[I know of several LDS authors who’ve been dropped—sometimes mid-series—not because their new manuscripts weren’t well-written, but because their books just weren’t selling quite enough for the publisher. What do you do? Digital publishing gives you options. Here’s what a national agency did for one of their authors.]
Maybe a metaphoric “thumbing one’s nose” at a previous publisher? I’ll let you be the judge. In 2005, NLA client Shanna Swendson debuted with a wonderful fantasy chick lit novel called ENCHANTED INC. It was the perfect hybrid between the two genres and the world was introduced to the charming Katie Chandler who is trying to make it in the Big Apple but is so ordinary, she’s extraordinary. She’s so ordinary, magic doesn’t work on her.
Consequently, the small town gal from Texas is recruited by a magical company called Magic, Spells and Illusions, Inc. to be their secret weapon.
Three more novels in the series quickly followed to very solid sales. It used to be you could build an author’s career from there. Nowadays, sadly, it’s known as the dreaded mid-list and authors are often dropped by their publishers.
Much to our dismay, Shanna’s publisher declined to continue buying new books in the series. But get this. Shanna had a foreign publisher who loved the series and it had fabulous sales abroad. So Shanna’s foreign publisher contracted to have her continue writing the series. And she did. Meanwhile, for years I’ve been trying to convince her U.S. publisher to get back on board. No luck. The series still sells well but not well enough for the publisher’s bottom line.
I get it. It’s a business decision on their part. But hey, it’s 2012 and the whole publishing climate has changed. Just because the publisher said NO, doesn’t mean we have to stop. These books are amazing. Shanna can digitally publish them herself. Even have a physical edition available as well.
And that’s exactly what she’s doing!
The long awaited book 5, MUCH ADO ABOUT MAGIC, releases on August 15, 2012.
Kristen Nelson is President and Senior Literary Agent at Nelson Literary Agency. This article was taken from their recent newsletter and posted with permission. To get more great industry news, subscribe to their newsletter.