Saturday, August 04, 2007

Where are they now?

Recently, I looked back a couple of years to the Yahoo Group messages of the publisher of my science fiction story, Trinity on Tylos. My contract has seven more months, but I’ve been considering the feasibility of trying to resell it to another publisher. One of my author friends recently pulled two titles which she had with WCP and placed them with other publishers very quickly, so I decided to see where the WCP authors of 2005 have gone. I chose that year, because the standard contract with this publisher is two years, which means that all of those folks now have the option of going elsewhere. Some of them are still at WCP, of course, but many have moved on. I listed the first 20 authors who posted information about their books or publishing activities during the early months of 2005. Three of the twenty have several current titles with WCP, and one author has a single title plus an anthology title. Six of the twenty no longer have any titles with WCP. Many of these authors seem to be in transition. Three writers who had only one title with WCP have moved that title to other publishers. Mardi Gras Press, Black Velvet Seductions, and Vintage Press picked up these former WCP titles.

Writer “A” had several titles with WCP, but she recently pulled all her titles with the publisher; however, this prolific author has 2 older self-published books still available, and has a recent title with Liquid Silver Books as well as two with newcomer Mardi Gras Press.

Writer “B” has two eBooks with WCP, but her newer print title is with LBF books. Writer “C” had multiple titles at WCP, but only one is still for sale; she does have 14 titles with Midnight Showcase. Writer “D” has no current titles with WCP but now has two with Samhain. Writer “E” still has three titles with WCP, but her newer works are one title each with Liquid Silver Books, Phaze, Loose ID, and two with Samhain. Writers “F” and “G” each have a single title with WCP, but other books which are self-published. Author “H” has three current titles with Amber Quill Publishing and a couple with 5-Star, but no current WCP titles.

Author “I” is really prolific, having a “debut” novel with Zebra this year, a novel with Medallion this year, and five eBooks with Double Dragon. That ePub lets authors get a paperback version at Lulu.com, which seems to be a far better plan than the Pawprints option that we have with WCP.

Writer “J” has one title with WCP, but her new title is with Wings, which is a very similar company, using the same printer. Author “K” rounds out the survey of twenty authors. She has a one current title with WCP, one forthcoming from WCP, and another forthcoming at Wings and four others which seem to be self-published.

Some of you are saying, Pam should have created a chart. If I knew how to do that for a blog, I would have. I did notice that Samhain and Mardi Gras either picked up old titles or got newer titles by former WCP writers. Also, as I checked publishers and availability, I noted that Samhain and Mardi Gras titles are around ten dollars, which is more in line with real world pricing, and the authors didn’t have to pony up a fee to get into print either. Perhaps the authors who moved in their direction are seeking a more author friendly contract. Unfortunately, both of these publishers are closed to submissions except by invitation, which basically means you need an “in” to get consideration.

One reason to consider WCP may be that they are open to a variety of genres and they have not closed submissions, even briefly, as yet. Having to pay a fee for very limited paperback distribution and ultra high pricing continues to be a thorn in the side for WCP authors. If you can get a referral, the best bets seem to be Amber Quill, Samhain, or Mardi Gras [Update: Mardi Gras Publishing closed this week, reportedly filing for bankruptcy protection]. Science Fiction and Fantasy authors who are willing to do ePublishing might also consider Double Dragon, which is apparently taking submissions for 2009.

In case you are wondering, I haven’t decided what to do!

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