After, A Chance to Heal and An Uncivil War. Her latest release, A Chance to Heal is available from Amazon for just 99c or 99p You can find her on Twitter, Facebook and all over the internet. Stop by and say Hi.