Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The Perils of Writing for Multiple Publishers

By Brenna Lyons (Guest Blogger)

I teach a class on this subject. You’d think I would know the perils involved intimately. From contract concerns to time demands to publisher expectations and even author promotion, the prolific author writing for multiple publishers has to be mindful of the pitfalls and perils that (usually) balance the pros of having multiple publishers.

On a normal day, balancing my seven publishers isn’t difficult, but I got the smack upside the head reminder of how difficult it can be and how easily the best laid plans can go awry this week.

The last few months have been very busy for me. In addition to being the administrator of Silver Publishing, I still have to keep my writing up, though it’s not always easy to do. It was harder than most months recently, because I had three releases scheduled (between two publishing houses) in a single month, seven in less than six months, between three publishing houses and a self-published title. I’ve done three in a single day before, so that didn’t scare me. I just work my butt off for a while, and it all comes together.

That’s a usual day or month. This month was not so...usual.

Peril #1 - One of the releases was pushed back, because the files weren’t in place. It happens, especially with as many files as the publishers handle in a week or month. The EIC was fabulous about it and set it up two weeks later, which brought me to three releases in three weeks.

Peril #2 - My own brain dead moment. In finalizing the cover for a new release, the cover artist asked me to double check my title. Thank goodness, because it was wrong, and I didn’t see it. Grin... More than 85 releases in, the characters, series, and individual plotlines are still crisp and clear, but the titles are starting to blur in my mind. In this particular case, the title should have been “Choosing a Mate,” but I have two other titles in the same series of “Claimed: König Mate” and “Claiming a Lady.” So, I had typed “Claiming a Mate” on half the paperwork and “Choosing a Mate” on the other half. When shown the cover that said “Claiming a Mate,” my mind insisted that was fine and moved on. Until she asked, it didn’t click to me that it wasn’t.

Okay...this one isn’t a multiple publisher one. It’s really a prolific author one. Or maybe not. If I hadn’t been so busy, would I have made that error? I can’t say for certain.

Peril #3 - Missing an important email message. Since I get several thousand email messages in a day, it does sometimes happen. I admit it. In this case, the message was intended to let me know that the release date on a book moved forward, because of a shift in the schedule. Had I known it, I would have been promoting that book along with the other three. Yep, it moved that book into the same three week period as the other three books, a day after one of the other releases, bringing the grand total up to four releases in three weeks.

So, even if you have taken my class on the Pros and Cons of Working with Multiple Publishers...or have taught it, remember that there are an endless supply of things that can go wrong in the mix.




"Though it went against his base nature, Davon - son of Ares, Horseman of War, and holder of the red sword -- had to make peace. What an odd turn his life had taken."

ALL'S FAIR... Pre-order now at Silver Publishing, http://silverpublishing.info/product_book_info/coming-soon-c-2/all-s-fair-p-178


Lisabet Sarai said...

Greetings, Brenna!

I couldn't handle your life! I'm drowning already and I only get about 150 emails per day!

AND you didn't mention your recent contretemps with the ice... I'm sure that couldn't have made things any easier!

I'm kind of in awe that you can do this.


Catriana S. said...

Good gracious! I don't know if I could handle it either! I am considering doing anthologies for different publishers doing open calls, and perhaps one series once I get it off the ground...but seven publishers! My hat's off to you!

Jim Hartley said...

But what are you going to do if your "main" publisher doesn't like the story you just submitted? Throw it out? Naaaaah! Send it to someone else! And soon you're in the mess you describe. I am nowhere near as prolific a writer as you seem to be, but I'm already beginning to notice some of those symptoms you describe ...

LaviniaLewis said...

Wow several thousand emails a day! I honestly don't know how you do it Brenna I know I wouldn't be able to cope with that magnitude. Well done you! I am in awe of your talent and organisation skills.

BrennaLyons said...

Thanks for having me!

To answer the questions...

