Sunday, 27 March 2011

A public appearance and publisher disaster...

This segment is all about the trauma of my first 'coming out' as an author at my local sci-fi/fantasy con. And the Warder's Djinn was the stresser.

In the weeks before the event, I begged the EIC to have the book ready and released by the convention. It had been sitting in files for months, and each time I inquired about it, I was told that someone else was holding the books back.
When the week of the convention dawned, I was panicked. There was no sign of my title and I was freaking out. I had volunteered to do panels at my convention on writing, and with only one lost little book behind me, I wasn't really as impressive as the guest that was accompanying me. When you have a bestselling author next to you at a panel, you want to appear competent, but my hopes were slowly being flushed down the toilet.
Frantic emails were sent and assurances were given that the book would be up. (I later found out that the CEO had posted it to the website while the EIC had forgotten all about it for the ninth time.)
I did my panel on Sex in Fantasy, held my head high, and returned home after the convention to find that the publishing house I worked for had cracked in two over the same weekend I had just spent introducing myself to the world as Viola Grace.
Many stories were handed around, and I asked a few of the 'reliable sources' what had happened. Unfortunately for them, they changed their record of events between the first week and the fourth. This is why I keep all business related emails. People embellish, embroider and get creative.
Stick to the truth and you don't have to worry.

A strange thing happened in the chaos of that fallout. I panicked and asked to pull the books I had in the hopper, and the CEO called me for the first time. She asked me for time, gave me publishing dates, and everything I had was edited as soon as an editor could be arranged. 

Sick to my stomach, I wrote a series based on a character I called Nakedella. It was a fun flighty romp, and since I was unaware of dealings behind the scenes, I offered the book to the ex-EIC and she accepted it for her new company.

My publisher's CEO worked through the amazing backlog that she had been unaware of. She started over and I was surprised to find that my books were selling. 

It took nerves of steel that I didn't know I had to let the books come into the light, slowly but surely. They did, and I found out something that I had known all along. Sci-Fi erotica sells.

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