Two announcements this week. First, I’ve signed a contract with JMS books for a brand new work entitled Flowers for the Gardener. It should be out in April. Also, Christmas Angel makes it to print.
One question I heard many times over what had to be ten years was would Snow Angel ever see print, but I had no satisfactory answer to give. At this time of writing, it has. With Snow Angel, the sequel Angel Heart, and the new Christmas Angel (the last book completing a trilogy), now out in print, I can at last say a big thank you to those who requested print copies. Before now, the only reply I had to give was… maybe. A simpler answer was yes, because if all else had failed ‘one day’, I would have self-published. The trouble with that (discounting the fact I’m not currently of a mind to take the self-publishing route), I couldn’t state how far away ‘one day’ would be.
It’s official and Snow Angel became a best-selling book, doing better than many conventional printed paperbacks, with its sequel closely following in the rear. So why didn’t the first publisher take the initial titles to print? The reason a predominantly ebook publisher produces a print book is long and convoluted, and as easy to answer as the length of a piece of string. There is one answer I could give, and that was because both books fell out of the range of that publisher’s ‘accepted length’ for a printed book — one too long, the other too short, and together being impossible. So I knew the first publisher would never print the book.
The print option in the contract had long since run out and there was nothing to stop me trying to find a publisher that would print the book separately, but this was difficult and unlikely. The markets most willing to print the book would no doubt want electronic rights, too. Fine, if I could find someone to take it on as a complete package, but then I would have had to negotiate with the then current publisher to remove the book — a thing I could only do when the original contract came up for renewal. When a title is still selling, it’s a fine balance to know when to pull a book from the existing market. Once upon a time, books were forever, but nowadays many have a more immediate shelf life — a commodity just like a loaf of bread.
The right moment came when I added a third title. I asked fans of the book what they wanted and should put out as is or whether to re-edit the original titles. They told me my style had improved and the new book would jar with the older titles, so the votes came in for re-edit. I did so with success. My trilogy has a home now with JMS books and with everyone who took an anti-hero to heart.