I handle several thousand email a day (usually 2500-5000 new messages a day) by using gmail and live mail to nest whole threads at a time. I find I sway toward live, because I can delete individual email messages without deleting the entire string, which slims my inbox. At the same time, I can delete entire strings that don't interest me at a time with gmail with one click instead of the three live would take me.

I have five email accounts that I check at least daily. A few are checked multiple times daily...three accounts and between four and six checks, usually.

I usually read between 400 and 750 email a day and respond to more than 150 on a typical day.

Also, I tend to check Facebook four times a day and update it once or twice a day.


BrennaLyons said...


The two sprained ankles are something of a mixed thing for me. It keeps me at the keyboard quite a bit, since my main position is reclined on the couch with my feet up and the computer desk on my lap. But when I do have to get up and do something, it takes me four times as long to accomplish it than it normally would, which soaks up a lot of time I hate losing. If I wasn't nursing the ankles, I would be off and running more, like usual. But when it takes me forever to accomplish daily tasks... That is a torture for me.

Actually, this week is something of a nightmare, because EPICon (did I mention I'm co-chair of that again this year? grin) has come into the close of registrations period, which means I have to fit in the back and forth interactions with the hotel staff and my convention committee. This is the time of year that every major committee within EPIC and the BoD have to work together, which means a lot of extra email. It added four hours plus about four dozen more email responses yesterday alone.

Thank goodness I only agree to do this every four years or so, right? Grin...


BrennaLyons said...

Jim is right that several publishers are necessary for many authors. I've rarely had the case where a current publisher doesn't want what I've done...okay, never. Though I did have one that added a new genre just to get one of my books, and that worked well for us.

But I have looked at what a publisher offers and said, "They are an erotic publisher, and this is a straight genre work. It won't be a good fit for them." In cases like that, I don't even offer it.

Obviously, when you're not only prolific but also write in many genres (21 last count), a single publisher will never take it all. The closest I come is the Mundania collection companies, since the same company runs Mundania, Phaze, Awe-Struck, and Hard Shell. I could put out just about everything I do with them these days.

But now I'm established with other publishing houses, and the prolific side comes into play. Even if I gave Mundania everything I wrote and they accepted it (and I can't, because I have certain series signed to certain publishing houses with a first right of refusal on the series in question...the ONLY first right of refusal a smart author allows, I'll note), I could literally overwhelm Mundania's system with the number of submissions I could hand them. Though each publishing arm technically has its own staff, the central staff I deal with (ownership, accounts, cover art head, my personal editor...) are all the same. I can literally give a single publisher too much to do and slow myself down doing it.

Beyond that, I'm a firm believer of risk management in publishing. Though all of my current crop of publishers are stable and I'd lay odds on all of them being around for the long haul, life is unpredictable. An owner could die and his heirs destroy the company fighting over it. An owner could fall ill and things start slipping through the cracks. The owners could have a falling out. They could be sued. ANY of these cases affect me directly as an author signed with them. If a single publisher has all my works or nearly all, what happens then? They are tied up in the legal mess by contracts. That is the #1 reason other authors tell me they diversify. Many of us have been through implosions of companies before and don't care to deal with it with large numbers of books.

A little diversification can go a long way. A lot of it will spread you so thin as to have problems building an audience with any given publisher or even overall. Common sense and testing claims that you should aim for at least three releases with every publisher you are associated with. Only my newest doesn't have that yet, and I have two more releases earmarked for them, as soon as I find time to finish writing them. Grin...


Rebecca Rose said...

WOW Thank you. I've often thought about multi publishers and you've given me a lot to think about.
Have a Sparkling Day!
Rebecca Rose

BrennaLyons said...

Anyone that wants to see the class notes for my class on the subject is welcome to them. Just email me at brennalyons4168@live.com or brennalyons4168@gmail.com and ask for the MULTIPLE PUBLISHER CLASS NOTES.


