BIG and EXCITING News, Readers!!!
Before you do a little dance, no, I don't have a new release coming out super soon. I know, I know, but I promise this news is still dance-worthy.
Last spring I received an interesting email. Sender? Amazon Publishing. Now I've been an indie author self-publishing through Amazon's KDP program for years (and loving every part of it), so what was this about? I was aware that Amazon Publishing is, in super black and white terms, a traditional publishing house, while KDP is the indie "house". Intriguing...
The lady behind the intriguing email, Kelli, said she'd picked up A Sister's Place after its shiny red cover caught her eye. She started reading, fell in love with the story, and...enter Email. She asked if I might be interested in receiving some information about the Amazon Publishing imprint Lake Union Publishing, the imprint she worked with that publishes books similar to A Sister's Place. Not really sure what to think of this unexpected encounter, but curious what information I'd garner, I shot back a, "Sure!" Part of me wanted to know if this was for real (we've all received the captured and broke Nigerian Princess emails), and part of me was a bit stumped by the whole thing. I'm very proud of my books, sales, and readers, but I'm quite a small fry in the ever-growing sea of über talented self-published writers. Why reach out to me?
Some time later (at which point I figured it was a hoax, or interest in me and my books had trickled off), I received the most jaw-dropping email. Amazon Publishing wanted to talk to me about a potential future with them, starting with purchasing the rights to A Sister's Place and re-releasing it!! WEE-KEE-WHAAAAT?! For confidential and legal yada-yada purposes I won't divulge all the deets, but I felt like the gift of all gifts had dropped into my lap and I needed to make some serious decisions (once I could wake from the dream!).
I have always valued being an indie author, worn the badge with pride. Now I've never been a member of the camp who says Indie Only, deciding the traditional path would never ever be for me no matter how sparkly the offer from a house. There's already a lot of sparkle--authentic and fresh sparkle--in the indie world, and forfeiting all of that to go "old school," perhaps just to say, "Yes, I'm with such-and-such house. I'm a trad-pubbed author. Look at meeee!" didn't seem all that appealing. There are many a happy tales from traditionally published authors, but as soon as I experienced with Amazon's KDP the possibilities and freedom to be the writer I wanted to be, creating the books I wanted to create, as an indie author, I packed up my Writer's Markets and didn't give another thought to query letters, agents, or traditional brick and mortar publishing houses.
Rather, I just got to writing! I focused all of my authorly energies into bettering my craft and writing books, one after another. Which I then made available to readers with the click of the Publish button. There was nothing and no one standing in my way of pursuing the writing and publishing career I'd longed for since I was six years old. We've entered a new age of selling and consuming books, thanks to the advent of the digital ereader. A big part of what makes that advent so successful is the ability for indie authors like myself to freely put their best out there, over and over and over again, and let readers do what they do best, over and over and over again. The writing and reading games have changed. We're all invited to the big, fabulous book party!
The camp I have been a member of is the aspiring hybrid. If I could be so lucky as to snag a traditional-style book deal that offered competitive royalties and allowed me to continue to self-publish, like with Amazon Publishing, I'd be game. I want to write and publish the types of books I love, when and where I want, with the ability to set my own prices, freebies, and discounts, run promos, and listen to and write for my readers. I would also love to work with a house of professionals who could help take off some of these hats (copy editor, formatter, marketer, etc.), and get my books into more hands with their marketing powerhouse. I've never held my breath for such an offer, though. I've just kept on chugging as an indie, writing at my own pace, publishing whatever book in whatever genre my little heart fancied.
Fresh in the back of my mind my personal opinions of indie v. trad, and naturally a bit skeptical of what I'd been offered from Amazon Publishing because it was all so foreign to me, I spent several more weeks of getting informed (and very excited). I took the time to think long and hard about my options, even ruminating over my original hybrid wishes. Was this really what I wanted? I would be signing over my rights to A Sister's Place and my future women's fiction. What did that mean to me? What did that potentially mean for my career?
