authors acting as business people

When E-Publishers Go Out of Business?

When e-publishers go out of business it can be very upsetting to authors and readers, especially on an emotional level. Authors who work with e-publishers almost always have good experiences and they become both loyal and attached. Sometimes we even get blasted because we’re so loyal to our small e-publishers. But you just can’t help becoming emotionally attached to the people you’ve been working with for years. Even though you may never meet many of these people in person, you still can’t help bonding sometimes.

However, the reality is that e-publishers like all small businesses can go out of business. I don’t think it’s a surprise by now to mention that loveyoudivine.com is one of them. Here’s what’s up on the web site:

Going Out Of Business! We want to thank all of our loyal fans and customers for 8 great years of bringing you your favorite titles. Join us for 25% off until June 30th, 2013. Thanks again.

To say that I was upset when I heard this would be a huge understatement. I’ve been working with LYD for almost seven years and I’ve come to trust and depend on them in many ways. They allowed me to do things I never would have been able to do with other LGBT print presses at the time I started with them. They weren’t the first e-publisher I ever worked with, but when I started to build a relationship with the owners and the staff and realized how happy I was working with them I just continued to build my list. Thanks to them I’ve been nominated for TLA Gay E-book awards, and more than one title has hit bestseller lists…always when I least expected it. And some of their other titles by other authors have won awards like Lambdas.

Working with Loveyoudivine.com was one of the most positive experiences in my writing career, and I’m very sorry to see them go. It felt like home.

But I do understand and life does continue, and we all have to move forward. I’ll be getting the rights back to all of my titles with LYD at the end of the month. And I had to make a decision about what to do with them. I thought about shopping them to other e-publishers I work with. I thought about shopping them to a few new interesting e-publishers I’ve seen pop up in the last year or so. And I will be working with one of my developmental editors from LYD in the future with a new venture she’s starting this year. But those will all be new titles, and I just couldn’t decide what to do with my backlisted titles from LYD.

The ultimate decision I made wasn’t simple because it’s going to be a lot of work. But I have thirty-two titles with LYD and I don’t want them to disappear. I also want to have more control over them now. So I’ll be re-releasing them myself, through Ryan Field Press, just like I published Chase of a Lifetime and my other indie books. And I think readers will probably benefit from this the most because I will release them all as .99 e-books. I’m leaning toward the Kindle lending program for the first three months, too. I like the concept of lending, and I’d like to support that for at least three months.

Although I would have had the option to self-publish five years ago if my e-publisher had gone out of business, it wouldn’t have been as viable as it is today. Five years ago I would have definitely shopped the titles to other e-publishers without thinking twice. But things have changed a lot since then, and now I do have a viable option in self-publishing.

So that’s how I’m going to deal with this for the time being. I love and support all e-publishers, and I hope to continue to work with them. In a perfect world, all small e-presses would thrive and no one would ever go out of business. But this is the third time it’s happened to me. And I’ve seen it before with other e-presses. So if and when they do go out of business I want to know that I have a back up plan. I want that empowerment. And I’m hoping my readers will benefit from the decision I’ve made to re-release these e-books for .99…and the freedom I’ll have in the future to offer more events and promotions. I’m also looking into selling my e-books myself on my own web site. That’s a little more daunting, but I do think it’s going to be an even more viable option for authors in the near future.