M. S. Spencer said...

I have one question I don't see answered here, Brenna. I sold my 3d book to a different publisher and I've worried that there might be some sensitivity about doing that. Have you ever run into that and do you have tips for avoiding/dealing with it? Thanks! Meredith

BrennaLyons said...

I have dealt sensitivity about taking books elsewhere when I'm established at a particular publisher.

Technically speaking, your choices in placing books are not your publishers' business, UNLESS you are bailing in the middle of a series, which looks like you are dissing the publisher you started with. (Exception to this rule? Anthology shorts placed elsewhere as hooks toward bringing another audience home to the original books...which the antho editor may or may not get upset about, but if they are upset, they don't have to sign the story, in the first place.)

But, you don't want to look a publisher in his face and tell him it's none of his business. Instead, I've found that simply explaining to the publisher that the new publisher reaches certain markets that he doesn't, and as such, new readers you get at the new publisher may choose to follow your books home to publisher A. As long as you make it sound like a business decision that can benefit publisher A (and it CAN, though everything in this business is a risk, one way or the other), it goes a long way toward smoothing feelings.

But there are other problems that come from having multiple publishers...and other advantages. I'll share a few in the comments to come.


Anonymous said...

And I thought juggling FOUR publishers was a bit crazy, but Brenna, you gave me hope it can be done despite the hectic schedules! Way to go!

Hugs, Kari Thomas,

BrennaLyons said...

Thanks, Kari!

Okay...let's hit some highs and lows of working for multiple publishers...

I'll start with the pros of it...

Reaching new readers who haven’t read you before- Very true. There is no denying that you will likely reach some readers at the new company who are not regular buyers of the old one. Many readers are much like I was before I was established as an author. I found out about Treble Heart when I read about one of Jacqueline Elliott’s books on a list. I had never heard of them before. I found out about EC about the same time. I didn’t know about eXtasy until their EIC contacted me on a list. I found NCP when authors I knew from other companies talked about books they had there. IOW, readers of company A might not have a clue company B exists. (Or they might, if they purchase at a one-stop shop like ARe or Fictionwise.)

However, while some readers buy a company, many readers buy the author. That means that, once introduced to you, the readers are typically willing to follow you from publisher to publisher...as long as they are comfortable with the publisher sites...or they follow you to/discover you on one-stop places like ARe/OmniLit or Fictionwise, where they can buy books from you with several publishers at once.

Name building at double or triple the speed...maybe- This sounds good in theory, but making it work is a lot harder than it sounds. While it is true that you are reaching more readers, there is typically an overflow of readers that read both houses...and one company may have a large audience while another is new and has a small one. You can’t count on doubling your publishers meaning that your double the readers who know you...or on being able to spread your name any faster this way.

Less wait time for editors/release date...maybe- This is another one that may or may not be true. You may very well reduce your wait overall, since you are waiting editors at several publishers, so you can get four books through in the time you might have gotten one or two through at a single publisher. However, you may lengthen your wait on a particular book.

Not being pigeonholed into one genre or style- This is one of the most widely-stated reasons for people choosing to have more than one publisher. If the readers of company A expect you to write fantasy romance, and you have a historical burning at you, you may well want to sell it somewhere else. Why? Even though the publisher may handle both, you’ve already set an expectation for fantasy. In addition, the publisher may well urge you to stick with fantasy, because you do it well and it sells better for them. That doesn’t mean you can’t write a wonderful historical. That means that the publisher is going to err (sometimes, not always) toward what has worked in the past. Another publisher that sells better in historical may be more open to an established bestseller in fantasy writing a historical for them.

BrennaLyons said...

What about the lows of it?

(part 1)

Planning ahead to fulfill your contracts- No publisher wants to hear that it’s second on your list of priorities. You sign contracts that state you will return edits within 30 days (or less, depending on the publisher), and they expect that you will give proper care to those edits. You agree to market yourself. You agree to a lot of WORK before and after the book comes out. You have to keep an eye on what you agree to do and when.

