So, my novel no longer has a publisher. But, all the same, this is an optimistic post, because in the wake of the awfulness, something marvellous has happened.
But first, to tell you the story: I never thought I’d be asking a publisher for my rights back, but that’s just what I did last week.
If you’re not part of Romancelandia and you missed the furore, here’s why I, along with lots of other authors, felt I had to part ways with Riptide: https://amp.theguardian.com/books/2018/mar/19/romance-so-white-publishers-grapple-with-race-issues
Yes, my publisher was Riptide. I signed my novel Salt Magic, Skin Magic with them last year. They hadn’t published it yet, so it was a simple matter of requesting my rights back. Normally, an author would be charged for breaking their contract, but under the circumstances, Riptide was offering rights back for free. They emailed me a few days ago, ceding all rights to Salt Magic, Skin Magic.
Am I gutted? Yes. Salt Magic, Skin Magic would have been my first published novel (though I do have a novella out with MLR Press). When Riptide accepted it, I was so happy I walked on air for a month.
Do I nevertheless feel it was the right thing to do? Absolutely.
And what now?
Well, it’s been an amazing time. Following the second Riptide statement, there was an outpouring of support on social media from other authors, editors, cover artists, book promotion services and the like – all offering help to writers leaving Riptide. Some were offering their services for free. Some at cost or with a hefty discount. Some were offering to pay certain costs to allow authors to self-publish. So many people volunteered to help authors like me that I still feel a bit overwhelmed – and very grateful to author Amelia Faulkner who created the initial post to make it easy for people to offer their help.
I thought I was on my own again – just a writer with a book and no publisher – but to my amazement I now have a new editor for Salt Magic, Skin Magic – none other than the talented KJ Charles (!) who offered her editing services for free for one author leaving Riptide. I can’t tell you how grateful I am for her generosity, and how lucky I feel to have her as my editor. If you’ve read any of her books (which I strongly encourage you to do!) you’ll understand why I’m so excited. Knowing I’ll have her experienced eyes on my book feels almost better than having the book accepted by Riptide in the first place!
And what shall I do once the book has completed the editing process?
Frankly, I don’t know. What do you think? Should I approach another publisher? Self-publish? I’m still trying to decide. But that’s a post for another day.
And for those of you who are familiar with KJ Charles – OMG! She’s editing my book!!!! Can you BELIEVE it???!!!
But it’s great, right?