Refreshed website, new content, new books, new covers. It’s about time! I’m an impatient person, so it’s been killing me to wait. But I can finally reveal the new covers for The Break-Up Artist and its sequel The Revenge Artist. I’ve been sitting on these books for too long. But I’m more excited to reveal where I’ve been and how I wound up writing you this post.
I debated writing this post, but I believe in honesty. I wouldn’t feel right showing you my new covers and acting like everything’s been peachy this whole time. Because it hasn’t. My publishing career was like that roller coaster at the beginning of Final Destination 3. And to be honest, I wanted to avoid getting asked this question a million times. Now, I can point people to this nifty blogpost.
Last October, my publisher made the decision to cancel publication of The Revenge Artist. Numbers, like Shakira’s hips, don’t lie. Sales for The Break-Up Artist weren’t great, and publishing is a business at the end of the day. I was a little angry, a little hurt, but mostly shocked. After all, TRA had been through copy edits and had a cover/book jacket created. To say this was unexpected was an understatement.
I loved working with Harlequin Teen, and I understand. Numbers, business, Shakira’s hips. It’s not like they ignored me and then acted shocked when the sales weren’t what they wanted, which I’ve heard happen to authors at other publishers. They did well by me and the book. They created special spiral-bound pre-ARCs I could sign at a conference. They designed a beautiful custom cover. They secured cool online media placements for the book. They were open and supportive to all of my marketing ideas and were very communicative. I had a wonderful experience working with everyone at the imprint. (And they let me keep the advance.) Ultimately, these things happen. As Joe Fox put it, It’s not Personal. It’s business.
I was upset for about a day. Then I told myself that moping won’t solve anything. It happened. The milk got spilt. Let’s move on. Sure, I had relapses. I’d be doing my thang and then remember, “Oh hey. I was dumped by my publisher.” I watched author friends go through the process of putting out their second books and feel a twinge of envy. I was happy for them, sad for me. But I didn’t let myself stew. Once the rights to BUA reverted back to me in the spring, I looked into submitting both books to a small press. One publisher rejected the books, but her rejection made a lot of sense. My books were not a good fit for the imprint.
Rather than submit to other presses, I started thinking more and more about self-publishing.
I had self-published a book under a pen name last year, and loved the experience. I had control over everything – title, cover, marketing. There was something about getting royalty statements from my distributors that felt more gratifying than receiving a typical advance. I worked for and generated every dollar of sales on that book.
Young Adult isn’t particularly popular in self-publishing, at least not compared to other genres. But there are authors who are doing it. I want to take the risk and see what happens. I want to get my books back out there. A copy-edited, final version of The Revenge Artist has been sitting on my hard drive since October 2014.
With self-publishing, and ebooks in general, you’re not under the gun to sell x number of copies in the first x number of weeks. The internet is forever, for better or worse. People may stumble upon this blogpost two years from now and decide to check out my books, and they’ll be here. (Hello to future visitors!)
I’m happy I got to reveal the whole story to you.
The worst part about getting dropped is having to tell people. They instantly feel bad for you. While I appreciate people’s concern, I don’t want pity, and I don’t need cheering up. Getting your series cancelled is the most first world of first world problems. There are plenty of other things in the world worth being upset about. If this is the worst thing that happens to me, I’ll take it. What happened happened, and I’m genuinely excited about the future. I’m grateful to live in a time when I have options. My story isn’t over and the rest is still unwritten. (why does YouTube only have Season 6 credits on their site?)
More importantly, I feel like we only ever see the good side of publishing. Book deals and agent signings and starred reviews and conference pics and movie options and more book deals. Life in publishing is a nonstop makeover montage! Publishing is filled with amazing highs, but it’s also got its share of lows. You never know what can happen. Over the span of two years, I lost my agent, my editor, my book deal, and then my second agent.
But I’m still here.
And I’m still writing.
And no matter what, that won’t change.
What did change is the cover to The Break-Up Artist. You’re used to seeing this:
With my fresh start and fresh path, I wanted to switch up the cover. Plus, legally I had to.
I tried figuring out what should be on the cover. What would represent this story best. But when I saw this cover during an online search, I just knew, the way you know about a good melon. I had a similar one custom created for The Revenge Artist. They’re light, they’re fun. But enough with all the telling vs showing.
Cover Reveal in…
The Revenge Artist is coming out on November 18th, 2015.
Need to catch up on The Break-Up Artist before the sequel comes out? The book is on sale for a limited for only $1.49. Start reading today.
Official TRA blurb:
They say money can’t buy you love. Becca Williamson begs to differ.
Once upon a time, Becca was the Break-Up Artist, tearing apart unhealthy relationships at her school for just $100 via PayPal. But after a job went really wrong, she went legit for love and now brings couples together. Crushing on that supercute guy in Chemistry but too shy to say hi? Becca has the right formula. Pining for that artsy girl who vowed never to date a jock? Becca will ensure love conquers all. She’s even engineered a relationship of her own: the funny, sweet and unbelievably cute Fred Teplitzky, the one guy who knows exactly what to say to make our unflappable heroine…well, flappable.
But before she can pick out a graduation robe and enjoy her last months at Ashland High, Becca has to deal with a new Break-Up Artist on the block. And this master manipulator is dead set on one thing: revenge. Someone is going around destroying all of the couples she’s worked hard to unite. Now Becca has to outwit and outscheme her new foe in a dirty cat-and-mouse chase filled with hacked emails, video surveillance, reputation ruining and a few candy hearts—especially when she realizes that the Revenge Artist’s number one target is her and Fred.
Looks like there are no such things as clean breaks.
If you want to read the first 4 chapters right this moment, sign up for my mailing list, The Schemers & Dreamers Club.
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I’m surprised you’re still here. As a thank you for reading this far, here is a picture of my cat in a hamper.
What do you think of the covers? Have any questions about my experience? I’ll try to share as much as I feel comfortable. Did I just get “Unwritten” stuck in your head? Say anything…in the comments.
photo credit: Welcome Gate – English Camp Formal Garden via photopin (license)