I have been AWOL from social media for several months, only checking to make sure friends are well and the world still turns. Part of my disappearing act is due to the demands of daily life. I am inundated with freelance writing work, which I am grateful for as the income allows us to keep the family budget in the black, but it I do find it stressful. I also have a lovely, active teenage daughter and a busy, overscheduled scientist husband to take care of, as well as our three cats, which explains the need to manage the budget. I also teach art classes, and am starting a small side business, and write fiction whenever possible. So, yes, life is busy, but that is always true.
There is another reason for my withdrawal from social media.
After a challenging process that included several delays by my publisher, the second book in my Cabel Evans Mystery Series was released in November, 2016. Cold Betrayals was officially available for purchase and I breathed a huge sigh of relief, until I found that there were serious problems with the book listing on both Amazon and Barnes and Noble, which included missing cover images and typos in the description. These mistakes were finally corrected, and in early January I prepared to conduct a serious, full-throttle book launch. But then…
My publisher went bankrupt.
Overnight, I went from a published author to – what? Amazon still has copies of Shadowlands in stock and available for sale, but I don’t know for how long. I also have several copies, but as the saying goes, supplies are limited. As for Cold Betrayals, it isn’t listed on Amazon anymore and I have about 70 or so copies of it, but that’s it. You can purchase them here, if you’re interested, but you won’t find them anywhere else.
I struggled for years to get my first, and then second, book into print. It took almost three years to get accepted by a publisher, but it finally happened and my stories were out there for anyone to read. Now, I feel as if I am back to square one with little to show for my efforts.
There are options. I could self-publish, but it feels like a step backwards. My supportive husband assures me that I could get an agent, but even if I did, it will take at least a year to get them back on bookshelves. What to do?
This situation is the second reason why I disappeared from social media. I’ve been embarrassed to tell anyone what happened, and I know some people will be disappointed because they’ve enjoyed my work but it is no longer available for purchase. I feel defeated and a bit depressed. It also raises an upsetting question: without published books, am I still an author?
I have the next Cabel Evans book researched and organized, and a fourth one waiting in the wings. There is a new, completely different series I’ve been toying with in my almost non-existent spare time. I have stories to tell and worlds to share, but at the moment I feel like the woman in the TV commercials. I’ve fallen and I can’t get up.
Hopefully, sharing this information with you will help reinvigorate my fiction writing efforts and help me decide which next publishing steps to take. Whether you’ve read my books, or only this blog, thank you for your support.