Saturday, August 18, 2018
The Ups and Downs of Publishing by Jannine Gallant
All is not horrible, however. My editor said the quality of my writing has not diminished as it does with some prolific writers. He thought my series concept was a good one. They didn't reject me because they didn't like my book. More pluses--the second book in the series, LOST INNOCENCE, had far more pre-orders than the first due to the fact that it was picked up by Walmart. The first book, BURIED TRUTH, was only in Barnes & Noble and a few other oddball places. Still, I apparently earned back my advance on BT and am in the black after 6 months. I should double my sales on the second book if they don't get a ton of returns from stores that stocked it. It's too early to know how the third book, HIDDEN SECRETS, will fare in getting placed in stores. I'm hoping for the best.
The bad news is that my digital sales were not good. Paperback store sales were a whole lot better, so apparently I didn't have the visibility I needed in the online market. Also, contemporary romance (including romantic suspense) is not selling as well as it used to. Regency romance is hot. Erotica is dead. We've seen these cycles before. The big names in romance are still selling books, but romance sales in general are down. Publishers are adjusting their lists accordingly and tightening their lines. If sales for LI and HS drastically exceed expectations, Kensington will reconsider my proposal sometime after the first of the year, but I'm not holding my breath.
So, I've had the good news and the bad. I am not, however, doubting the quality of my writing. Publishing is a business, and the strength of a book is only one component to sales. Marketing matters. Reading trends play a huge role. Now I need to decide what I want to do next. My editor thinks I could easily acquire an agent, but I'm not sure I want one. Without one, it's hard to get in front of the big publishers. And if I do get in front of them, there are no guarantees. My track record is not the best, but at least I have one. I don't want to go the small press route again. There are positives to self-publishing, but marketing yourself is an uphill battle. I may have to mull this over for a while.
I'm not despondent. I was kind of expecting this. I hope I don't sound too whiny because I really hate that. I just wanted to let everyone who has supported me know that I'll be following a new path in the future, wherever that may lead. And in the meantime, I still have one more mass market book releasing in late November. I hope people will buy it and enjoy it. I'm looking forward to seeing it on shelves when I'm Christmas shopping!
For info on all my books, check out my WEBSITE. Happy reading!