Friday, March 18, 2016

Roller Coasters and Kindle Scout

      My husband once described my publishing career as a great roller coaster ride. There have been lots of highs, lows and startling twists in my 30 years of writing. After various rejections, my first book, CAPTURED BY A COWBOY, was published by Dell's Candlelight Ecstasy Supreme line. I'd just signed a contract for my second book when the line folded without warning, sending me spiraling from the top of the coaster to rock bottom with teeth-rattling speed.
     It took a couple years, but then I sold five books to a company called Meteor Publishing. The editors, royalties and author treatment couldn't have been more amazing. Authors got 1000 free copies of each title. Sales were so great that the company was bought out by powerhouse publisher that didn't like the competition. I'd just signed a 3 book contract when that line closed.


I followed my editor and contracted those books with Kensington's Precious Gem line. The experience holds a special place in my heart due to friendships made and because it served as a launch pad for so many favorite authors. BORN TO FLY, the first of my Prescott Pilot Series, was also my first Precious Gem title. The covers were all created by famed artist, Pino, and my career was on a new high. I wrote a total of six more books for the line before it, too, folded. I still miss working with the editors at Precious Gems and have kept in touch with fellow Gem Authors, thus Gems In the Attic! 

        The next climb up my coaster was to Silhouette Intimate Moments. I published two books with that line before it got renamed Harlequin Romantic Suspense. Harlequin still owns the rights to my last contracted title, UNDERCOVER VIRGIN. (PS, not my title and the heroine wasn't a virgin until she went to New York, but that's a different story.) Another quirky twist to this title, the cover you see here was the correct design, but somehow the front and back cover art got switched in print production. The finished copies had them reversed. Only the electronic cover is correct. Strange twists and turns in this industry!

     Digital publishing came to roller coaster land a few years ago. I worked with several well-respected companies, and a couple of them still own copyrights, but they may be closing, too. When publishers go out of business, an author's rights revert, thus making the titles eligible for reissue. Digital publishing is a great venue for reissuing books. The boom in digital publishing has exploded beyond expectations with the introduction of self-publishing programs at all the major online bookstores.
      Indie publishing became my next monster hill to climb. It was a long, hard challenge with endless hours of hair-pulling frustration, but ultimately a great boost to my career. It's now possible for me to control the title, cover art, pricing, word count and special sales. I've even taken charge of audio production for most of my books, yet there are a lot of highs and lows that come with those benefits. 

        Now I feel I've reached a plateau with my newest release, ZACK'S RANCH, the third book in my BRIDLETON series. I don't want to do my own publishing because of the enormous amount of time it takes to make books available at all online bookstores. So, I'm launching ZACK'S RANCH via the Kindle Scout program. It's a platform where readers choose which books get published: kindlescout.amazon.com 
        My Kindle Scout campaign starts tomorrow, March 19th. Then the following link will be activated. I imagine it's in the Pacific time zone.  https://kindlescout.amazon.com/p/3p7jvacjnjzua4     
         Please stop by to read an excerpt and decide if you'd like to see it published. For more information about the series or my work, feel free to visit my website at BeckyBarker.com and enter my monthly readers' contest.  
     Post a comment below for a chance to win a digital preview copy of ZACK'S RANCH! Until next time, take care and keep reading!

Hugs, Becky

www.BeckyBarker.com
     


      

        



                                        

24 comments:

  1. Good morning! This is a test. :-)

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  2. Hi Becky! You're coming through loud and clear! I'm excited about your Kindle Scout submission. I've been considering trying that out myself, so I'm eager to see how things go for you. I'll be there tomorrow to read your excerpt and vote! Good luck to you! and wonderful post, too. The writer's journey posts here are really inspiring.

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    1. Thanks, Maddie! I love the writer's journey posts, too. A lot of us have similar stories!

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  3. Hi, Becky. I didn't know that about Meteor. I remember when it folded, and how upset people were--definitely makes me understand why! I used to love reading them, too, and I'm pretty sure my first rejection ever came from them.

    Good luck witht he Kindle Scout program (it's on my list to try, too). I'll go vote tomorrow!

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    1. I appreciate the help with Kindle Scout, Liz. It's a totally new venture for me, so fingers are crossed!

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  4. Hi, Becky. I remember Meteor! It was one of the go-to publishers in its day. We've come a long way, haven't we? Good luck on the next part of your journey.

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    1. Jan - Meteor really was a dream publisher. Now I'm hoping Kindle can be as satisfying! Thanks for the support.

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  5. I've always been so impressed with the way you pioneer new things; digital publishing, indie publishing, tackling your own web site, audio books... I'll be anxious to hear how Kindle Scout works for you. Best of luck, Becky!

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  6. Thanks so much, Janie! My life is one long adventure in trial and error. LOL.

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  7. Love the writer's life story! Will be anxious to hear about kindle scout.

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  8. Love the writer's life story! Will be anxious to hear about kindle scout.

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    1. I promise to share the details once I'm more familiar with the program, Kathleen.

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  9. Becky...so many of us who landed with Precious Gems have been on the same rollercoaster! I'm one of them and I feel you!

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    1. So true, Bonnie. No one can claim it's boring!

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  10. Oh the joys of being signed...only to learn later that the line is closing. Been there; done that. Those words are the bane of our existence. Thankfully, you hung in there.

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    1. I'm stubborn that way, Patricia. Besides, writing is just what I do. LOL.

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  11. Several years ago, a couple of other long-time published authors and I were sitting around chatting the topic became how many lines/houses we'd closed (actually that had closed while we were writing for them ). Between the three of us, it was over 50 lines/houses. Lines come and lines go. Thank goodness, authors stick to the process and keep writing so we can enjoy each others' great books!

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    1. Jo - there have been an amazing number of lines come and go over the past 30 years. I think it makes for stronger friendships.

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  12. I've had almost as many ups and downs as you over the last 20 years but have now found my bliss. Please remind us tomorrow so we can vote on your Kindle Scout. I know yours will be the best.

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  13. Thanks, Cheryl! I'm glad you've found your bliss. I've been pretty content with the Indie Publishing, but not the actual process. LOL. I'll definitely post a reminder.

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  14. I related, Becky! I'm happy your career has been basically steady. That's an accomplishment! Your books sound interesting!

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  15. As Jo mentioned, there are a whole lot of authors who share a similar career path. LOL.

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  16. Becky, good luck with Kindle Scout. It's yet another fork in the publishing road, but it's kind of neat that readers have a hand in the selection process. Like I said, GOOD LUCK!

    Another writer that remembers Meteor Publishing . . .

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  17. Becky, I loved your author's journey story. The link you gave didn't work. I'll email you for the right one so I can vote. Good luck!

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