The thing about grieving, some say, is that there is no thing about grieving. No single thing anyway. No rules for how long it goes on. Today author L.A. Starks shares what happened after the initial punch of her grief. (Explained in Part I of this Moment.) And what she makes us realize is that just as there is no discrete end to the grief process, so does the act of “making it” continue, one step at a time.
The sudden, untimely death of publishing guru Linda Houle in July 2013 led her business partner, Lisa Smith, to close down the 200-author, 350-book publisher L&L Dreamspell. I was one of those two hundred.
All of us grieved for Linda and expressed our condolences to her family and to Lisa.
We began to make other plans, looking for new ways to keep our books connected to our readers.
The first cold reality was that vendors took Dreamspell e-books offline immediately—something which demonstrates that an e-book can indeed go out of “print.” As an author, there is little more difficult than seeing a much-labored-over e-book vanish. Then, wholesale distribution channels like Ingram and Baker & Taylor also began shutting off Dreamspell books.
Our print editions do continue in limited runs on the resale market and on consignment at understanding independent and national bookstores. (For example STRIKE PRICE is available in print from online vendors at Amazon and at several bookstores on consignment.)
Yet starting over, for that’s what’s ultimately required, has also taken forms such as self-publishing and sending manuscripts for approval to new publishers with whom Lisa Smith connected us. Yes, the dreaded query letters.
Some with books that don’t fit those publishers’ genres are finding other e-book and print publishers.
The Dreamspell authors maintain a group loop. We cheer news of each new blog, success, and book release.
My own recent “made-it moment” happened in August in a Swiss hotel—itself a setting ripe for a thriller—by e-mail. Traditional, royalty-paying e-book publisher StoneThread accepted the first two books in my series and asked for more!
Literally a few days ago, 2013 StoneThread published the all-platforms e-book edition of 13 DAYS: THE PYTHAGORAS CONSPIRACY!
The e-book edition of STRIKE PRICE is due out in 2014. I am outlining book three of the series, with more planned.
The resolution isn’t complete. While a limited print run of STRIKE PRICE survives, I will soon need a new one, somehow. Yet this remaining hurdle only reminds me how excited I am about my own, fresh made it moment.
L. A. Starks was born in Boston, Massachusetts, grew up in northern Oklahoma, and now lives in Texas. Working more than a decade for well-known energy companies in engineering, marketing, and finance prepared Starks to write global energy thrillers. In addition to her two Lynn Dayton books, 13 DAYS: THE PYTHAGORAS CONSPIRACY and STRIKE PRICE, two of Starks’ short stories have been published by Amazon Shorts. Her nonfiction has appeared in Mystery Readers Journal, The Dallas Morning News, The Houston Chronicle, The San Antonio Express-News, and other publications.