I announced my first novel-length publication contract back in April of this year. The contract was with Strigidae Publishing, and I’m sad to say that this is their last day of being in business.
They’re closing their doors.
It’s because of some health problems with one of the lead folks. I know the details. For his privacy, I won’t go into the details here. I will say that it’s the right decision. The folks over at Strigidae are good friends of mine, and I want the best for them and their health.
In a word about this turn of events: sadness.
I’m not angry or upset or vehemently outraged at losing out on a chance to get my novel published.
I’m, quite simply, sad. I think I’m more morose for Strigidae than I am about my publishing prospects. This is because I know the love of the written word that press holds (and will hold until their last breath… perhaps beyond). I know that stepping away from their publishing house was one of the hardest things they’ve had to do, and I wish them all the best.
For me and my novel?
Well, when I heard the news a week or three ago, I posted about it on Facebook. The outpouring of support, offers of assistance, and general friendship warmed my heart.
Beyond the general support and “being there with me” posts, the following has happened thus far:
- A good friend of mine is an editor at a mid-sized press. He immediately reached out to me and asked to see the novel. Of course, I sent it his way as soon as the rights reversion letter hit my inbox.
- Two friends of mine jumped to help and told me to query their agents (with a name drop) in case something opened up in that vein. I’ve sent the queries, and one of them has already resulted in a full manuscript request.
- One friend offered to do a book cover for me if I decide to go the self-publishing route. I’ll definitely keep her in mind if I go that route. I’ve seen quite a bit of her layout and graphics work. It’s top notch!
- Another friend sent me her list of services she provides for folks traveling the self-pub road. I checked things out, and it gave me a concrete list of things I have to consider if I self-pub… most of which I can do on my own or with minor help.
- Lastly, yet another friend, dropped me a link to his small press and an invite to submit. I checked it out. I like their sample contract, and I’m keeping the offer in my back pocket for now. I’m going to see if the agent and/or editor thing works out from the above offers.
As you can tell, the writing community I’ve immersed myself in is packed (I mean, packed) full of people willing to jump in the deep end and help out a fellow author who might be flailing in the deep end. This is my tribe, and we stand strong together for each other no matter what happens.
The selfless offers of help and the loud and strong voices of support in these trying times are what keep me going. I’m sometimes blind to it and get down on myself for not having accomplished more in the 10+ years I’ve been serioiusly working at becoming an author.
If someone out there sees me with blinders on and focusing on the negative, slap me hard enough to knock the blinders off.
This experience has certainly done that.
To my friends at Strigidae Publishing. May your business merely be on a lengthy hiatus for now, but if it never rises from the ashes, I want it to be known that I deeply cherish everything you’ve done for me during the decade we’ve known each other.
Here’s to many more decades down the road!