Wednesday, October 05, 2016

The Insecure Writer's Support Group - It's a Crap Shoot

It’s time for another edition of The Insecure Writer’s Support Group, founded by Ninja Captain, Alex J. Cavanaugh.

And we have changed the qualifications for the Anthology Contest. Entries can be between 3000-6000 words.

September’s question of the month - When do you know your story is ready? 

When I’ve gone over it a hundred times and I’m just making little cosmetic changes, then I know it’s done.


When I began as a publisher, I knew one of the challenges would be selecting just the right stories to produce as books. It’s a crap shoot sometimes. Some of our titles have not done as well as expected.

I quickly discovered, that’s only half of the equation. It’s a crap shoot picking just the right authors to bring on board, too. Not all of them are willing to promote their books as whole-heartedly as needed. (Or find someone to help.) And it’s not just promoting, but ease of working with, their connections, etc.

When the two line up, it’s gold. We’ve had a couple best-sellers. And I’m banking on more. (Obviously, as we now have SIX releases between now and the end of the year.) Coming up soon is Cling to God: A Devotional by Lynda R. Young on October 17 and Mâtowak: Woman Who Cries by Joylene Nowell Butler on November 1. Three other books will follow.

But this week, our big release is...

Bloodwalker by L.X. Cain

Lightning flashes. Another child disappears...

Zorka Circus’s big top roars with laughter and cheers, but when it moves on, children vanish.

Circus Security Chief Rurik suspects a killer hides among the performers, but they close ranks—they’ve always viewed lightning-scarred Rurik as the monster. He must find the culprit before anyone else disappears and his home is destroyed by the murders.

Into Zorka Circus comes the Skomori clan, despised as gravedigging ghouls. A one-day truce allows bloodwalker Sylvie to marry. Instead, she finds a body. Alerting others will defy her clan’s strict code, break the truce, and leave her an outcast.

When more bodies turn up, the killer's trail becomes impossible to ignore. Rurik and Sylvie must follow the clues—even if they lead to something unimaginable…

“...captivating shocker... Cain immerses the reader in the working life of a struggling circus and in the daily chores of a fascinating, albeit fictional, Slavic folkway.” - Publishers Weekly

$18.95 USA, 6x9 trade paperback, 284 pages, Freedom Fox Press
Fantasy/Paranormal (FIC009050) and Horror (FIC015000)
Print ISBN 9781939844255, eBook ISBN 9781939844262
$4.99 eBook available in all formats

Purchase the print version at Barne & Noble / Amazon /BAM / Powell’s / Dancing Lemur Press LLC
Purchase the eBook version at Nook / Kindle /iTunes / Kobo / Dancing Lemur Press LLC - Mobi & ePub


The Insecure Writer’s Support Group 2016 Anthology Contest is open until November 1st. Don’t miss your chance to be in a royalty-paying anthology.




When do you know you’re done? Did you realize publishing as a business was such a crap shoot?

74 comments:

Mason Canyon said...

Congrats to Lexa on the new release. The cover grabs your attention and makes you wonder. To me, publishing would be a difficult business in wanting to help every author but knowing some aren't up to the task.

Thoughts in Progress
and MC Book Tours

Natalie Aguirre said...

I have come to realize that publishing is a crap shoot. Interesting to think of it as one for a publisher too, which is true. Awesome you have so many books coming out. So exciting since I know some of the authors.

Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

There's definitely a lot of risk in choosing a catalog to publish. Looks like you've got a great list for fall!

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Mason, that's the hardest part. I want to help, but the sensible business side of me has to say no to those who aren't ready.

nashvillecats2 said...

There's more to puh;ishing and writing that meets the eye, always something new ready to be revied, someone's hard work. Loved the post Diane.
Yvonne.

Crystal Collier said...

I'm so stoked for Lexa! And what a crazy time. 6 releases before the end of the year? Holy cow. Just one is enough to kill me. Wishing you sanity and cheese!

C.D. Gallant-King said...

Congrats on the new releases!

I actually took a publishing class years ago taught by president of the Canadian branch of a big-5 publishing house, and even he admitted that publishing was a huge crap shoot. While you have a few reliable, consistent authors/titles, you really count on (and pray for) a couple of books to hit really big, because you go in knowing that most of your titles are going to lose money, and you need those big hits to pay for them.