If you have three books coming in for edits, you better have everything out of your way and be prepared for some long nights and days getting those edits done in the 30 days you have to do all three!

And, you don’t want to burn out... My worst 2 month period, I put out seven books between three companies. That meant I did edits on some, galleys on all, promotion, chats, and so on. I was TOAST at the end of that two months. I wouldn’t do that again on a dare. Well, maybe I would, since I've found myself in this situation more than once, in my career.

The “Prolific Trap”- This is a little machination of my own. When you’re prolific, you often get contacted by your publishers saying things like, “We have X going on. You’ll put something into that, right?” This is where you get into an interesting balancing act. Do you say “I can’t” and get on a publisher’s bad side? Do you say “yes” and figure out a way to make it happen? Well, that depends on your comfort level.

I will fully admit that I need to say “no” more often. The problem is that publishers sometimes forget that, even if you don’t have any deadlines for them, you have deadlines for other companies. Then again, no publisher wants to think they are second in your book, so they will expect you will put them first.

Glutting the market on your name- It is actually possible to put out so many books that the readers can’t keep up...or don’t want to keep up. Again, this is a balancing act. You can write two dozen novellas and books in a year, but do you want to put all of them out? How much is too much? At what point do the readers’ eyes glaze over? The problem is that there is no set number I can give you. If you write REALLY well, that glut may not come for a long time. But, you can never count on anything as an absolute.

Expectations of publishers- Your publishers have certain expectations of their authors. Maybe they expect you to show up at a monthly chat. Maybe they expect you to take part on their reader list. Maybe they expect you to file certain paperwork in a certain way and at a certain time. The problem comes when you either have conflicting schedules...you should be in chat with publisher B at the same time publisher C is doing a list game you should be taking part in. No one wants to think they are second in your schedule! Never forget that.

Or you are set in a certain manner of doing something for other publishers and have problems changing gears. One company wants you to submit your cover art and blurbs on the same sheet to the EIC and the cover art department. Another wants one sheet for cover art to go to the company owner and another for blurbs to the EIC. No contact with the art department. What happens when you do the wrong thing? You look like an airhead, definitely, but you are also showing a lack of care in dealing with your publisher. Which brings us to the next problem...

Keeping your mind in the game: which publisher is which- You could almost make a file of printouts or a database a prerequisite for having more than one publisher. Their submission guidelines are never uniform...and they often change, so you need to refresh yourself via the site or your own notes before every time you submit to them. One gives you five free copies of your book for review or prizes, but you have to request them. One gives you ONE free copy, and it’s sent to you automatically. One pays monthly. Another pays quarterly. Still another pays semi-annually.

BrennaLyons said...

Cons, part 2...

Worse, it’s easy to start resenting one company for not being more like another. It’s a BAD idea to point it out to them that way. Just as no publisher wants to think they are #2, they don’t want to be compared unfavorably to the competition. Saying, “Company A does it this way, and your way really stinks for me” is a sure way to get on the publisher’s bad side. However, saying “I’ve found with other publishers that this really streamlines things. Have you considered doing something similar?” usually works pretty well. But, always keep in mind that the company is their own. If they don’t want to change, you either have to live with it quietly or not sign them any more books. Just as the publisher can decide not to sign you again...and the readers can stop buying from a line they dislike, you can vote with your pen hand. You are under no obligation to stay with a company that doesn’t offer what you need as an author PAST what you have already contracted.

Arranging SOME crossover readership to aid in the transition- You want to find new readers, but you also need the old readers following you along and bringing new readers with them by word of mouth. Having some distribution channels or promotion channels that overlap is a wonderful thing. For instance, I sell fairly well on Fictionwise and ARe. When signing with new publishers, ones that plan to be on FW and ARe are a good move, since readers who have me bookmarked or on "announce to me" there will see new books from me from all publishers. But, for Fictionwise readers to find my other books (the ones not on FW from other publishers), it’s a convoluted process. They have to go to my publisher's site and then to my personal site from the publisher (or search for my person site initially) and find my other publishers there...and follow the links to books BACK out to the publishers not with FW. If the other publishers are also at Fictionwise, that's not necessary. The only thing readers have to do then is check individual publishers to see if books exist that aren't on FW or ARe.

