|BOOK 1 IN THE DEAD SERIES|
I’m often asked why I chose an independent publisher for my Urban Fantasy series (DEBRIEFING THE DEAD, WAKING THE DEAD, and their planned sequels)? Or in a similar vein, why I’m planning to self-publish two Romantic Suspense novels I’ve had on the back burner for a while now, and why I’m still (kind of…) attempting the “traditional” Big 5 route with my Historical Mystery series?
None of those questions have a simple answer, and the most important thing I can say is that every author’s journey is unique—in fact, every author—every book—is unique. Like children, what works for one person/book/series, may not work for another.
The reason I chose my current publisher (The Wild Rose Press) for this series is, on the surface, pretty straightforward: They offered me a contract, for a book that had been rejected more than 100 times by NY agents and editors. (That’s not the only reason I chose them, of course, and I thoroughly vetted them first. But I can say now that they are a truly awesome, amazing, and supportive publisher, and I’m so grateful they took a chance on me when it seemed like no one else would!)
But Kerry, I hear you ask, after all those rejections, why not just self-publish? Again, this is a complex question, with a complex answer, that will be different for every author. For me, I really wanted “a publisher” for my first book. In other words, I wanted somebody experienced to handle the back end of things, while I got my bearings and learned the promo and publicity/marketing side. Plus, while no publisher—not even the Big 5—throws much weight into marketing new authors’ books anymore, TWRP does as much as they can, including offering free weekly chats on how to do stuff, or the state of the industry, or whatever, or by offering discounts on services such as NetGalley or library/bookstore catalog inclusion.
|BOOK 2 IN THE DEAD SERIES|
Now that I’ve gotten my bearings, I feel more comfortable with the thought of self-publishing the above-mentioned RS books. Yes, I could send them to TWRP, and they would probably be accepted/contracted. But I don’t feel they need the support my first novel needed. And I am keeping The Dead Series with TWRP, because I think it’s a really good fit with them.
Besides, now the first book in that series has been nominated for six awards (as of June 2019), already winning two of them. So I’m pretty happy with those results!
As for the traditional route for my Historical Mystery series… We’ll see. Despite all the awards and five-star reviews for my first two books, agents don’t seem to want to take a chance on me. And agents are still the gatekeepers for the Big 5 houses. The more publishing changes, the more some things stay the same.
Either way, I feel amazingly blessed to be where I am now. Ten years ago, after decades of writing, things looked much more bleak. So my best advice is to keep working hard, and never give up. Or, in the immortal words of Samuel Goldwyn, “The harder I work, the luckier I get.” Word.
Kerry Blaisdell is the award-winning author of The Dead Series, including DEBRIEFING THE DEAD (Book One)— 2019 HOLT Medallion double winner for Best Paranormal & Best First Book, Romance Writers of America RITA® finalist, Booksellers Best: Best First Book nominee, and Royal Palm Literary Award semifinalist—and WAKING THE DEAD (Book Two). She lives in the gorgeous Pacific Northwest with her husband, two (mostly) adult “kids,” assorted cats and dogs, and more hot pepper plants than anyone could reasonably consume.