Recently, an email arrived announcing that one of my publishers, Secret Cravings Publishing, was closing. Every author dreads losing a publisher, their books, covers, and the relationship they’ve developed with their publisher, editors, and other authors. Their business model was great, their contract fair, and they paid on time. The publisher/owner was a pleasure to work with and I wish her, the editors, and the other authors only the best.
As an aside, it’s difficult for
publishers to be successful when readers download pirated books for free
and some authors believe that giving away books is a great marketing tool (I
disagree – over 1000+ books are available for free on various sites.). Remember
the old saying about not buying a cow when the milk is free? Also, self-publishing
has become so easy that almost anyone can release books – regardless of their
As a romance author who writes in
several genre, I was contracted with several publishers because I wanted
to keep my romance books separated by sub-genre. Secret Cravings published my
contemporary hot military books and Sweet Cravings published a sweet Christmas
story (with a touch of spice) last year.
So what happens to your books
when a publisher closes? That depends. The books should be removed from the
sales sites and authors should receive a reversion of rights letter. Some
contracts provided for an automatic reversion of rights if the publisher
closes. For those who have never experienced a publisher’s demise, it can be
very messy – personally and legally. Some publishers just walk away, leaving
the authors to fend for themselves. One even left the country, taking the
assets that remain. Fortunately, the SCP publisher, despite her obvious
personal devastation, committed to taking the books down and returning the
rights as quickly as possible. She worked tirelessly and completed her work
within two weeks.
An author has several decisions
to make. (1) Submit to another publisher. Some publishers will accept
submissions of previously published books. The publisher might require a
reversion of rights letter for books to
be considered for publication. Expect to write a cover letter, provide a
synopsis which summarizes the entire story (including the ending), and a copy
of the book in whatever format they required. (2) Self Publish. Depending on
the number of books involved, authors might decide to self-publish. The book is already edited. The author, however,
usually does not own the cover of the book. The author can buy the cover from
the artist, make her own cover, buy a readymade-cover, or commission a cover
from an artist. Some companies/individuals will contract to publish the books
to the various sites for a flat fee or a percentage of the profits.
My personal decision is to submit
my stories to one of my other publishers, hoping they will pick up the stories.
In the meantime, I’m taking the opportunity to edit/add to my stories before
sending them off. More next month.
Rita Bay – FACEBOOK / PINTEREST / AMAZON