I realized that I had before me a fabulous and true stroke-of-luck opportunity that I absolutely wanted! So summer 2016 I made the transition from 100% self-published author to a 1/2 self- and 1/2 traditionally-published hybrid. The Lake Union imprint would be the proud parents of Savannah Page women's fiction, starting with a re-release of A Sister's Place on Valentine's Day 2017! I know!!
While I am very proud of A Sister's Place and consider it my personal favorite and best work to date, I still can't stop pinching myself, wondering how I was found. How my now-editor Kelli chose my book. How I have been given the unbelievable opportunity to further practice and polish my craft, in a nurturing, professional, and immensely helpful environment that Amazon Publishing provides for its authors. I've only been through the re-release process this past year and have yet to experience the full shebang of editing and producing a work from scratch with my new house. The amount of quality time and precision that's gone into this rebirth, if you will, is so impressive, I can't wait to see what happens with my brand new Lake Union women's fiction! Which yes, dear readers, is in the works!
In fact, there's a reason I've been so delayed in posting this blog. I've been writing-writing-writing! Now that I've technically got a boss expecting that next manuscript from me, you can be assured that I won't take lightyears to get that next novel in your hands! I'm so delayed in posting this very exciting news about A Sister's Place and my new house because my next women's fiction is currently in draft edit mode!!! That means I've written The End (although a rough one) and am working on my own personal second and third rounds of edits before I move on to work with the pros on serious edits and fine-tuning. I know, at last, my next book is cooking! I'll have updates on that project shortly.
Regarding the indie portion of my hybrid-ness, my When Girlfriends collection, future chick-lit reads similar to WG, and the new adult contemporary romance genre I'm working on breaking into, all fall under Savannah Page, the indie author. It's A Sister's Place and my women's fiction works that will be represented by Lake Union Publishing. That means I'll be juggling the workload, but lucky for you, readers, 2017 was the start of my becoming a full-time author! I loved the wedding floral blogging I'd done for over 7 years, but it's time to dive head-on into my writing passion, and that email from Kelli was the ideal catalyst.
So, if the coffee is strong enough and my goldendoodle pooch takes his naps, then I should be getting an array of books to you over the years, all available on Amazon and some on iTunes, Kobo, Barnes, etc., same as always. Some will be indie, some Lake Union, but they're all me, created from my heart with the intent to entertain, touch, and maybe even encourage or inspire you. (My mantra Write the Book You Want to Read is hanging on my office wall, a daily reminder.)
I want to thank all of my readers, especially the ones who've stood by me from the very beginning, picking up every book and cheering me on to create the next one. My readership is what first waved that flag to the awesome people at Lake Union. You bought my books and they noticed. Thank you. And now they're helping me get my books into so many more readers' hands. I am beyond grateful and flattered.
I can't wait to see how this journey unfolds. I can't wait to learn so much from my brilliant editor Kelli. She's honestly the best and we get on so well. She's my Rock Star Editor and Chief Cheerleader, guys. I can't thank her enough for believing in me. And I can't wait to work more with the entire team of developmental and copy editors, cover designers, marketing wizards, author relations peeps, and everyone at my new Lake Union home who want to help me do what I love. I can't wait to take my writing career to the next level. I'm excited to see what will come of this new partnership and what I'll learn from working with their team of professionals. I'll be able to apply everything I learn across the board, to all of my books.
If you have not yet read A Sister's Place, you can grab a brand new, super polished copy at Amazon (.com, .co.uk, .au, .ca, .de, etc.). For those who have read it, there are no major or minor plot or story changes with this re-release. Only cosmetic touches were made, including a new cover, so don't worry! New readers won't sweep a scoop on Juliette's or Gracie's drams that you don't already know. :)
The book is available as ebook, paperback, and--GASP!--audiobook. I know, that's a whole different blog post. It's been given a new cover and I love that the cherry-red door that really got my foot in the Lake Union door to start, is still just as cherry and cheerful. What do you think? I think the human element really adds it that extra somethin'-somethin', don't you?
A longer blog post than I imagined, but brevity is not one of my strong suits. (I think my editors will teach me a thing or two in this department!)
XoXo Happy Reading!