Based on the title, this post could be about mixing an American with a British Lord, but it's actually about publishing.
I have self-published books and worked with a couple different publishers. When it came time to decide what to do with Becoming Lady Amherst, I thought about what I wanted and how to get it.
Most writers look to a publisher for quality editing, a wonderful cover, and marketing assistance. In exchange, the publisher keeps half the royalties...and usually the author waits several months to get their share.
With self-publishing, the author is on their own for those items. But, they also get to keep all the royalties and have control over major decisions like publication date, title or price. Also, payment from Amazon is made 60 days after the month in which the books are sold vs. waiting until the end of the next quarter for payment from a publisher.
I asked myself
...what if there was a way to have The Best of Both Worlds?
I think I have been able to do that with Becoming Lady Amherst.
First, I wanted quality editing for both the story content (Does the plot work? Are the characters likeable? and the mechanics (spelling, grammar etc). I wanted more than just someone to fix the commas.
When I heard that Kate Richards (author of some of my favorite spanking books, Spanking Ms. Whitman and Switch) had a publishing company called Wizards In Publishing, I was intrigued. Kate's books are always impeccable...nary a stray period or omitted word, so I contacted her and we made a plan.
I was thrilled with the assistance of Laura Garland, the editor assigned to my book. I'm not sure how many times the manuscript passed back and forth between us, but I know that each "assignment" (try to cut down the number of times "I" is used, for example) taught me a ton and improved the book on many levels.
Then there was the matter of a cover...
Ah...my friend Anthony Walsh of The Cover Artisan came through for me again...though I'll admit I was sort of picky and it took a few tries back and forth between us. But, because I was paying, I felt like I could say "not quite, try again" and not feel like a prima donna (whether I was or not, you'll have to ask Anthony).
But...what about the marketing that a publisher can provide?
True. That is a consideration, but again, I think I've found a good solution. I'm now a Blushing Books Publishing Partner. Yes, little ol' me is a "publishing partner". That means Becoming Lady Amherst is available for purshase on Blushing Books (and is currently on their top 50 list!) As all of us in the spanking fiction business know, Blushing Books is a powerhouse in the spanking fiction industry, so partnering with them brought my book to the attention of many potential readers.
Yes, I did have some out of pocket expenses. Quality work from professionals isn't free, but I wanted an outstanding product and was willing to pay for it. I also felt fairly confident, based on previous book sales, that I would be able to make my initial investment back quickly.
Is this the right path for every author? That's for each person to decide.
Does this mean I'll never work with a publisher again...actually no...since I am in the process of writing a book for a project (more on that later) with Blushing Books. But, I am someone who likes having lots of options and evaluating each project to see what will work best.
For me and for this book, I feel like it was an excellent way to go.