The “Leave your other publisher at the door” problem- No matter how careful you are about separating your publishers: not talking about books from publisher A on publisher Z’s list, not mixing the books on the same page of your site or in the chat for a different publisher... There will always be some well-meaning reader or reviewer who will congratulate you on an award finaled for with a publisher on the wrong list...or someone that will mention a series from publisher B in publisher C’s author chat. This is yet another balancing act. You have to, as nicely as you can, beg off and play reminder that it’s not the time and place. You have to do it while not ticking off the reader or reviewer and then still weather the scorn of your publisher and the other authors with publisher C. Though it is beyond your control, it will still be held against you to a certain degree.

BrennaLyons said...

Cons part three...

The "You must give us a wide berth" problem- This is a new addition to my class notes, because it's a relatively new problem I'm dealing with. Remember in my blog post, I talked about release dates being changed? Well, with seven publishers, that happens more likely than not. I only have a few that never change dates on me. That makes it very difficult when I have a publisher that says, "We know you're prolific. We don't want you to have any other releases within a month of ours, before or after."

Now, were it up to me, I would schedule them clear and happily bend to it. But it's NOT up to me. I have no say in when the other publishers change my release dates, and the best I can do is give the affected publisher a warning that it has happened. If that warning comes a month in advance, we MAY have wiggle room to move me one direction by a week and someone else the opposite direction...or not. If it happens at the last minute, we certainly don't have leeway to do it, and though it is beyond my control, it affects me adversely in my relationship with the publisher.

BrennaLyons said...

The main reasons for having multiple publishers...

Prolific authors- Ask Stef Kelsey or Kat Lively about receiving four manuscripts of mine within a single week. It is possible to overload the system of a single publisher. At one point, Tina at eXtasy stated that what she really needed to do was hire a single editor to handle JUST me. Keep in mind that eXtasy, at the time, was only one of my seven publishers, though it was the one I submitted the most of my work to. Can you imagine the havoc I would cause if I gave one publisher everything I write?

Write in several genres- It’s a solid fact that authors who write in many genres may not be able to place all of their books with a single house. If you sign with Phaze Books for your fantasy erotic romance books and then you write a straight fantasy book, Phaze is not your market, but Mundania or Double Dragon would be. You always want to choose a publisher that is right for your book, has the genre available, is well versed in selling the genre and isn’t just slapping it in, and is comfortable with it...and you are comfortable with them handling the book.

Working with publishers/authors/editors you enjoy- This is not my favorite reason to change or add publishers. I mention it only because some people do choose publishers this way. For me, it is more important that I think the people I will be working with know what they are doing, are pleasant (or at least tolerable) to work with, and have a smooth-running system that I feel will work well for me.

Getting in on special collections or projects- This is actually a good reason to join a publisher...IF your other concerns are met as well. Think of it this way. If it’s the publisher you’ve dreamed of signing with, but the contract stinks and the EIC is a nightmare, it is no longer a viable option for you. In the same way, even if it’s the collection you think is perfect for you, if the situation is far less than ideal in other respects, you are better off taking your personal ideas elsewhere. Remember that this is your career!

A new concept or contract option that you enjoy- Unfortunately, some authors are so dead-set on making sure a particular thing is addressed at their next company that they allow themselves to be blinded to the less savory aspects of the company they target. While looking for companies that fit your needs as an author is a smart move, you have to keep the full package in mind. Keep in mind that it is typically easier to convince company B to ADD something you want than to convince company D to change half a contract that you don’t like to suit you, just because it already HAS that one item covered.

