When I began this blog, I committed to sharing with you my experiences and thoughts about my novel Bird Face and “its journey to publication.”
Recently that publication journey reached an unexpected fork in the road.
When my publisher made the decision to change direction away from novels for young people–and then later away from books altogether–and to publish literary magazines with a focus on poetry and nonfiction after 2016, I had to ask myself some hard questions.
Should Bird Face remain with this publisher for as long as possible and continue to earn royalties but receive no promotion? There was no chance of the sequel I’d written for Bird Face or a recently completed YA historical, The Other Side of Freedom, to be published there. Would I hurt my publication chances for those new books by staying put?
Should I begin to query other publishers for a new home for the original Bird Face as well as its sequel while still under contract with my original publisher? Should I query for the sequel only?
Should I provide an interested new publisher a concrete termination date for my current contract so that I can prove my intent?
I wasn’t able to find any information online either about my particular situation or about books in a series with two different publishers. A couple of friends in the writing and publishing world urged me to self-publish the Bird Face series, but I believed another publisher was out there somewhere that might be interested.
So I decided to discuss contract termination with my current publisher and to settle on a date we could agree upon.
Although other authors might not take the same course of action, I think I made the right choice. The decision would’ve been made for me in a year anyway. And now I am free to search for a new home for my books while retaining the right to self-publish any of them.
I don’t view this as a 180, or even a 90-degree turn as the image above implies, but rather a 45-degree turn. And one I hope to look back on a year from now as having been the best path to take.
Has your publishing journey taken an unexpected turn? How did it work out for you?