So yeah, I envy your courage and determination!

IWSG October

Nicola said...

I congratulate you on all the fantastic achievements so far! I've enjoyed reading about the new releases and think you're doing a great job!! It's also lovely to see you releasing books from the super writers in IWSG too. Wishing you continued success.

Chrys Fey said...

I have my fingers crossed for all of DLP's upcoming releases.

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

I've had this same discussion with my publisher many times. My first few space opera romances sold huge and then the last couple not so much. Then the books I think are my best writing, my fantasy novels, haven't sold that well at all. I guess we'd all be rich if we could figure it out.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I'm glad my crap didn't get shot.

Heather M. Gardner said...

Best of luck with all your releases and GOOD LUCK to L.X. Cain!!!
HMG

Carol Kilgore said...

These all sound like winners for you and the authors! Love the BLOODWALKER cover!

Bish Denham said...

Congratulations to Lexa!

A hundred times... I'd be have seizures, I think. At the very least my eyes would be crossed. But then... I know that's what it takes, and then some.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Crystal, I'll be a busy little beaver the next 2 months.

CD, and he was right.

Susan, sometimes it makes no sense.

No Alex, you're one I can rely on.

Bish, and if I could do it again, I'd revise 100 more times.

Christine Rains said...

Yay for Lexa! Definitely when it's all just nitpicking, you know the job is done.

Hart Johnson said...

Man, you are onto something. Part of my hesitance is also what it takes to promote well. So much work. Anticipating having to do that may be part of what holds me back from calling something done.

Tony Laplume said...

That's the thing, publishing really is a crap shoot. But you can at least put forth the stuff you most believe in.

Joylene Nowell Butler said...

You've brought up points that I've never thought of before. Getting me to think outside the box is always a good thing. Now I just need a bankroll so I can buy the computer of my dreams. Haha. I'm thinking positive thoughts. Thanks for all you do, Diane. Congratulations to Lexa!

Ellie Garratt said...

Lexa's book sounds amazing. I'll adding it to my Kindle!

Deciding which books and authors to publish must an incredibly hard job. I don't envy you.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Diane - must be interesting being on the other side of the fence ... and it's great you're around for your advice and wisdom re the business. Good luck with all your acceptances for publication ...

Cheers Hilary

Meka James said...

Congrats on your upcoming releases and on the best-sellers you've had.

The newest release sounds like it will be a real nail-bitter. :)

emaginette said...

Looks to me like you've found the magic. :-)

Anna from elements of emaginette

Tyrean Martinson said...

Congrats to all of your authors!!!
I think it's marketing, but sometimes I think it's also the market and what readers are ready to purchase.

Tamara Narayan said...

I totally believe you on the crap shoot thing. There is so much luck involved. I'm also jazzed about reading Lexa's book. I love spooky things like this.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Ellie, it's not fun saying no.

cleemckenzie said...

Congratulations on getting this up and running. I know you're going to make a success of it because you've got some excellent writers in your stable.

Cathrina Constantine said...

Congrats to Lexa and to your publishing company, Diane!!!

Michelle Athy said...

It must be tricky to figure out who you want to work with and what kinds of stories you want to help bring out into the world--but also a lot of fun, too!

Elsie Amata said...

I think I'd be that person who would be difficult to promote with. I'm just not that person to run around and say,"Buy my book!" It still feels foreign to me. Maybe after I've gotten another one under my belt, I'll feel more confident.

Good luck and congrats to L.X. Cain. Also, very cool cover!

J E Oneil said...

Promoting a book seems tough. I have no idea how to go about doing it. But I'm sure you're a great publisher to work with :)

Sheena-kay Graham said...

Very interesting getting this month's question answered from a publisher's perspective. Thank you Diane and Congrats to both you and Lexa.

Diane Burton said...

Best wishes to Lexa and to you for all your releases.

Chemist Ken said...

As a publisher, you're probably in a better position to recognize when a book is ready than most of us. Wouldn't it be great if you had a service that could tell us when our books are ready?

