- by Leslie Langtry
I’ve posted before on how I put my backlist up as ebooks. It’s turned out to be a remarkable opportunity and I love seeing the sales every day. Now I’m getting ready to do something even harder. I’m going to continue a series I started with a publisher – a series without a home – and publish the next book by myself as an e-novella. Sounds crazy? It feels that way. But I’ve designed the cover and fleshed out the story and am writing it so clearly I’m crazy enough to try.
Self-publication is something I never thought I’d do. I wanted my books to be vetted through the traditional publishing model. I needed someone to say, “That sucks,” or “A duck can’t do that mid-air with an eagle,” and so on. But this series is one I love, and one the fans keep begging for more stories from. I’m no longer with that publisher and my agent didn’t think a publisher would want to take it on being the fifth book in the series. So, I’m doing it myself.
It was weird at first, selecting the main character from the family in the series. After my first book, my publisher told me who to write about next. I’m not saying it wasn’t easy – because I have a very vocal group of fans who clearly wanted one man’s story. Coming up with the plot wasn’t too much of a problem. The character had been well-established in the other four books, and I decided to do this book novella length instead of full length. That took some of the intimidation factor out of it.
The writing has come easily – like meeting up with an old friend (an old friend who remembers your need for chocolate and martinis). And since I’ve designed the cover and have formatted and submitted four other books to Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Smashwords, I’m not worried about that. No, the biggest fear for me will be editing.
I was lucky to have a phenomenal editor at my last publisher. I’m not sure how this is going to work out. I’ve heard many success stories about authors who not only put up their backlist, but previous projects that have never been published. When I think of the crap I wrote before I sold my first book, I shudder. Still, maybe there’s something in there to comfort me. After all, ebook sales are exploding. Maybe it won’t be so hard after all.
I’ll let you know how it goes.