Okay guys… it’s time for some more real talk.
You know me by now, right? Even when the smallest of things goes wrong or not how I imagined, I go into meltdown. This blog seems to have become a little like a journal for documenting how I manage my metal health, and honestly, it helps to write it down, at least it feels more productive to write it down than it does to keep going over the same worries and freakouts in my head.
It’s been brought to my attention that my status as a debut author is being called into question. I’m what my doctor/therapist calls a morbid thinker. When something like this comes up, my head immediately goes to the worst place… so naturally I’ve assumed all of my friends/followers/readers think I’m a fraud. Like, how can she call herself a debut when she wrote In Stone and a small “press” published it?!
I figure that people will think what they want, I do, but it would make me feel better/honest/justified to give you some details of why myself, Mandy and Clarion have called Rose Tainted Skies and Other Lies my debut.
Entranced Publishing, the place that acquired In Stone, was a startup, ebook only pub. I did some digging, spoke to some people, and although Entranced was new, their founder seemed to have big plans, an abundance of enthusiasm and enough business know-how to make a go of it. It’s worth noting that In Stone was a YA, paranormal romance, and getting anyone to even look at the first five pages was tough. I realized pretty early on in the querying process that an indie press or self publishing were my only options. I don’t have any business acumen, plus, if you’ve read any of my posts on agoraphobia, you’ll probably understand why taking on the responsibility of self publishing & marketing was too much to handle alone. Anyway, after exchanging a few emails with an amazing editor, I felt comfortable signing my baby over to Entranced.
This was a mistake.
(I want to clarify that my editor and close friend –in fact, ALL the staff at Entranced beside the CEO/Founder/Executive editor whatever– had no idea what was going on, and lost just as much as we, the authors, did.)
A few whispers about nonpayment started to circulate a couple of months after In Stone’s release. I guess, at first, I ignored this. Nobody likes being wrong. Nobody likes being embarrassed. Nobody likes feeling like they’ve fucked up. Now, I will say that, despite being an asshole of the highest degree, my mental health is my most ardent protector. It’s taught me that, I don’t have to embrace anything I don’t want to. I can hide from it & pretend it doesn’t exist… (we’ll talk more about this another time). My point is that I should have known something was wrong when the months rolled by and my editor left, the marketing for my book dried up, fellow authors were requesting their rights back and I hadn’t yet received a penny for In Stone.
Thankfully, I was super close with a couple of the other authors and we started talking a lot about unanswered emails and book stuff that had been promised, but wasn’t happening. After a lot of deliberation and deep breaths, we made our concerns public and inadvertently blew some crazy shit wide open.
All this is to say, a short time later, the company was closed and In Stone, along with all the other titles, were pulled from all channels of distribution. Devastated doesn’t even come close to how that felt. We got the notice and within three days my book no longer existed.
Then, things got worse.
The likelihood of us receiving any payment became slim to none. As we talked among ourselves, it became clear that several staff members were also disputing nonpayment issues. Now, we were already told that we had to ask extra permission to use our edits in (self published) print copies of our books because they didn’t belong to us, but then our cover designer, quite rightly so, reclaimed the artistic rights for our covers and asked that we pay for the designs or replace them.
Less than twelve months after it’s official release, In Stone was an unedited manuscript without a cover. The book was dead. I was sick. The reasons I couldn’t put it out there by myself had tripled. I was done. I just wanted to move on. I felt cheated, robbed of an experience that should have been amazing, but was pretty much a disaster from go to whoa.
Shortly after everything had exploded, speculation began. People started to question if the company ever existed in the first place. Allegedly, phone numbers and registered addresses lead to nowhere. Rumors that Entranced’s owner had several online personas and occupations began to circulate. Nothing was certain, but there was no one around to answer questions. Our former CEO was now unreachable.
And that’s it. That’s all there is. I don’t really know what happened, or why…I doubt I’ll ever find out. I briefly considered putting In Stone back out there, but my enthusiasm for it was dead, and I honestly couldn’t fathom how I would cope with the responsibility. So, I just wanted to reiterate, In Stone is no longer available.
We’re calling Rose Tainted Skies and Other Lies a debut because a.) It will be its first public appearance. 2.) It will be my first appearance in the traditional market. c.) It will be my first gig as a paid author. 4.) It will be the first time my writing has been available in a bookstore.
I’ve never lied or tried to keep any of this a secret. It was even featured over at Writer’s Beware. I just needed to clarify because the idea of people thinking I’m a fraud was killing me.
Anyway, I gotta run. Thanks for taking the time to hear me out….
Chat later xo