Monday, September 18, 2017


We were blessed to be published by two small independent publishers. The owners of both became dear friends as well as our publishers.

The first company was sold when the owner could no longer run the business due to Parkinson’s disease. This situation was sad and distressing since we cared about the people involved.

We stayed with the new publisher since they had seven of our titles. So far, they seem okay, if indifferent, but we haven’t seen any royalties for months. However, getting our rights back would cost us more than we could make in several years. So, the books will stay where they are—for now.

The second publisher had a stroke about two years ago. Again, we felt terrible because she is a dear friend. In addition, she created a new imprint for my book. Besides being published by her imprint, I did a great deal of editing for her.

We have prayed for her recovery and continue to hope she will be able to resume her work, but after nearly two years without royalties, I felt I had no choice but to take back my book.

I contacted the cover artist to find out who owned the cover art. Some artists license their covers to the publishers and retain their ownership. Others create the books for the publisher. The publisher pays for the cover and has ownership. This was the case with my cover. Thank goodness because it is my favorite cover.

The first sample I received in no way reflected the story. It featured two half-naked people against an orange sunset. I loathe the color orange, and the cover looked like it should have been for erotica. Not at all like my book.

Larry mocked up an idea, and the cover artist took it to a whole new level. It completely reflects the story.

I contacted the publisher and requested my rights back. In addition, I asked for the cover rights in exchange for any money I am owed. Bless her. She gave me full rights in writing as well as the cover art and the PDF of the book as submitted for publication.

Then came the hard work. Fortunately, I have a program with an OCR (Optical character Reader). I was able to convert the PDF to a text file, so I could create a new Word file. The downside is in the conversion, all the formatting is lost. Occasionally, words are lost or wrong. Therefore, a complete edit is necessary, along with new formatting. But at least I had about 95% of the text intact.

I contacted the cover artist again. I offered her a small amount to remove the publisher’s information, and she agreed to do it as well as size the cover for the new book.

I tried to format the book to closely resemble the original so the transition would appear nearly seamless. This took lots of time and effort, but the result was worth it.

Once I had the complete manuscript and cover, I was able to self-publish it as a second edition. For this one, I added a new section in the back: Book Club Questions.

The book is now available again on Amazon as a second edition, and I am happy to have complete ownership of it. From here on, I will have complete control of the book without depending on anyone else.

Since I did this one, I have also converted two books for a friend. They had been published by the same publisher.

I anticipate we may have to do the same for the other seven books. Someday, we will probably have all of our books self-published.


  1. I am so thankful that my two books will be going the same route. This has been a difficult time.

    1. The decision hasn't been easy for any of us. It would have been easier if we didn't care so much about our publisher.

  2. Isn't that an interesting twist? Most new writers want traditional publishers and do not to self-publish.

    1. When we wrote our first book, we had it with an agent. He kept it for months and then told us he didn't know where to pitch it. After giving it to another agent, who still couldn't sell it, we decided on subsidy publishing. Thereafter, we were blessed with two small, indie publishers. But we decided we had more control in self-publishing. We are very happy with the decision.