It’s a brave new world in publishing. New boutique publishers, traditional publishers’ new digital imprints and self-publishing are offering authors more options than ever before. But what is it like to juggle multiple options? We invited RWA past president, Amy Andrews, to tell us…
A TALE OF THREE PUBLISHERS
Firstly, let me just say how thrilling it was to attend the Gold Coast conference this weekend just gone. I’m suffering from beach and female-chit-chat withdrawal and my bed just wasn’t the same last night after the cloud-like comfort of my giant one at the QT.
I’m so excited about the absolute buzz that pervaded the conference – that it’s never been a better time to be an author (particularly a romance author) with all these new options open to us. New digital lines both here and overseas and finally finally Australian publishers telling us – we want your stories!
Yes, we have choices now. And you know what? You’d be mad if you didn’t explore and grab hold of every single one. The key, these days, to longevity in this business is diversifying. And I’m happy as a clam to now be working with three publishers.
So who are they and how do they stack up?
In case anyone didn’t hear my squeeeeeeeeeeeeeee from the bar on Sunday night at the conference, my Indulgence published by Entangled Publishing has just gone live. Taming the Tycoon had a gooooorgeous cover and well, who doesn’t love a good tycoon?
Entangled are the new kids on the block but they are making a huge impact with phenomenal success. They are young and smart and small enough still to be quick and nimble and their willingness to adapt swiftly to market has been inspirational. And their philosophy of “no book left behind” is heart-warming to authors who have suffered through decades of “throw it against the wall and see if it sticks”. I cannot speak highly enough of my experience with them.
I’ve written 29 books, both for the Medical and RIVA/Presents Extra/KISS lines for this hugely successful international publisher. HMB have defined “romance” for decades and need no introduction. One of the highlights of the conference was receiving my 25th pin on Thursday night at the Harlequin authors dinner which included some lovely words from my gorgeous London ed Lucy. For eight years they have taken my stories to the world – THE WORLD – with translations in over a dozen languages. In a world dominated by the 50 Shades hype that tells you you’re intellectually inferior to enjoy romance, I have loved being part of the Harlequin family and am proud to call myself a Harlequin author.
Writing single title is an entirely different beast to writing category romance but some things never change – the relationship with your editor. And working with Anna Valdinger on the tandem novel Sister Pact I wrote with my sister has been a truly wonderful experience. From edits to story direction to cover concepts it’s been an interesting ride being out there in the Australian market with all the other “big” books but she’s been with us every step of the way. The local market is much smaller and much, much harder to “crack” and that had been a true learning experience. But I’m so happy that it’s opening up to more of us.
I consider myself extremely fortunate to have three different, diverse publishers who are invested in me. Me. So my advice is to get yourself out there and take advantage of all the new choices that are around today. And don’t lock yourself in to just one place. Once upon time that was the done thing but remember, this is your career and you have to do what is best for you.
And sometimes that means sharing the love :)
Amy Andrews writes category romance for both Harlequin and Entangled and contemporary women’s fiction for Harper Collins Australia under her real name Ali Ahearn. She was on the RWA national executive for six years during which time she organised two conferences and undertook a two-year term as president. You can read more about her at www.amyandrews.com.au