Path to Publishing by Lynn Cahoon:
Hi, I’m Lynn and I’m a digital author.
One summer day, I was reading Brenda Hiatt’s Show Me The Money blog. Sitting on the deck with my husband, I declared, I’d never sell to a small e-press because my work was worth more than the $300 average earn-out authors were reporting. I was making that for two short stories, with a lower word count.
Fast forward a year and I just got the final, thanks but no thanks from HQ on a manuscript they’d been considering for over a year.
Discouraged, I didn’t know if it was my writing or just not a match to that publisher. I was in Idaho visiting family when the letter came. After he read the rejection over the phone to me, I told my husband I was going to submit it one more time. He was dubious.
The next Friday evening, I sent out a query to a new e-publisher that had put out a submission call. (Yes, I know how to party.) An hour later, I had a request for a full. A week later, I was sitting at work when I got the offer. I remember turning to my cube mate and saying, “I think I just sold my first book.”
Being schooled in the romance publishing industry by my RWA chapter and friends, I thanked the editor for the offer and told her I’d let her know soon. Then I started researching this new publisher. Crimson Romance was part of the F&W Media family. In the end, that one point along with the fact I’d read somewhere that getting in on the ground floor with companies was a great way to start, I signed my contract.
To date, The Bull Rider’s Brother, the story I sold March 2012, has brought in more money than any of the subsequent titles I’ve contracted. I don’t know if it’s the story, the sub-genre (cowboys are hot), or the publisher.
The same week, I got an offer for a romantic paranormal novella. A Member of the Council was picked up from a contest my new publisher had run. Now, I had a dilemma. Branding would be next to impossible if I sold both. How do you sell yourself as an author of cowboy and witchcraft romance?
However, I jumped and took the offer.
Since that March, I’ve sold four more romance novels, a short for an anthology, and, in March of 2013, three cozy mysteries. All e-books, most with POD editions.
Why am I working in the digital world instead of desperately seeking a traditional publisher? Actually, I’m doing both. I have a manuscript I’m shopping with agents. And if that one doesn’t hook one, I’ll write another and try again. Rinse and repeat.
However, while I’m waiting for the big break, I’m learning. I’m learning how to edit, with or without an editor. I’m learning how to market and promote not only my books, but myself. Best of all, I’m writing. And with each book, I’m becoming more aware of my voice, my story telling style, and more comfortable in my own skin as a writer.
I was ecstatic when offered the contract for The Tourist Trap Mysteries from eKensington. I am working with a terrific editor who knows the business. The process for their e-line is a lot like for their print line. I have an opportunity to move the series to print with an advance based on sales. As with most things in life, my future is in my hands.
With a little luck.
So today, I am a digital author. Will that be my path in a year? Or even a week? Who knows. Last week I found out that one of my publishers has been sold to Kensington. So now, I have two less book for sale on the digital shelves until the new contracts are signed.
Welcome to the ever-changing publishing. It’s an exciting time to be an author. I often remember that summer afternoon and my declaration. I have learned one lesson.
Never say never.
Title: The Bull Rider’s Manager
Publisher: Crimson Romance
Date Published: November 19, 2012
Genre: Contemporary Romance – Modern Western
Word Count: 50,000
Barb Carico’s all about business. Now that her best friend tied the knot with Barb’s new business partner, she’s busier than ever. Managing Jesse Sullivan’s career and public persona can be a handful. Add in an aging mother who goes through home health nurses like candy, Barb’s hanging on the edge.
Her one salvation? Hunter Martin, prodigal son of Martin Family Dairy and, hopefully, Jesse’s next sponsor. After his brother’s death, Hunter's become an instant dad to his seven-year-old niece. For Hunter, the rodeo weekend with Barb is the perfect excuse to relax.
When their dinner turns into a quick trip to a Vegas wedding chapel, both Barb and Hunter agree their nuptials were a mistake Barb doesn't know anything about being a wife or mother but she needs one favor. A favor she'll trade her lifestyle, independence, and even risk her heart to make come true.
If flying was hell, waiting to fly was purgatory. Their plane should have taken off an hour ago. And even though they were on hold, Jesse Sullivan still hadn’t graced the airport with his presence. Barb dialed Jesse’s cell again and immediately got his answering message. “Damn, Jesse—where are you?”“No luck?” Hunter Martin, prodigal son of Martin Dairy Empires—and potential sponsor for her perpetually late client—opened his blue eyes and looked at her. Barb had thought the man had been asleep when she’d pulled out the cell one more time. She pasted on a smile she didn’t feel. “Just his voice mail. Maybe he’s stuck in traffic?”Hunter raised his eyebrows. “In Boise?”“It happens,” Barb shot back. “He’s been staying at his brother’s spread up near Lucky Peak so maybe a logging truck accident slowed him down.”Hunter shook his head. “Really?”“It could happen. Those trucks fly on those narrow roads.” Barb sighed. “I think you’re stuck with me for the flight. I don’t think Jesse will make it.”“I’m not going to complain.” Hunter’s smile was slow and sexy. He closed his eyes again. “Shake me if they announce our flight. I didn’t get much sleep last night.”Barb smiled. I bet you didn’t. Hunter Martin was known in Boise social circles as a player. Or at least he had been. All Barb really knew about the thirty-two-year old bachelor was that he liked the Country Star bar—well known for its line dancing classes and generous beer prices—better than the upscale places downtown. She’d seen him at Country Star a few years ago and man, the boy could swing. In all her years around the rodeo, Barb had never been able to relax enough to let her partner lead her around the dance floor. But she felt the music, even if her dancing would put her on a reality show for the Worst Dancers in America.
Lynn Cahoon is a contemporary romance author with a love of hot, sexy men, real and imagined. Her alpha heroes range from rogue witch hunters to modern cowboys. Her heroines all have one thing in common, their strong need for independence. At least that’s what they think they want.
Learn more about Lynn Cahoon at:
Guidebook To Murder – Book 1 of The Tourist Trap Mysteries releases April 17, 2014 – Pre-order Now -