Then again, maybe that's what an editor is for. Congrats to Lexa!

Jemi Fraser said...

The publishing biz is tough to understand and navigate! Always so tough to tell what is going to be a hit :)

shelly said...

YES. IT IS A CRAP SHOOT. CONGRATS TO LEXA!

Beverly Stowe McClure said...

I'm trying to catch up on my reading to be ready for these new books when they come out. Need to get busy and order them. Nothing like a good book on a cold winter day.
May I say thank you for all the work you do to promote your authors. You are the best.

Ann Bennett said...

Life is a crap shoot. There is no such thing as the sure thing. I'll have to look up some of your titles. I've read Joylene and starting on Alex's book.

Lynda R Young said...

A big congrats to Lexa!!! I'm super excited for her!
And thanks for the mention for my devotional. So scary and exciting at the same time. I hope I do the book justice on the marketing side.

farawayeyes said...

I've never thought of publishing as a 'crap shoot', but then I have read some published work that I thought was crap and some unpublished work that nobody would look at, and yet I enjoyed it greatly. I also, never really thought about the aspect of working with the author. Just goes to show all i DON'T know. On the other hand I do think of the prospect of getting your work published as a crap shoot where the odds always favor the house.

M Pax said...

Congrats to LX Cain! I'm sure she'll be a hit. Congrats to the other upcoming releases!

Dean K Miller said...

It's great to watch your publishing company grow and be successful. The latest book is a great storyline and I'm sure will do well.

Carolyn Howard-Johnson said...

I love your support group logo. Or would you call it a badge? Alex and L. Diane are a walking team of support.

lifepostbrainhemorrhage said...

I believe you when you say it's a crap shoot. Congratulations to Lexa on her release. It was an awesome read. I can't wait for the devotional to be released. Good stuff! Hugs to you from NY now. :)

dolorah said...

Its hard enough being an author, I can't imagine the pressure of being a publisher/editor/panel judge. Eeek, I'm getting all jittery scared just thinking of the venture.

Vanessa Morgan said...

Glad to see that Lexa has a new book out. I just LOVE the cover. I hope it sells like crazy.

Patricia Stoltey said...

You just never know what's going to grab a reader and make him/her start up a big buzz. I guess that's what makes publishing so interesting?

John Wiswell said...

Spending so much time in publishing has definitely helped me appreciate the unpredictability of acceptances and rejections. I've written stories that betas loved, that felt like the right fit for a market, only to get a personal note back that it's too much like something else they just bought and hadn't published yet. There are so many factors.

J Q Rose said...

We were in the retail business for 20 years. Making big decisions are difficult because one never knows the outcome. That's the challenge and what keeps life interesting. I applaud your support of authors and the choices you must make to keep a viable business not only for you, but for your authors.
JQ Rose

Loni Townsend said...

Woohoo! Congrats to Lexa!

Yeah, my friend helped publish a kids book for a local young author. She then found that the parents didn't want to do anything to promote, and didn't want the young author to do events or anything. And they were wondering why the book wasn't selling. Oy. Glad you've got a few golds!

Stephen Tremp said...

Best wishes to Lexa and Bloodwalker! And you've been busy with Freedom fox Press best wishes with everything.

Susan Flett Swiderski said...

Okay, you sold me. I just bought Lexa's book. It's been a long time since I read a good scary book, so I'm ready. I think...

It's gotta be tough for a publisher like you to select which books are worth the risk, but even more so when you like the author, and things get to feeling kinda personal. But there are a lot of writers... and readers... who are mighty glad you're willing to take those risks.

Cherie Reich said...

Congrats to Lexa! Her book looks so good.

I did know publishing is a crap shoot, so to speak. Some books take off. Others don't. It takes a lot of hard work and some luck.

Yolanda Renée said...

Lexa's book will be a best seller, I'm sure. She's an amazing writer!

Some say life is a crap shoot. I think they're wrong, everything takes work, but I do agree that the relationship between publisher and writer is important!

J.H. Moncrieff said...

Hell yes! to the crapshoot. It's so hard to tell sometimes why some books do amazingly well and others tank.

I've seen both Linda and Lexa working hard to promote those releases, so you can rest assured your two most upcoming books have a strong, dedicated force behind them to help you along the way.

