A week or so ago, I submitted my latest manuscript to Bold Strokes Books. I’ve suspected for some time that they would reject it, not because the manuscript is not a quality, well-written story, but because the three books I’ve published with BSB have poor sales records.
And in fact, that’s just what happened. I received an email from BSB rejecting my manuscript based on prior sales data. They will continue to support/sell the three books I’ve published with them—Buddha’s Bad Boys, First Exposure, and The Plane of Bitter Honey—but they will not published any more of my stories. And they released me from their First-Right-of-Refusal clause in the contracts for all my future works. I’m now free to peddle my stories anywhere.
I’m not altogether sure why my books didn’t sell at BSB. I know it’s partly because I’ve become a lazy on the marketing front. But I also feel it’s partly that BSB focuses on paperback sales, and less on ebooks. I sold five to six times as many copies per book at Dreamspinner Press, and most of those numbers were ebook sales. Also, I had built up a following at Dreamspinner. BSB is predominately a lesbian publisher, and their audience, I fear, is mostly ladies who like to read about ladies. My books are not their cup of tea.
Yesterday, I sent a query letter to Dreamspinner Press, and I’m hoping they accept this manuscript because it is a sequel to a book they have already published—Butterfly’s Child. Also, I’ve always enjoyed working with the folks at DSP. They are competent and supportive. The only reason I switched to BSB from DSP was I was branching away from romance, and at the time, DSP only published romance.
I’m feeling good about this move. Like I said above, I was expecting this. I’m just hopeful Dreamspinner Press will give me a chance.