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Taking the Slow Road

TamaraHogan_EnthrallMe_800pxWhen I originally scheduled this blog post some months ago, my plan was to celebrate the release of my fourth Underbelly Chronicles novel, ENTHRALL ME, and to extol some of the merits of taking the slow road to publication.

Well, unfortunately, ENTHRALL ME’s road to publication is going to be even slower than I anticipated.

The book is finished, ready to go – but for reasons having nothing to do with the book, and everything to do with career planning, I’m not going to publish it yet. 

A little bit of background…after being named a 2009 Golden Heart finalist and winning the 2009 paranormal unpublished Daphne, my first manuscript, then called UNDERBELLY, was acquired by a traditional publisher in a three-book deal. The first two books of the series, TASTE ME and CHASE ME, were published in 2011 and 2012. Though award-winning and well-reviewed, sales did not meet expectations. My publisher canceled the contract, with rights to the third contracted manuscript reverting back to me. I self-published that book, TEMPT ME, in late 2013.

TEMPT ME was award-nominated, well-reviewed, and sold as well as its predecessors did – and hey, money is good, right?!?  But in hindsight, I wish I had waited to publish that book. The reason? According to the terms of my traditional publishing contract, rights for the first two books remain with my publisher until sales fall below a certain threshold. By releasing and promoting TEMPT ME, I drove sales to my traditionally published back list, DELAYING reversion of rights for the first two books of the series I really want to continue writing. I anticipate the same thing would happen if and when I release ENTHRALL ME. 

So, ENTHRALL ME will not be released today.  

Sorry, fans. It kills me to go even longer than I already have without releasing another Underbelly Chronicles book – and never fear, I’m already plotting the fifth! – but publishing-wise, I’ve decided to put this series on the back burner until rights to the first two books revert back to me. Though I’m proud of Wyland and Tia’s story, releasing additional self-published titles in this series isn’t a very smart business decision.

I’m in this for the long haul.

In the meantime, I’m starting to world-build an Underbelly Chronicles sci-fi erotica spin-off series! These shorter, hotter 2016 works will be published more frequently, and I hope they’ll fill the gap for readers as much as they will for me. 

In 2016, I’m rebooting my career on  my own terms, and challenging myself in ways I cannot yet reveal. 😉  But I’m SO excited about what the new year will bring!

What are your writing and/or career plans for 2016? Any new, scary challenges?

-tammy

 

21 responses to “Taking the Slow Road”

  1. Addison Fox says:

    Tammy – the new series for 2016 is exciting news!!!!! And definitely put me in the impatient toe-tapping category as we wait for ENTHRALL ME!! 🙂

    Addison

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  2. I think there’s something to be said for finishing up Book 5 and putting 4 and 5 out close together (after getting your rights back to 1 and 2, hopefully). I noticed the momentum in my sales numbers definitely increased when I released a couple books nearly back-to-back. Good luck!

    And 2016 sounds exciting and mysterious! Can’t wait to hear more. Over the next couple months, I’m finishing up the three books I wanted to release back-to-back and then I have a decision to make. There are several paths I could go down, but I’m not sure which I’ll choose. Exciting and scary at the same time! 🙂

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    • Tamara Hogan says:

      Anne Marie, I very much look forward to seeing the rights to the first two books in the series revert back to me, then rebooting the series, and my career, on my own terms. (My agent and I are working on it!)

      In retrospect, I think I let short-term factors, namely ego and contest season, influence my decision-making process about self-publishing TEMPT ME. I was getting email from readers asking when the next book in the series would be released – which felt good, especially given the cancelled contract – and what RWA member would NOT want to enter the Rita or the Daphne if she had an eligible book? Horrors! 😉

      Not having published a book since Oct. 2013, choosing not to publish ENTHRALL ME today was an easier decision to make.

