Thursday, July 11, 2013

What to do?

I'm very excited that this year the rights to three stories will return to me. I love them all, but the question is: what now? Do I revise on my own and self-pub? Or sub to another publisher?

The first, Surfacing, had such promise. It was a 2009 Amazon Breakthrough Novel semi-finalist, and had some excellent reviews, like this one:
“I found myself drawn to her characters and their world almost immediately, and within a few pages I became completely lost in the story. Surfacing is a delightful, entertaining, and touching read that will have readers rooting for the young hero and hoping that somehow fairytales can come true. This is more than a romance: it is a coming-of-age story that will linger in my memory. I truly enjoyed every page.”.

But despite a catchy cover, readers passed it over. Maybe because it's more a love story than a romance? I've never received any complaints, so I have no idea. And at about 65k, it's too long for my current publisher.

Ground Rules is another story I'm uncertain about. Again, reviewers had wonderful things to say about it, like: "Ms. Masters took a simple love story and made it magical, drawing the reader into the world where angels can make your dreams come true. And the fact that Luke could make a mean margarita certainly didn't hurt, either. I'm a sucker for a Christmas story - throw in a hot angel on a Harley and we've got a party!” and “This fun fantasy tale will keep you reading and waiting to see just what happens next. I didn’t see this ending coming, and I consider that an accomplishment for the author.”

But the story never really took off. The cover didn't quite convey the story line, and I've toyed with new covers and really like one of them, so this is one short story I'm considering self-pubbing.

Last is Romancing the Hero, a fun little fantasy story. Much as I love it, readers found it confusing so I'll likely spend more time revising this time based on previous comments. I liked that the ending left things open, but some didn't. Others, however, loved the story as much as me:
“A steamy cast of characters pulls the reader right into Romancing the Hero, and doesn’t let go until the final page. Cate Masters’ romantic novella, an homage to the classic romance movie Romancing the Stone, will make you believe that your fantasies can come true.
The well-written characters--feisty Jody Feather, best-selling romance writer who’s dissatisfied with her love life and perfect hero Jake Emerson--are captivating from their initial meeting." 

"The novella leads you excellently right down the garden path--is Jake really an actor, or is he stud-come-to-life Jake? I really liked how Ms. Masters’ tight plotting keeps you guessing, up to the very end. Ms. Masters is a very good author and Romancing the Hero is a fun, well-written story.”

With every story, I have to block out my inner critic, and not think about what any reader might say. I have to let the characters dictate the direction of the story, and I follow - mostly.

Published stories are a slightly different animal. They've been out in the world for awhile. When the rights come back to me, I have an opportunity to improve them. So if anyone has read these stories and been confused by anything, please let me know. I am all about making the story the best it can be, and appreciate all feedback.



Maria Zannini said...

The important thing is you got your rights back so anything you do from here on out is gravy.

Give them a facelift and send them out again when you have nothing else releasing that month.

Congrats on getting them back. I'm betting you'll have better results than the publisher.

Michael Offutt, Kaiju Smack Down Artist said...

This may be bad advice so take it with a grain of salt.

I would only self-publish them if you have fun self-publishing. Allow me to explain: I discovered on my own that I love to draw my own covers and format things and throw little pictures in here and there and stuff like that. So literally, self-publishing a book is an activity that's fun for me to do.

But if you consider it a chore, I would not do it. I'd go and get a publisher. It all depends on what you consider fun I suppose.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

It is a lot of work, but authors like Elizabeth S. Craig have both traditionally published books and self-published books. And you can always find someone to do covers and formatting for you.

Cate Masters said...

Good perspective, Maria. :) I am looking forward to it.

I actually like the graphics part, Michael. The formatting's a bit tedious but nothing I haven't done before.

True, Alex! Some self-pubbed authors have found great success. A publisher can offer some wider access to an established audience, but it's a limited window for readers to find you before the next wave of releases pushes a book into the back reaches of their site.

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

Have fun doing some rewrites. I guess I'd base on self pubbing or not by judging what a publisher can do with them. Not all publishers want to take on something that has already been released.

Yolanda Renee said...

All good advice, it's nice to have choices and knowing you, you'll make the right one. Would love to know what you decide and how it all turns out. Another learning opportunity for the rest of us!

Cate Masters said...

True, Susan. It's always good to check the sub guidelines!

Thanks Yolanda! I've self-pubbed other stories after the rights returned to me. Subbing to a different publisher would be new for me. We'll see!