With the upcoming release of Disenchanted & Co. in French I've been getting some e-mails about when I might be returning to traditional publishing. Let me shed some light on the subject.
It took me four years to sell my last two traditionally-published novels. I had to leave the publisher I had worked with for fifteen years in order to get them published. Once I finally secured a contract, I also wrote a free promotional e-book, created a blog for the new series, solicited the cover quotations, took a booth at a national convention where I spent three days selling myself as well as the books, had countless giveaways, sent out review copies to anyone willing to read them, and did a (for me) huge amount of self-promotion in order make the new series a success.
I didn't resent any of it, as I think those books are among the best stories I've ever written. Shortly after the print publication of the second novel, however, I started to go blind. I did have to deal with that, which I think everyone can understand took priority over continuing the self-promotion.
When I finally recovered from two eye surgeries, my publisher indicated that sales of the books would not support any new releases in the series, and I was out of a job. I failed. I was finished.
That sounds like the end of the story, but for me it was just the beginning of a new one.
As I've always preached to you, I didn't give up. I went about finding a way to still work as a professional writer. It took some time, but eventually I succeeded. Three years later I'm employed full-time as a freelance ghost writer and copy writer. I've carefully built a list of terrific private clients who employ me regularly, treat me with respect, give me enormous creative freedom, and pay me quite well.
I'm really happy, too. I no longer have to deal with anything but the writing for the very first time since turning pro back in 1998. I realize now this is what I should have been doing all along, so it's actually a wonderful thing that I failed so miserably.
Some readers feel angry or frustrated with me for not doing more to deliver new books under my byline, and I'm sorry about that. I know many of you are supportive of my work, and for that I will always be grateful. If I ever publish under my byline again, it will be for you.
That said, I need to make a living, and (just like everyone else) I want to be happy in my work. That means writing stories and copy for my clients instead of my readers. So for now, I hope you will understand and be supportive of this new chapter in my writing life.