In addition, a new concept in publishing is good, if it works. Keep in mind that many of the more radical designs don’t last very long. A company that gives you 75% of cover price sounds great...until you find out that you won’t be able to sell a quarter of the books you did with your old publisher. Always take radical changes from the norm with an eye toward the relative risks. We’ll get back to risks in just a bit.

BrennaLyons said...

Special concerns when you have more than one publisher?

Contract provisions to watch out for- You have to be very careful, especially with the contract you sign. There are contracts that specify that the author is expected to keep a web site for ONLY the publisher’s books...or that the publisher will not link to your site if you don’t comply. Forcing you to split your audience (or not giving you the same exposure they give every other author) is counterproductive to your aims of building an audience, and you should not sign something that does it.

Always keep your contractual obligations in mind when signing a contract. Can you live to each contract you sign? How long will your rights be held up? How soon can you move to another publisher if things don’t work out? Do you have an “out clause?” You never want to write this off. Honestly, it’s when you don’t have it that you will want it, right?

Never sign a contract that gives blanket first refusal rights. Why?

Splitting series and related books- You do not want to be forced into a position where you have to split a series or related books from a series because you have signed first refusal to someone else. Keeping related books together is usually a good idea. Readers don’t like having to figure out what goes with what and in what order then collecting them from all over creation. Some readers will leave you in disgust.

Putting out shorts in anthologies that relate back to an established world somewhere else, while not overly appreciated by the anthology publisher in some cases, are a different matter. I look on them more as throwing out bait. It’s further exploiting the idea of bringing readers from one company home to another.

And always spell out how far that "series" ranges. If you write the same world in another timeline and with new characters, is that still the series? If you write related books not on the same world (don't you love science fiction?), is it still the series? The first is debatable. The second is arguably NO, even if you see characters from the series there.

Pen Names- Never allow a company to own your pen name (or character names or world...unless you are writing in their licensed world, of course). Them owning your pen name both steals your word of mouth from you AND forces you to split your marketing.

Instead of selling YOU and the books. You are forced to sell YOU and YOU and the books. This is a bad idea all the way around. The closer you can bring your pen names, assuming you aren’t writing in clashing genres like erotica and children’s, the better it is for you. It is always better to spend $100 promoting Brenna Lyons than $60 promoting Brenna Lyons and $40 promoting Brenna Stuart, with no apparent connection between them.

If you are separating two adult reading genres, you may want a single site that splits into the pen names/genres. That allows for possible carry-over from one pen name to the other from regular readers. IF your genres are children's and adult subject matter (like erotic work or horror), you may want two different sites entirely! In fact, it's probably preferable that you do it that way.

BrennaLyons said...

I talked earlier about risk management. Here's the class portion about that. I also go into detail about risk management in my vetting and choosing a publisher class.

Splitting your investments- This is actually another reason that many people choose more than one publisher. There are authors who have experienced the fall of a publisher and had to scramble to place all their books again...and even to get the book rights released to them, though the CONTRACT did so. Remember, bankruptcy law overrules contract law and is allowed to effectively steal an authors' rights in the process.

Understandably, the authors that have suffered this once don’t want it to happen to them again, especially not with all of their available titles at once, so they keep their eggs in different baskets. This isn’t a bad plan, actually. It has a lot of merit, but...

Watch your percentages in high risk baskets- You have to look on choosing publishers as risk management much as you would view investing your money.

What makes a high risk? A new company. A company that doesn’t have a full, competent, EXPERIENCED staff. A company based on a “radical new idea” for shaking up the industry. An owner who doesn’t have a solid business plan. An owner that lacks people skills...or depends too highly on people skills and too little on business sense. A business that has already had financial and interpersonal blow-ups.

You CAN take on some high risk, as long as you balance it with low to moderate risk publishers. It’s a good idea to weight your basket toward low and moderate risk companies and not high risk. Even the most aggressive retirement planning doesn’t advocate putting all your resources in high risk. It shouldn’t be done with your writing, either. Even if you diversify, placing all of your work with high risk carries the HIGH risk of losing it all.

