Judy Penz Sheluk is back again and shares with us a story that illustrates how when one door closes another one opens…
It was July 7, and I was enjoying a well-deserved six-week vacation at our camp on Lake Superior when the email arrived in my inbox: my traditional publisher, Barking Rain Press (BRP), announced that it would be closing shop immediately. Authors would be paid out any royalties owed by the end of 2019, but we were on our own when it came to recreating our files and arranging for new cover art. For many authors who had put all their eggs in the BRP basket, it meant not only their existing titles, but also books midway through the editing/publishing process. For me, that meant two titles: Skeletons in the Attic and A Hole in One. And yet, instead of being upset, I was relieved.
You see, in both cases, I’d been planning to request for a rescission of rights once my contracts had expired (Dec. 2020 for Skeletons and March 2021 for AHIO), having become disillusioned with an increasing lack of communication and total lack of marketing/promotion from BRP over the past eighteen months. I’d already prepared by setting up my own imprint, Superior Shores Press, in February 2018, I’d set up accounts (and books) with KDP, Kobo, B&N, Apple, Google Play, and Ingram Spark. I’d also found an excellent illustrator and graphic artist for cover art, an editor (who freelanced for BRP and who I’d worked with before and trusted implicitly), and a proofreader for new work.
All that being said, a big part of me wanted to ignore everything I’d need to do to get Skeletons and AHIO ready for distribution until I returned from vacation. Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on your POV), I’m not wired that way. I set about recreating my files, getting new cover art, and getting ready for the re-release of both titles, all while trying to promote A Fool’s Journey, book 3 in my Marketville mystery series, which was set to release on Aug. 21.
Thankfully, Lake Superior and its ever-changing water is a calming influence. It’s especially hard to be stressed when you’re looking a magical sunset. And so, all the work got done, and happy hours on the deck were duly enjoyed to the max, knowing that my books were on the market, ready to find new readers.
Judy Penz Sheluk is the author of the Glass Dolphin Mystery and Marketville Mystery series, and the editor of The Best Laid Plans: 21 Stories of Mystery & Suspense. Her short stories can be found in several collections. Judy is also a member of Sisters in Crime, International Thriller Writers, the Short Mystery Fiction Society, and Crime Writers of Canada, where she serves as Vice Chair on the Board of Directors. Find her at judypenzsheluk.com and on Amazon.