Last week, I asked Dreamspinner for the rights back on two books: Phoenix Rising and The Blue Paradise. They granted them without question; our contract was up.
Before I proceed, I want to say how much I enjoyed working with that publisher. They did a wonderful job at every phase, and if I were to publish traditionally, I’d certainly offer my work to them. But I’ve decided self-publishing suits me better, and I look at this as an opportunity to try something else.
When an author gets their rights back, only the original manuscript is returned. Not the editing that was done by the publisher, and certainly not the cover. My first thought was to beta them, re-edit, find new covers, and release them within a few weeks.
But I had second thoughts.
Neither book sold very well, which was a major disappointment. This was possibly due to few people knowing who I was at that time; name recognition is so important. Both titles were, to my mind, entertaining, with likable characters and engaging stories. I especially expected big things from Phoenix; my betas had raved about it, saying it would be my breakthrough book. It wasn’t.
When not even a positive review at Jessewave managed to drum up sales (and that site was responsible for selling a lot of m/m books), I bitched to AJ, “If I’d made this het, it might have gone somewhere.”
But would that have made a difference?
I don’t know, but I now have the perfect opportunity to find out.
I’m giving these two books to Elle King, my alter ego. Some characters will change from male to female, and so will the dynamics. I also intend to expand both books, adding scenes and chapters.
There’s no guarantee these titles will find a readership. Elle isn’t known to anyone yet. She might get ignored, and I’m prepared for that. I won’t like it, but publishing is a crowded field these days. It’s hard for new authors to get recognition. But if I don’t try, I’ll never know.
Failure is an option. Oooh, scary thought. I hate failing. I’m competitive enough I always shoot for #1.
In the meantime, the re-edit proceeds. I even have a new cover for Phoenix. Um, Elle has the cover. 😉 She will reveal it soon at her blog.
Elle is also looking for one of two beta readers. Yes, this is het, not m/m, but there is a prominent gay character and the lead is bisexual. He’s above such things as gender. Heh. Anyone interested in betaing should contact me or Elle. Thanks!