Snip, snip, snip…but don’t throw away!

For CCThis post is by Nancy Jardine

It’s that kind of day today. Up nice and early, off to the hairdresser- her first customer of the day. I’m fairly pedestrian in that it’s generally a case of ‘take off an inch’ all over. I like a no fuss, no frills hairstyle of the ‘wash, blow and go’ variety. However, sometimes I surprise myself by agreeing to something a little bit different.

Go purple? Not again. Been and done that for a charity day at school some years ago. wig(Have to admit it was a lovely colour and I looked well as a Scottish thistle 🙂 )

Blonde? Don’t think so. Grey …sometime…soon maybe ( *wink, wink and a smiley face here.)

But sometimes a change is ideal when things need a bit of a shake up. This morning I got the top shorter and the sides a bit different. Was I delighted with my new hair?

Cringe…I got exactly what I had asked the stylist to do but when I climbed into my car for the

journey home the view in the interior mirror told me I wasn’t actually that sure about the wide sweep away from my cheeks.

Hastily scrubbing the hair towards the front made some kind of compromise I could live with. (Sorry – no selfies till I shampoo tomorrow)

Right now I’m also doing a bit of snip, snipping in my writing.

Last week I had to make a huge decision about my contracts with my first publisher. The contract durations had overrun their courses. Did I want to continue the status quo, or should I call it quits with them?

My two contemporary romance novels with my first publisher were always in both ebook and print versions. The slight problem for me, as an ‘overseas’ author was that on Amazon.com my print books were set at around $12.99. On Amazon UK, the price was just a change of sign to £12.99 and that was way too high priced for a paperback. It’s not surprising that they didn’t sell well in the UK, since I wouldn’t pay for a paperback at that price. The ebooks were languishing too, so I withdrew my publishing rights.

That left me wondering what the heck to do with the stories?

I pondered if I should approach another publisher and just try for an ebook version instead of print and ebook? Or…should I take the plunge and self- publish on Amazon?

The deciding didn’t actually take much time.

Those two stories are contemporary mystery romances and had to go through quite hefty edits before they were published. Originally not nearly romancy enough, I had to add in a lot of new heavily sensual details to satisfy my editor. Now the situation is reversed. Since I need to publish a different version of the story, I went back to my original manuscript which is without most of the ‘heaving bosom’ details. I am so glad I don’t tend to throw things out, and that goes the same for my writing- although I never envisaged back in 2011 that this situation would transpire.Don’t throw away your originals!

So does that mean I think my story ready to self- publish? Not by a long chalk.

It’s amazing just how much I believe I’ve learned about writing over the last few ‘writerly’ years. I’ve started a nice snip, snip, snipping process and hope by tomorrow (or next week, at the rate I’m working these days)  I’ll have the same basic story to self- publish but a very well manicured one. Not a ‘number 2- gosh I’m now bald’ haircut, but hopefully a compromise I can live with.

I guess I might also need to have a new name for the story, as well as a new cover design?

Does anyone reading this blog have any advice to give me in this new (ish) venture? I’d love to find out what other authors might have done if they have faced the same situation.

Nancy’s Published Writing is available from:

Amazon

Also from Barnes & Noble, Waterstones, Crooked Cat bookstore and other book/ ebook retailers.

new banner May 3 2014

Have a great weekend!

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24 Responses to  Snip, snip, snip…but don’t throw away!

  1. I admire your tenacity, but have no advice. I don’t have the courage, knowledge, or money self publishing requires. However, I what to wish you good luck in your new venture, (or should I say adventure).

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  2. Doris says:

    I have a writer friend who self-published her own work-started a publishing company to do just that. Now she has been picked up by a major publisher and while thrilled, she has kept the same name for the books, but added all the things that time and hindsight brought.

    That ‘s the best I can do for an opinion. I am happy that you can now tell the story you intended all along. Best. Doris

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  3. katewyland says:

    Always an interesting conundrum when changing hair styles or publishers. It may take a while to get used to the new.

    It’s amazing how much we learn as we go along, isn’t it? Snip, snip isn’t the half of it.

    I’m surprised you could get your rights back so easily. Good for you. It’s nice that self-pubbing allows you to go back and do things the way you want.

    I’m not sure about changing the title. I hate finding I’ve just bought a re-titled reprint of book I’ve already read. I think you’ll need to make it clear on the cover that it’s a new edition of an existing book.

    Good luck with your new venture.

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    • Nancy Jardine says:

      I agree about finding you’ve already read something that seems at first to be different- I hate that as well. Your other advice is great, too. Thank you, Kate.

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  4. I’m like you, Nancy. As the gal in those old Pert commercials used to say, “I want to wash my hair and go.” Good post.

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  5. sstamm625 says:

    I wish I had advice for you, Nancy, but I’m newer at this than you are. I self-pubbed my (so far) only novel, so haven’t had dealings with publishers and revisions. It’s all been at my discretion. It’s good to have that option though, isn’t it, and not just have your book go out of print? Good luck with your decisions and your snip-snipping.

