Or Sometimes Things Really Do Work Out For The Best
Around this time last year, I entered a contest with Lyrical Press. The prize? A critique of my book’s beginning.
Prior to entering, I had revised and workshopped the book extensively (as it was the first book I ever wrote), queried the book, capturing a handful agents’ attention, only to have them ultimately pass on my manuscript. I was at the point where I wasn’t sure what to do next, so I hoped this contest’s critique would tell me what the book needed to succeed.
I never did get that critique. Instead, I received an offer of publication. I couldn’t believe it. There must be some catch. But after doing my homework and scouring the contract, it felt like a reasonable way forward. No agent, no big-five romance publisher, but a respectable small press with a chance to get my story out there.
And while all the trappings of a traditionally pub’d route are important, at the end of the day, that chance—of having your work read—is all that matters. So I accepted the contract. It was digital-first, but I told myself that was okay because there was always a chance it could come out in print. Small chance, but chance nonetheless.
Last fall, once I finished my edits on the book, I learned Siege would be published both digitally and be available in print. I was thrilled. Even though I accepted a digital contract, in my heart of hearts, I always wanted to be able to hold my book in my hands. And now I would be able to.
Fast forward to January 1st of this year. Kensington Books acquired Lyrical Press. This was a scary and exciting time. Some authors were thrilled by the acquisition, others not so much when the new contract terms came to light. For outsiders to this process, it may seem like a no-brainer to sign.
However, as I’ve learned over the course of my publishing journey, writing is a highly subjective business. What works for one agent or editor does not work for another. It’s the same for writers. The mix of advantages and disadvantages a contract provides may be acceptable for one author but not another. Context is everything, and a contract can haunt a writer over the course of their career. So after much deliberation, weighing pros against cons, I signed the contract.
This means my book will be afforded every advantage Kensington provides its authors. I personally see this as an advantage since I’m still a relatively unknown author, struggling to get noticed in a crowded marketplace. And because of personal issues and not being able to promote the book the way I’d like to, having the Kensington name behind me can only help.
I took a chance in signing with Lyrical Press a year ago, but from my perspective it has paid off since in a few short weeks I’ll be able to hold my book in my hands, and feel, for at least a little while, the satisfaction of seeing this project come full circle.
For writers, there is nothing sweeter.