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  3. Elisa Beatty says:

    I’ve been looking forward to this post since I first saw the title on our blog calendar…. I’ve definitely been a “slow road” writer career-wise. For the most part, I’m glad I’ve taken my time. It’s hard to get a foothold while the ground beneath us is constantly shifting.

    *Headesk* on the way the self-pubbed book slowed down reversion of your rights on Books 1 and 2. Sigh. (And might the hotter shorts drive up those sales again, too?) I feel weird saying it, but I hope your first two books stop selling entirely, soon!!! I’m eager to read the next installment in the series. Once you get them back out self-pubbed, with book four and hopefully five out there, too, you’ll build all kinds of new momentum.

    For me, 2016 will hopefully be a big year for my recently-launched erotic romance pen-name. I put two books out three months apart this past summer, and the historical one is definitely outperforming the contemporary one. So I’m trying to get the second in the historical series out around Christmas. Then another in the spring, along with an even hotter separate historical book that may require yet another pen name.

    I’ve got quite a bit of momentum-building ahead of me in the months to come…and I’m trying to take a faster road than the one I’ve taken so far.

    Good luck to us all!

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    • Tamara Hogan says:

      –> I hope your first two books stop selling entirely

      Elisa, {{kisses}} someone had to say it. 😉

      The last year has been one of serious introspection for me. One thing I’ve come to realize is that I’ve allowed factors over which I have no control influence too many of my recent career decisions. In most areas of my life, I question conventional wisdom, and march to the beat of my own drum if the prevailing rhythm doesn’t feel right.

      Why should my publishing career be any different? 😉

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  4. Tammy,

    I was wonderfully fulfilling to read your post this morning. As of this month, I’ll have been out of the market for an entire year. It has killed me to hold onto books, and keep them away from readers. But next month rights to my first three books start to come due, and I’ve been staying waiting patiently to get them back so I’ll have the three all together.

    It’s a long term strategy which has often felt self-defeating, but I know will be all for the good in a couple of months!

    Thanks for sharing this part of your journey. I so needed to hear it. 🙂

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    • Tamara Hogan says:

      –> It’s a long term strategy which has often felt self-defeating, but I know will be all for the good in a couple of months!

      EE, I hear ya. Sitting on the bench, taking myself out of the game for awhile, definitely feels self-defeating in the short term – especially when I look at 2015 earnings. Ugh! But it’s the long term that counts, and there’s definitely a light at the end of the tunnel!!

      I can’t wait to see more EE books released into the world!

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  5. Janet says:

    Thank you for sharing the nitty-gritty business details too many writers shy away from mentioning–and that goes for all the Rubies.
    I love both the realism and the optimism you guys provide us.

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    • Tamara Hogan says:

      You’re welcome, Janet. One thing the Rubies want to do here at the blog is provide information that other writers can use as they navigate their own career paths. Another thing we want to do is remind ourselves, every day, that it was a love of WRITING that brought us to publishing in the first place. It can be hard sometimes to keep that pleasure and joy front and center, but it’s important, and we try.

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  6. Yes, the writing business is so convoluted. I wish we could just write great books and publishers would champion them and readers would buy them without all the business tactics making us have to delay releases and market on our own. But alas…that’s writing in a fantasy world.

    Good for you, Tamara, for figuring out your career plan. When you’re ready to reveal, please blog about it. I need to re-invent myself too. : )

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  7. Elizabeth Langston says:

    I completely understand this decision, Tamara. Really, I do (and that’s all I’m saying on that topic 🙂

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  8. Laurie Kellogg says:

    Good plan, Tamara. Although, I fear anything you self-pub may drive your traditional sales. How long do they need to be down before your rights revert?

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  9. Wow! What a sneaky little detail. Sucks that you have to wait, but your response to Laurie makes sense. Blamara Blogan sounds like a great pen name. 😉

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  10. […] Today at the Ruby Slippered Sisterhood, I talk about why I’m choosing to postpone the release of Underbelly Chronicles Book 4, Enthrall Me.  ;-( […]

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