Congrats to me all around-- something most authors dream of. Admittedly, I'm given this opportunity in a back door kind of way. You see, my first published novel, Lost and Found, was published over four years ago by a smaller ePublisher called Lyrical. And for the most part, I've been very happy there. The book isn't a NY Times best seller and never will be and I got with Lyrical something I couldn't get before, published by a real deal publisher, a life long dream.
Now Lyrical has been sold to Kensington and thus, this back door opportunity.
Over the last five or so years, ePublishing has changed the face of traditional publishing. It has opened doors to both real talent that just couldn't get in the door, and not so good with the up rise of self publishing. It gave to me that opportunity when I had basically given up what was, to me, so very important. And now self publishing, once scorned and looked down upon, is the new norm. There is this and so much more that include even fanfiction. It's an explosion of possibilities and freedom that has had the more traditional houses scrambling and re-thinking. And I like that. Once they held all the power, not so much any more.
I don't think this evolution in publishing is done yet either, not by a long shot. And I want to be able to experience that.
I won't be able to do that if I sign a contract with Kensington. I agree to give up my freedom to investigate other publishers, other avenues that may include self publishing should I decide to jump in that pool one day. I belong to them exclusively and okay, maybe that's not so bad- finally with a big house that in theory will take care of me. But that doesn't mean they will accept everything I submit and the rub is, if they don't accept it, I can't take it anywhere else.
I hear a cell door closing and the tinkle of the key being tossed away. And the exciting, still developing, exploding world of publishing passing me by.
There is no right or wrong here. That Kensington is offering me an opportunity that I would have jumped at a few years ago does not escape my musings. I should be grateful, really I should. But I'm not.
I've decided to decline the contract after agonizing over this for a week. Part of the decision came when I left a message with their house counsel to discuss my concerns and well, no one got back to me. It reminded me that I am a very small fish in a very, very big pond.
Am I being foolish? I have no idea. I guess we'll wait and see what happens. I do have offers to take the novel on from two ePubs already who want it very much and that makes me feel good. And there is a newer ePub I've been looking at that I very much want to get on board with as they specialize in my genre. All possibilities I want to be able to embrace freely. Good or bad, right or wrong, who is to say?