And that Bloodwalker cover....so amazing!

Misha Gericke said...

Bloodwalker sounds like an amazing story! Congrats, Lexa!

The whole publishing industry is a crapshoot. Writers also have to depend on luck--even if they sell the book and do all the marketing in the world, they need all the luck in the world to have the right people read the story.

Arlee Bird said...

You can pick a story to death and never reach the perfection you might desire. Besides, ones standards of perfection or what is preferred can change as time goes on.

When marketing to the public you never know what will click with them. Even a heavy advertising campaign isn't a guarantee of big sales. Publishing or marketing anything is certainly a crapshoot.

Arlee Bird
Tossing It Out

Michelle Wallace said...

Congrats to Lexa!
I know DLP and FFP will go from strength to strength...you have a lot on your plate BUT you also have what it takes to balance it all, Diane!

Elise Fallson said...

Congrats to Lexa and all the best with your other releases, sounds like they'll do great. The publishing biz may be part luck, but I feel a lot of it comes from motivated and determined individuals. You definitely have what it takes!

Nick Wilford said...

I know a writer trying to promote their books tends to be a crapshoot, but I hadn't thought of it from a publisher's perspective, so to speak. If you believe in the story you want it to do well, but a lot has to come down to the author. I'm certainly excited for Linda and Lexa, I'm sure their books will do splendidly because they're both active on the marketing side.

Michael Di Gesu said...

Hi, L Diane...

CONGRATS to LEXA and YOU for publishing her story... What an AWESOME combination~~~ SO happy you have that magic combination... that in itself, is one in a million! ALL the best to both of you!

Nicki Elson said...

That cover for Bloodwalkers is SO intriguing!

Yeah, crap shoot's a good way to put it. For authors, choosing a publisher is the same thing - and I'd say the authors who sign with you rolled a...whatever is a really, really great roll in dice games. :)

Rachna Chhabria said...

Congrats to Lexa on her new release and congrats to you for publishing her book.

Mary Montague Sikes said...

Great cover for the new release! Good luck for great success. You must be a fabulous publisher!!!

lorilmaclaughlin.com said...

I can imagine what a struggle it must be to publish other writers' stories. I have my own publishing imprint, but I won't be publishing anyone other than myself anytime soon. Too much to deal with. Congrats again to Lexa on Bloodwalker, and congrats to you on all your publishing successes!

Sherry Ellis said...

A lot of it has to do with how well authors promote their work. I think Lexa's book will do well. She does a lot of promoting!

H.R. Sinclair, Southpaw said...

Bloodwalker will do fantastic! The cover the blurb, and Lexa's writing are fantastic.

Karen Lange said...

Congrats to Lexa, Lynda, and Joylene! Wishing them all well. When first getting into writing, I had no idea what the publishing industry was like. It really is an interesting journey. Lots of opportunities for character development. :)

Sandra Cox said...

Well said on publishing being a crap shoot.
Have a great one.

Rawknrobyn.blogspot.com said...

It seems as though publishing in any manner is a crap shoot. I'm not surprised it's a crap shoot for your business. You've been very busy - in a good way.

I'm cheering for Lexa.

Sandra Cox said...

You know having had a couple of best sellers is huge, Diane. How many publishers can say that? Kudos to everyone involved,especially author and publisher:)

Lexa Cain said...

I guess you just have to do the best you can, and then cross your fingers. And your toes. And anything else you have! LOL

Denise Covey said...

It must be excruciatingly difficult to know which stories to buy, but all publishers make good and bad (according to them--sales) decisions. Some of the big guys don't have huge successes all the time, or even most of the time. I'm sure you'll get sharper with your choices as you get more experience.
I just know Lexa's book is going to be a winner. Hope so. It's a great story!

Melissa Sugar said...

I never really thought of it as a crap shoot, but I guess agents, publishers and readers alike are all gambling on books one way or another. I can see how difficult it could be to choose a book for publishing. I suppose that since I'm not that far along and I haven't really looked into publishing, I don't know enough about it. I certainly enjoy learning from people in the industry like you. Congrats to Lexa on her book. I'm happy to see you have so many books coming out.