Although this has not been a secret, it’s also not been something about which I’ve made an official statement, so I wanted to let readers know that, yes, I will be self-publishing the entirety of the Vie en Roses series.
Kensington did make a four-book print and digital offer on this series, and I truly appreciate their efforts to negotiate with me, as I threw up all kinds of obstacles to a new contract and they really worked hard to find compromises that would work for both of us.
However, I’ve experimented with both self-publishing and traditional publishing at this point, and I am very interested in testing out self-publication of an entire series.
I’ve been able to find a great editorial team to work with me, and the control over my own output and creativity has been incredibly revitalizing.
Sales on the two self-published Chocolate books, which are more than double the sales of the traditionally published Chocolate books, also suggest that this is a better move for readers. My guess is that you all appreciate the ability to obtain ebooks at a price of $3.99-4.99 rather than $8-10. That makes sense to me. I also find $8-10 a lot to spend on an ebook. There’s just something about the digital aspect that makes it very hard to do.
I am somewhat concerned about the fact that the books in the Vie en Roses series are unlikely to appear on bookstore shelves, but print readers will be able to order them, through the vendor of their choice, so I certainly don’t think established readers will suffer. (If you think you will, I’d love to hear from you about why and how. Definitely let me know what I might be missing!)
Whether it will affect my long-term discoverability is something to be tested. Obviously, to have the best of both worlds, I would like for these books to be on bookstore shelves, too. However, given that my previous self-published books sold twice as many copies as the books on bookstore shelves, I don’t think it’s a good idea at this point in time to give up anything in order to obtain that bookstore shelf presence. Certainly not to give up all rights and control, as current publishing contracts require.
I especially think it is a bad idea to sell away rights given the state of flux of the publishing industry. I’m really not sure anyone should be signing away rights for books for any period longer than three years right now, because we have no idea what things will be like in three years. My guess is that an author’s rights will be worth a lot more than a traditional publisher’s ability to place a book on bookstore shelves by then, but then my experience suggests those rights already are worth a lot more.
(Anyway, while publishers might contract to certain print runs, it’s worth noting that no publisher guarantees actual print distribution in a contract. They can’t. If you’re an author, double-check your contracts. It is fashionable, these days, for traditional publishers to talk about what they provide authors—editing, distribution, etc.—and yet not a single one of those things are in the contracts that bind authors to give up all rights and control of a literary work they produced in its entirety.)
All that said, in terms of discoverability, I would definitely appreciate any and all reader word-of-mouth during this more extended self-publishing venture. (But I already appreciated that! Reader word-of-mouth is the best thing to happen to a book ever. Thank you!!)
Since you are unlikely to wander past a bookstore shelf and spot my next book, if you are interested in future books, I really hope you will sign up to be emailed for new releases as the best way to spot that a new one is out.
And as I try this new experiment, I want to thank so many readers who have helped make these past eighteen months since The Chocolate Thief first came out such exciting ones. I hope you’ll understand my need to keep control and ownership of my work and that you’ll stay with me on this next venture!
I’m in a constant process of evaluation in what is still to me a very new world, so of course I’ll let you know if any plans change. But for now I’m very much looking forward to sharing the Vie en Roses series with you! We are looking at an August release date right now for the first book in the Rosier Family Quartet, which contains the central four books of that series (or perhaps collection would be a better word).
And keep your eye out for a couple of novellas in the Amour et Chocolat collection…and perhaps even a historical one day. (Perhaps. I’ll keep you posted.) Again, to know when those come out, sign up here. (It’s painless, and also you get to be in our monthly Chocolate Club. Oh and get a special extra scene with Dominique Richard from The Chocolate Touch dealing with the aunts from The Chocolate Kiss.)
May I just say how happy I am to be writing in a time when I can reach readers directly, and to thank all of you for being readers. Because, well…I love readers. I always feel as if we have some secret code of happiness I wish we could share with non-readers, too.
Happy reading! May you find many wonderful books! It’s an exciting time to be an author and it’s an exciting time to be a reader, and I’m glad we’ve spent some time together on the same page. I certainly hope we’ll see more of each other.
All the best,
(PS My husband said not to show you all that second photo because I look so weird in it, and really, truly I don’t look that weird most of the time. I think. But in the other one in that vat of roses I look like an insane person about to commit Murder with a Handful of Roses, so I really had very little choice. I just wanted to show how very amazingly incredibly awesome the research on this Rose series has been. This is from a few years ago, actually, when I first started. That’s not my hand, in the first photo. It’s the hand of Joseph Mul, patriarch of the most important family in rose production in the Grasse area, who was kind enough to let me research with him.)