It wasn’t supposed to end like this.
I thought that when I signed with a publisher, things would workout for me as an author.
Did I expect overnight success and wealth? No. (Sure, I dreamed about it; who doesn’t?) Did I expect movie deals and celebrities begging to star in my stories? No, of course not. (Again, yes, I dreamed about it.) Did I expect to be able to rest on my laurels? Nope to that too.
I did expect maybe a bit more security. I did expect to at least take my husband to dinner with my first royalty check, even if it did take a little time and a few more books before that happened.
I did not expect the company to announce that it’s closing its doors, especially not with the suddenness with which it happened. Especially without answers.
I feel abandoned. I feel betrayed. I feel disrespected. And I am not the only one. Many of us who wrote, edited, proofread, and designed under Booktrope’s umbrella feel as though the Powers That Be have abandoned us. “Please be patient,” they tell us. “We’re doing our best to work this out.”
I have no doubt they’re trying to work something out, and I understand that it may take time. But we need answers. We deserve answers. We have been left to our own imaginations–come on, we’re writers! What else do we do?–and have come up with all kinds of scenarios and conspiracy theories about what has happened and what will happen. And then they tell us to simmer down, to resist feeding into the rumors. Rumors of lawsuits, of bankruptcy, of aliens from another galaxy having taken over (Okay, that one hasn’t surfaced yet, but for all we’re hearing of the truth, it could have happened, right?)
But what else do we have? In the absence of any real information, of course rumors will surface. Or someone will mishear or misinterpret something someone else has said. And then the stress levels go up. I’ve seen posts from fellow authors that genuinely concern me, because this stress has resulted in worsening health issues, lack of sleep, inability to eat, or binge eating (FYI, there is a box of cream-filled donuts screaming at me from the kitchen, assuring me that they’ll make it all better.).
“Just keep writing. Just keep doing what you do.” I’d like to. I’ve tried to. But I can’t. The two books I have tied up with Booktrope are part of a series. I’m at a standstill with working on Book 3 because I don’t even know if it’s a possibility that those stories may not belong to me at this point. And without those two books, it’s pointless to write Book 3, isn’t it?
For someone who has had trust issues in the past, this is a horrible place to be in. I want to be able to write again, to publish again, but at what cost? I know without a doubt that I will never again trust my work to a publisher, traditional or hybrid. At least if I self-publish and screw something up or run out of money or whatever, I will know what happened. I will know who to blame. And I will know who to turn to in order to work things out.