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    • Nancy Jardine says:

      Thanks, Stephanie. I could have left the stories with TWRP, who were wonderful to publish me in the first instance and would have kept publishing them. I’ll be ever indebted to them for their help and learning curve. However, it’s time to try something new and like you, make it my own responsibility. TWRP had no problem with me reversing the rights and were so nice about it. (no currency enchange for royalties might mean its easier and financially better for them as well?) On to the new, but I’m open to all advice now about self-publishing. 🙂

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  6. I love self publishing. It’s freeing and scary at the same time. You have more control.

    I wouldn’t change the titles because as a reader I get annoyed finding out I bought the same book with a different title.

    You would have to change the cover because the original cover would be owned by the publisher. Unless you can get the rights for the cover, which some authors have been able to do, I would search for some cover artists. There are a lot of them out there. Prices range from $85 to holy cow you want that much? for custom covers. The lady who does my covers is reasonably priced and does amazing work. Generally, I’ve seen custom covers to be around the $85 – $300 range but I have seen them much higher.

    There are lots of resources out there. Forums and online email groups you can join. If you want to know about any of them let me know!

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    • Nancy Jardine says:

      Hi Cindy- thanks for he advice and for your offer of further help. (will get back to you if I need to) 🙂 I know about needing a new cover and need to publish a ‘different version’ of the story. I’ve also had to scurry around this week and remove the TWRP version from my web and blog sites, and anywhere else which has the covers for advertising. Now that has not been easy, since I’ve joined so many places! Another thing to watch out for, that was unanticipated!

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  7. Wranglers says:

    Nancy, great fun post. I think Cindy helped to answer some of your questions. I hate hair cuts too. I may love them in the beauty shop, but they never look the same. Glad you kept your originals. Cher’ley

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    • Nancy Jardine says:

      I’m glad too, Cher’ley, that I’ve got my originals. Now I need to stop holding the baby and get on with the great advice given here. 🙂

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  8. Kathy Waller says:

    I sympathize about the hair. I’m going to a writers’ retreat in August and am trying to schedule haircuts so when the time comes to leave, I’ll be neither bald nor shaggy. As for advice–my experience with publishing is nonexistent. I don’t understand, though, why those books are priced so high in the UK. You’re not exactly foreign there. Some kind of tax or tariff thing? (You see, I really don’t know anything about publishing.)

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    • Nancy Jardine says:

      I never understood why the pricing was the way it was, Kathy, but it was the same for all of the ‘overseas’ authors regardless of whether it was Amaz UK, or Australia, or a European site. It was a straight dollar swap/ number same. My choice wasn’t just made on the low print book sales- it was time for a restyle. For the coming weeks I’ll be doing a combination hair and book growing. Good luck with your perfect hair time for the retreat(which sounds excellent)!

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  9. Great post Nancy. I never throw out my writing – even the first drafts. It has helped me tremendously in the past. I like the way you tied haircuts in with writing. Well done and very interesting. Good luck!

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    • Nancy Jardine says:

      Thanks, Linda. It’s authors like you who make me believe I can do the self- publishing thing myself. You’re a great support!

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  10. erinfarwell says:

    You are brave (purple hair) and wise (dropping your publisher). I know you will make whatever decision you make into the correct one. You have that type of perseverance. 🙂 Good luck.

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    • Nancy Jardine says:

      I guess I need to write- watch this space- Erin. 😉 Thank you. Being purple in class was a hoot …but it got old quickly.

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  11. Nancy, sorry for getting on so late. You’ve received so many really good comments. As for the haircuts, yep, been there, done that. More than a few times I’ve arrived home from the hairdresser and couldn’t wait to wash my hair and fluff the heck out of it. Wrong choices in hair cuts only last about six weeks, but writing career choices can last much much longer. You are so right in weighing out the pros and cons of your situation. I self-publish and I do feel I have the freedom of time and material. The good thing about self-publishing is that you’re in charge – The bad thing about self-publishing is that you’re in charge. Like Cindy suggested, I would keep the title the same. I’ve seen comments on Amazon by readers who get mighty irritated after buying a book they’ve already read. Good luck, Nancy.

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  12. Nancy, this is a great post — thoroughly enjoyed it! I am looking at something similar with my first book, which was done through a self-publishing company and which I’m looking to re-do via CreateSpace on Amazon. I am creating covers (like the one for Devotions for Dog Lovers) through a product called Cover Lover that my husband found — it has several templates and is quite easy to work with. I’ll see where he learned about it and get back to you. Good luck with your new endeavors — so many avenues we have as writers these days, and (like haircuts) it’s exciting and scary at the same time!

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  13. Nancy Jardine says:

    Scary indeed, Gayle. I’d really appreciate the info on Cover Lover if you can source it- thank you. I’m at the writing/editing stage just now but the cover has to be considered, too.

    Like

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