First there was the euphoria of holding the paperback version of my latest novel, “Double Deception,” in my hands. Although the publisher, Amber Quill Press, had final say on the cover, I loved their design. I loved their publicity, their blog, and my first spate of sales.
I loved doing my first book signing at Here’s The Story, (Your Hometown Bookstore) in Union, NJ (the town where I taught high school English, creative writing, theater, and TV production for many years). Former students and colleagues as well as new and current friends, neighbors, and strangers showed up. All the books that had been ordered did sell, and some people came with copies they’d purchased online. Friends brought champagne. I was ecstatic. Life was good. I signed a second book contract with Amber Quill Publishers for “Rima and Chloe” to go to press in the next few months.
Then without warning, the boom was lowered. I got this email from the publisher.
“Amber Quill Press will cease all business operations at midnight, March 30, 2016. The website will be taken down at that time. This means that access to your bookshelf and your account profile's order history will end as well. It has been our pleasure to bring you quality reading material through the books we've sold you over the years. We thank you for your support and loyalty. Amber Quill Press”
I couldn’t believe my bad luck! Just like the publisher (Digital Pulp Press) who had published my first novel, “Crimson Ice,” Amber Quill was going out of business! This couldn’t be happening twice. But it was. So my third novel, “Rima And Chloe,” is out in the cold. So is “The Summer Cousins” (even though it was a contender in the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Contest and won two Best First Chapter Contests). Boo hoo hoo.
I’m not ready to self-publish (although I did a hard-copy version of “Crimson Ice” after the publisher went out of business, and I compiled all of my published short stories and plays in a collection called “Fateful Encounters”). The problem is that self-publishing (although it’s easy) doesn’t have the cachet or publicity of a traditional (even a small press) publisher.
And to think I “divorced” my agent right before signing the contract with Amber Quill because she didn’t seem to be working hard enough for me. What was I thinking? At least I could say, “My agent says. . .” or “My agent suggests. . .”
Back to the drawing board.