Do your homework with ALL publishers- Having more than one publisher does NOT make you all knowing. No matter how much you might like to claim you can, you cannot “spot a good company or bad” at a hundred paces, though it is usually easier to spot warning signs of a bad risk than it is to say with conviction that the company is a good one at a glance.

You have to research ALL prospective publishers and assess their risk factors. Talk to authors, both authors with one book and authors with many. Ask about scheduling, edits, personal feelings on the publisher (this IS pertinent...you don’t want to end up signing on with someone who is a control freak, if it can be avoided), if royalties are paid promptly and with a fair amount of documentation, what they wish they could change, etc.

Find out how long the company has been in business. Find out how well their books sell in the major markets like Fictionwise. What is their distribution? What formats do they offer and when? Do you have to earn out to print? If so, what is your target line and have the authors you talked to reached it? Does the company market? Does the company offer the authors chances for GROUP function marketing?

Read a few books in your genre. Is the presentation good? Is the editing sound?

Is the contract one you can live with? You can’t always find this out in advance, but you should never sign a contract that is a bad investment for you. Remember, a bad contract is decidedly worse than no publisher for your book. There are always other venues to sign a book to.

Now, you can start assessing them!

Note that there are listings of publishers kept by places like Predators and Editors and Piers Anthony, but I highly suggest doing more research. I’ve found entries on both that I know were made maliciously, but the listings, more often than not, will take any report seriously, even when informed that it isn’t correct. Don’t place all your faith in one of these lists.

BrennaLyons said...

Risk management in publishing...part 2...

New companies/old associates: does experience translate?- As I said earlier, it is never a good idea to choose a company just for...the company you would be keeping, though choosing NOT to work with someone you clash with may be a very good idea. Just because someone has good ideas for marketing her own book does not mean the person is capable of marketing an entire company. Just because someone was an EIC for five years does NOT mean that person is skilled as a company owner and will make the right decisions for the company when given all decision making. Having seen the inner workings of a company and been consulted on many issues...even having a degree in accounting, does not mean I am qualified as a publisher. Not all experience is equal, and friendship is not business savvy. Choose publishers who know what they are doing, not ones who make you laugh over pizza and edits.

You can actually hurt your chances rather than help them- Choosing the wrong publishers can actually hinder you toward your goals....which we will cover more in contracts. But, you can also hinder yourself by spreading your books too thin. Conventional wisdom says that it takes roughly three books with any publisher to start making a name with the company...and making decent money. It is almost impossible to break even and build an audience when you have one or two books thrown in a half dozen venues.

Unknown said...

Wow, I got tired just reading what Brenna does. :) I can't imagine doing everything you do in a day and still being such a prolific author. Are you a robot?

I'm with four publishers at the moment, used to be more but those contracts have expired and I've re-released improved versions through a current publisher. I tend to bloom where I'm planted and happy, and I've found two main publishers who give me that contentment. I have a hard enough time dealing with the differences between them...especially when it comes to submissions. Nice to see you Brenna and I enjoyed your post.

BrennaLyons said...

Hi Ginger!

No, I am not a robot, not a clone, and not twins or triplets. Thank goodness! My parents had enough problems with one of me. Grin...

Though I will admit that Stef Kelsey once admitted that she thought I was something of a robot, until she saw how nervous I was when I put out a new world for the first time. Grin...


Lisabet Sarai said...

Hi, Brenna and everyone else!

I've been away for a couple of days, and come back to a course!

I write for five publishers now (just added one), though I'm nowhere near as prolific as Brenna. It's definitely a management problem.

Remember that you're responsible for your own career, as well as for your health and well-being. You have to make decisions with your eyes open. And that includes deciding to step back or slow down, if you need to.

Thanks, Brenna, for a great discussion!

BrennaLyons said...

Anytime! I had a great time here.


Post a Comment

Let me know your thoughts! (And if you're having trouble commenting, try enabling third-party cookies in your browser...)