Tuesday, March 07, 2017

Change

Kay and I enjoyed watching the TV series that starred the obsessive-compulsive detective, Adrian Monk. I'll have to admit that I, like the character Monk, don't care for change. Actually, his words were, "I don't mind change. I just don't like to be around when it's happening." I'll echo those words. But about the time I got into this writing thing, changes were starting, and they've sped up recently.

If you arrived here late and don't know how I got into writing, you may wish to click here to read about me. I've been fortunate enough to have ten novels and two (soon to be three) novellas published, in addition to the book that started all this, The Tender Scar. But in case you haven't noticed, traditional publishers of Christian fiction (the newer word is Inspirational, but I'm old-fashioned) are slowly dropping these lines. At last count, about ten have done this in the past couple of  years. And I got caught up in this change. The publisher with whom I signed my most recent contract encountered financing problems, and the book that was supposed to be released last November, then was rescheduled to this February, has been permanently shelved.

Around me, I saw authors producing anywhere from one to three or four books per year. Would my readers even remember me if a year passed with no book of mine to remind them? So I wrote and arranged self-publication of a long novella (a bit over 40 thousand words), which will be released next week. I've been assured by my readers that they're ready to read what I put out there, so in gratitude I've arranged a pre-publication price of 99 cents for the Kindle version of Doctor's Dilemma. Sorry, but there's no special deal on the print version. The regular price goes into effect on Monday, when the book releases.

To order the Kindle version (and you can read any Kindle book on your PC, Mac, or smart phone--do a Google search for the free app that makes that possible), click here. It's my way of saying, "Thanks for waiting.

8 comments:

Elise Griffith said...

I saw these changes coming in the late 1990s when I was a published, nonfiction writer, and I feel it's ultimately better for writers and readers alike. Long story I'd be happy to nutshell privately (auntleesie@live.com). It's not-so-good for publishing houses or brick & mortar stores, but Amazon is by far the largest distributor now, offering it's own editorial and printing services. I've discovered many new (to me) authors there, including you, whose books I've not been able to find in stores... including Christian stores. I look forward to reading 'Doctor's Dilemma'in print, and wonder if you've considered self publishing your latest novel?

Richard Mabry said...

Elise, that's the decision I have to reach soon. Thanks so much for your comment, and for sharing your own experience.

Elise Griffith said...

If it's not too personal a question, what are your hesitations about self-publishing novel length works? I ask, because unless authors today are on the NYT best seller list, little or no marketing is done by publishing houses anymore. They also insist on buying "all rights" to include international sales, translations, electronic publication, etc. [fine print of contracts says the author won't be additionally compensated beyond purchase agreement], and since brick & mortar stores no longer have the distribution of yesteryear, there's a lot less incentive for authors or readers to embrace traditional publishing. In fact, authors have to work much, much harder at self-promotion.

Richard Mabry said...

Elise, it's not too personal a question, and the hesitancy you bring up is common to most authors. The stumbling block, frankly, is unfamiliarity with the process. I dipped my toe into the self-publishing pool by doing novellas, and willingly gave up 15% of my profits to my agent's White Glove publishing entity in order to have someone to ask questions of and help guide me through the process. It gets easier with each foray into that dark unknown, and (as I've said in response to your previous comment) it's a decision I have to face regarding my next novel. Stay tuned.

Patricia Bradley said...

I totally understand your dilemma. I hate change, too...and Indie publishing is an unknown for me and there's quite a learning curve. I have a friend who loves it. Loves making her own, very good covers. But I don't have her eye for what looks good nor the patience to do it.

Wishing you the best in your new endeavor and hoping one of the other publishers will pick up your completed novel!

Richard Mabry said...

Thanks, Patricia. One problem is--although I have a pretty significant following for my novels-- publishing houses aren't looking to sign new authors, even those with a demonstrated mid-list track record. Actually, when you look at all the publishers who've dropped their Christian fiction line, the outlook there is pretty dismal. But we'll see. I appreciate your comment.

Jackie Smith said...

As a reader, I am sorry for the publishing issues! I'll pray someone will accept your shelved book. I do look forward to reading your novella. Blessings on your writing as well as Patricia's.

Richard Mabry said...

Thanks, Jackie--for the kind words and for leaving a comment. Publishing is a for-profit business, not a hobby or a goodwill entity, so I don't blame the publishers for the state of the industry--but it's sad to see so many Christian fiction lines shut down. But one way or another, Cardiac Event will see the light of day in the next several months. (And, BTW, I have another novel all written, ready to go after that one).