*sigh* I hate being negative. I’ve already lived through one publisher imploding, and now it seems I’m in the midst of possibly another. I’m not going to name any names (you can easily find the info online) or reiterate any problems I’ve had with them (my stories are similar to what’s out there) because I don’t want their bots to find my post. This particular post isn’t about them; it’s about my books. But if you really want to know, you can look at the covers I mention and find out easily enough.
Starting last year shortly after the release of Slick Competition, I began requesting the rights back to the books I published with that publisher. It had been a hard decision, but with things going awry, I decided they were no longer the best fit for me and my work. Add that to the fact that I’d signed with an agent, had been experiencing great success self-publishing, and had made other industry contacts it was the right decision for me. As of a month ago this is the only book I have left with them.
So why the post? I’m taking this as an opportunity to rebrand. The last time I had problems with a publisher (and make no mistake, the last time was a nightmare, and so far this hasn’t been as bad as that), the book in question was a y/a one. I took that opportunity to rebrand and put my y/a stuff under a different pen name (M.W. Muse) to differentiate it from my sexier work. This time, the book in question is an m/m. With the exception of a prequel I’d released as a free read to help garner sales for that book (at my own expense), I haven’t released any other m/m books.
All this to say I have decided to start a new m/m pen name and move the prequel, Straight Roommate, over to that as a standalone short story. I don’t relish the idea of taking on a third pen name, but as I’ve learned in this business it’s better for the readers when authors tighten their focus. Will I write more m/m stuff? I honestly don’t know. Any other m/m books I write will be branded with the new name, though, and if I get the rights back to Slick Competition, I’ll consider reworking it and re-releasing it under the other name (if I can work the series continuation into my already hectic writing schedule).
I count myself as one of the lucky ones. Several of my friends have a LOT of books with them, and with the future of that company being unknown, it’s a great deal of stress for them. Rather than worry, I’m taking this as a chance to tighten my focus (again LOL) and turn it into something positive.