Hey there, all my Facebook Sweet Peeps may have already seen my SQUEEE! new cover designs on the nonfiction books. So over the next couple of weeks, I’ll post COVER REVEALS here on the blog. You’ve probably already seen them in the sidebar but this is the “official” launch…and a kewl offer, so keep reading! 🙂
First up–COMPLETE KITTEN CARE! The new cover version is now available in print and kindle on amazon, and other platforms soon. This was the first book that I “kindle-ized” and is a title that quite literally has had 9 lives (and counting). For writers out there, this experience possibly will give you hope. Some of y’all may have heard this before.
COMPLETE KITTEN CARE wasn’t the original title. Nope, I was asked to write KITTENS FOR DUMMIES when that brand was pumping out titles like…well, like kittens. After I turned in the manuscript to the editor, and she accepted it, the “For Dummies” publishing franchise was sold to another company, and a bunch of contracted books got cancelled. My editor simply emailed me the news–“sorry but your book has been cancelled.”
WHEN BOOKS GET CANCELLED…
I could have ranted and raved and thrown a fit. Instead, I re-read my contract and then sent back a reply to the effect: “So sorry to learn this disappointing news. Since the manuscript has been delivered by deadline, and ACCEPTED, I am entitled to payment in full of the advance as outlined in my contract, and full reversion of the rights. Please advise when I will receive the payment.”
Great lesson–always know what’s in your contract. Most are written in kitty litter so don’t take the first “boilerplate” they offer. Ask for better terms–they won’t shoot you for asking, and may even say yes! If they say “no” then you can decide whether to sign or not.
That same day, I emailed my editor for the “aging” pet books (from New American Library/Penguin) and offered the manuscript to her. The reformatted, re-titled book became COMPLETE KITTEN CARE. That book went on to win several CWA Muse Medallion and Special Awards from the Cat Writers’ Association for both the content and the photos, mee-wow!
Oh, and did I mention that I got paid a SECOND advance for the book, this time from NAL? And a few years later, when the “dummies” franchise rethought their titles, a friend of mine was offered the chance to write the kitten book in the series–which also won subsequent CWA awards. Kewl beans!
WHEN BOOKS GET KILLED…
This could have been the end of the story, but I promised you nine lives, didn’t I? 🙂 As happens with traditional publishing, when a book no longer sells as well it probably will be “remaindered.” That’s a fancy term for “killed” which means the book gets offered at a deeeeeeeep discount to get rid of left over copies, no more are printed, and it “goes out of print.”
Bummer. Hey, this was an award winning book! and the information actually is pretty ever-green. Remembering the lesson from before, I asked my then-agent to get the rights reverted to me…and then I did nothing for a year or so other than create a head-shaped dent in my office wall and invest in Kleenex with woe-is-me pity parties.
Enter Kindle. Actually, I came late to the party, but finally decided–what the heck? I stuck my furry toe in the digital publishing waters with COMPLETE KITTEN CARE, and learned not only how to properly format text but also pictures. Oh, and redesigned the cover because New American Library owned the original art.
WHEN AUTHORS GET REINVENTED…
That led to me partnering with Cool Gus Publishing to bring COMPLETE KITTEN CARE back into print and in other Ebook formats so y’all can read it via Nook or iTunes or however you want. And THEN, the next incarnation–AUDIO BOOK! You’ll notice that it’s my voice on the recording, too, since people seem to like hearing authors read their own nonfiction titles. All those years performing onstage paid off!
Also, next Tuesday, I’ll be giving away free codes to review the Audible version of the book, through this really neato service AUDIOBOOKBLAST.COM where you can sign up for free to receive review copies of whatever kind of book you like. (COMPLETE KITTEN CARE will be in the “general nonfiction” category).
That cover, though, was due a furry facelift. See, I used the same sort of “style” as the design on the original NAL print cover, and times have changed. Hence, the cover reveal for the updated look to match the spiffy updated content. And yes, the photos inside are now in color in the digital versions!
So do you know someone with a kitten in his/her future? Or perhaps a shelter that would benefit from having the audio version in their educational library? It’s kitten season! Please share this post with anyone you think would benefit from some SQUEEEE! cuticity and solid kitten care info.
And remember, if you’d like a FREE copy of the audio version to review, please sign up for AUDIOBOOKBLAST.COM and check the GENERAL NONFICTION category before next Tuesday. I’ll have codes for both the US and the UK store.
I love hearing from you, so please share comments and questions. Do you have an ASK AMY question you’d like answered? Do you have a new kitten and need answers? Stay up to date on all the latest just subscribe the blog, “like” me on Facebook, and sign up for Pet Peeves newsletter. Stay up to date with the latest book give aways and appearances related to my September Day pet-centric THRILLERS WITH BITE!