It’s tough to get traditionally published today by a large publisher. It’s even tougher to keep publishing. That’s the cold, hard fact I have been faced with. I have been publishing fiction and non-fiction, articles and books, for over ten years now. I have enjoyed my journey, met wonderful editors, literary agents, and fellow authors. I don’t regret the long, sometimes lonely hours writing my heart out (and sometimes banging my head on my desk when inspiration fails me.)
I often talk about my seven years spent in a writing desert, the time between my first novel, Brigid of Ireland, and my second Grace’s Pictures. Historical fiction has always been favorite genre to write and it took seven years from the first publication to the second. That is why when I landed a three-book contract with a large publisher I felt as though I’d emerged from that trial.
But then that cold, hard reality hit. There is a vast sea of books published in the English language every year. So many that mine ended up as a speck on the radar. Why? It’s hard to tell.
- My covers were great.
- The response to my books has been overwhelmingly positive.
- I had wonderful reviews in some of the better known journals.
- I worked really, really, really hard getting attention.
- I did radio interviews, tons of guest posts on blogs, sent out a boatload of review copies in addition to the vast number my publisher sent out.
- I gave away books in contests, did Facebook parties, book signings, talks, and probably a hundred other things I’ve now forgotten.
I know I’m not the only the author this has happened to. I have lots of friends who have been dropped from their publishers. Some of them were publishing for years with the same house when their new proposals were rejected. I believe it’s more commonplace now than in years past. But knowing I’m not alone only softened the blow a bit.
HOWEVER, I did not want to throw in the towel. Today authors have more options than ever before. Readers have more say than ever before. I decided that the readers who said they enjoyed my first two books should be able to get the third one despite my publisher’s decision. It’s the wrap up of the series, a promise I felt I made to readers that I should fulfill even if I have to do it on my own.
But there is still reality to deal with. The fact that it’s expensive to publish a book—a book of quality that I would want my name on. Cover design costs money. Editing costs money. And to do it right it takes thousands of dollars. I used to make money freelance writing. I put that aside to work on my series—something that involved far more work than I had realized it would. I was still mentoring with the Christian Writers Guild, but as some of you know, it went under this year. I have one student I’m still mentoring until her course finishes later this year, but that only brings in a tiny, tiny amount each month. I’m working on freelancing articles again, but it takes time to build up.
So I decided to ask for help and crowd fund my next book. There is only a week left in the campaign, and I’m so very grateful for those who have supported it. If you’d like to check it out, and read the first two chapters of Sofia’s Tune for free, go to https://pubslush.com/project/5010.
Prayers and rooting me to the finish line are hugely appreciated. If you’d like to keep up with my new adventure, sign up for my newsletter at www.cindyswriting.com
Cindy Thomson’s newest novel is Annie’s Stories (Tyndale House Publishers, July 2014,) the second in her Ellis Island series. She is also the author of Brigid of Ireland, Celtic Wisdom: Treasures From Ireland, and co-author of a baseball hall of famer biography Three Finger: The Mordecai Brown Story. She has written numerous magazine articles mostly on Irish genealogy, and blogs at www.cindyswriting.com.