R.S. Hunter

Science Fiction & Fantasy Author

Tag: publishing

Some Publishing Announcements

The Exile's Violin

You might’ve noticed the warning on my The Exile’s Violin page saying the book will be out of print starting in September. This post is to explain a little more about why that’ll be the case and what’s going to happen moving forward.

My publisher recently announced that they are dramatically scaling back their operations (basically going out of business). As part of this process, the authors and myself were presented with a couple options:

  1. I could leave my novel in the publisher’s hands. It would remain for sale and everything would continue. I was also one of the special cases where I had a sequel under contract. The publisher would put that out at some point. The timeline for when that would happen wasn’t entirely established.
  2. Or any of us that weren’t being dropped outright could ask for all our rights to revert back to us and part ways with the company.

I took Door Number Two. Without getting too specific, I’m not entirely happy with the way my book came out, especially with regards to formatting, back cover design, and marketing. That’s why I asked for the rights to The Exile’s Violin and Terraviathan back.

I don’t know what’s going to happen next. All of my attention is focused on planning these last few crazy weeks before my wedding and honeymoon. I arranged it with my publisher that my book will stay for sale until after I get back from my honeymoon. After September 9th, the book will go out of print and the rights will be mine again.

I have a couple of options for what to do with the series once that happens:

  1. I can go full indie with the Tethys Chronicles series. That would give me complete control over the interior formatting, better formatting for the back cover of the print version, and no publisher to split royalties with. Going indie comes with its own challenges.
  2. Or I could shop the series around and try to find a publisher interested in reprinting the first book and picking up the essentially-done sequel.

Personally, the second option sounds a little more appealing. I like the collaborative process of working with editors and publishers, and I like the support they normally give you. With a potential move across the country on the horizon, I’m not sure trying to make it as an indie author (at least with this series) is something I’m prepared to do right now. I definitely don’t want to leave the series unavailable to potential readers for a long period of time!

It’s an uncertain time, but it feels full of opportunities! You know that old saying about doors and windows? It’s true in this case.

Thank you to all the people who bought or downloaded for free The Exile’s Violin. The fact that you’re reading the words I wrote means a ton to me. And if you enjoyed the book, rest assured you will get to read more adventures starring Jacquie and Clay. One way or another, you will get Terraviathan (and maybe even a third book!) in your hands.

You Got a Book Contract, Now What?

Last night it really hit me that the process for getting The Exile’s Violin published is far from over. Over and over in my head I kept hearing myself say, “You got that contract. Now what?” I have a feeling that I’m not alone and many first-time authors are asking themselves that same question. So really, now what?

As a writer your job doesn’t end once the ink’s dry on the contract. It’s not all hookers and blow (that can come later if that’s your thing). You still have a lot of work left to do.

Usually what comes first is a round (or two or five) of content edits. Content edits are when an editor reads your manuscript and looks for problems with character development, pacing, plot, structure, names, and continuity. Usually things like spelling, grammar, and sentence structure are overlooked at this stage.

For the most part, this is where all the heavy lifting is done with rewrites and revisions. An editor will make you realize you spelled something one way in chapter two and three different ways in subsequent chapters. They’ll help make your characters more rounded and interesting. A good content edit can help turn a good book into a great book.

Great now that the revisions are done, your job as an author is done, right? Guess again Lazy McLazyperson! (See, a good editor would make a note that that’s not a very good character name) Now it’s onto copy edits and line edits.

I may not know all the semantics between copy edits and line edits, but I know that this stage is all about the words themselves. Now your editors go over your manuscript with a fine-tooth comb. They look for spelling mistakes, grammar, sentence structure, and a whole host of other things you probably weren’t thinking about. I’m an author! I throw words on the page and it’s art! Yeah, not always. Sometimes what you think is a wonderful, poetic sentence is just a gurgling mess of adjectives and dangling participles.

Well now the book’s edited and ready to be printed. Time for hookers and blow? Nope! Unless you have a contract with one of the big six, chances are you’re going to have to do some–say it with me–marketing! You got blog tours to arrange, reviews to solicit, blog posts, interviews, press releases, and animal sacrifices to the Marketing Elder Gods to make. Plus you gotta get busy writing that sequel!

As an author you may think your job’s done once you write the book, but it’s really just begun. And that’s what kept me awake last night. But with the proper planning and hard work, this process doesn’t have to be overwhelming. (It can just be regular whelming) I need to remind myself of that. Then maybe figure out who actually celebrates with hookers and blow. That’s a thing big celebrities do, right?

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