A New Road
Since signing a seven book contract with Bloodhound Books the last two years has been a whirlwind. It was the culmination of a dream. I recall vividly where I was when I received the e-mail informing me that bloodhound would like to offer me a contract. I can remember the place but the sheer excitement can never really be put into words.
I often wonder if publishers are fully aware of the emotional high their new author feels when they send that initial offer. I am sure they have been told many times and maybe they themselves have experienced the same euphoria; I wonder if it is comparable when they manage to sign an author they have been chasing?
However, with acceptance comes responsibility, a hidden promise to guide and nurture and fulfil their contractual obligations. Authors are not naïve by any means but they are unfamiliar with the path they find themselves travelling.
If you go back to the sixties musicians were in a similar position. To get a publishing deal or a manager was the dream of most and often the only route to success and hopefully they’re making a living out of their art. Today, there are many more opportunities open, to not only musicians, but also to authors. The Internet has been a great empowering tool helping to blow away the fog of secrecy that often went hand in glove with the management and publishing process. In the past there was nothing better than a novice receiving a helping hand from someone who had gone through the business; the words from the old sweat were usually wise. Even with all our technology, the same can be said of today. Nothing beats experience.
So why does an author of seven successful books, with an eighth book completed, move away from a publisher? The royalty payments come in on time, the books are published on schedule, there is always someone to answer your calls and offer support at all times… sounds just fine. Well, in many ways it was fine, but like all relationships, some are meant to last and others to wither on the vine. Publishers are vibrant people they make their real living out of the new and the exciting. For publishers to succeed they have to remain professional, keen and eager, they must plan to be better than the rest with a real eye for detail to make sure what the public buys is the best it can be and that is no mean feat. They must invest in this ambition to create accurate and distinctive cover designs, invest heavily in people who have impeccable editing and proofreading skills. They must have brilliant and original marketing initiatives as well as clear and open links with authors, bloggers and readers. A myriad challenges for a small and dedicated team. Not an enviable task but one that will reap the rewards when successful.
I will always be truly grateful to Bloodhound Books for having faith in my work. I am also aware that they were a fledgling publisher when I joined the kennel of authors, a kennel that grew rapidly. Those fellow hounds have become good friends so I have won in many ways.
The refreshing part to this separation is the power of professional understanding, the ability to talk through the separation and come to a sensible conclusion shows how good the team is. Everyone is a winner when things turn out like they have. So on the 28th February 2019, DCI Bennett and the Harrogate Crime Series will no longer be contracted to Bloodhound. The rights will revert to me. We will part friends with happy memories to share in the future. I personally will look forward to meeting up at festivals.
So what now? Well, I have a plan A and a plan B and fortunately time to decide. What I will say is that I shall keep you fully posted.
Just a final word if I may, a huge thank you to everyone who has read and supported my work. Without you I would be nothing.