Category Archives: Business of Writing

Reviewing a Writing Year in Progress

A desk with cube walls completely covered with colorful papers and posters is in the background and the foreground has the post title, "Reviewing the Writing Year in Progress" superimposed on it.

by Elizabeth S. Craig, @elizabethscraig

This is about the time when I start wondering where the year has flown off to.

To keep from saying this in December and feeling very off-track, I’ve got a date set in my calendar around now to check in and see how I’m doing so far.

The check-in isn’t only for my writing, but also for my writing business. And summer is a great time to check in with business because we all experience that middle of the summer slowdown. It’s a slowdown of sales and a slowdown online, in general. Blogs are quieter and social media is somewhat more erratic.

You could be as detailed or as broad with this as you want.  Some years I really don’t have time to do more than look and see if I’m on track to put out the number of books that I wanted to publish and to glance over sales and see if I need to run a special.  Some years I have more time to be reflective and to cover a broader area.

Ideally, for me, I’m trying to review the different areas below (and some of them could belong under more than one heading). Continue reading Reviewing a Writing Year in Progress

Thoughts on Getting Rights Back

A hand signs a document (written in Latin) and the post title, "Thoughts on Getting Rights Back" is superimposed on the top.

by Elizabeth S. Craig, @elizabethscraig

Many times in the past five years, I’ve heard from traditionally-published writers who want to get the rights back to their characters and story worlds for their backlist books.

I’ve also heard from writers who’ve had a hard time getting a rights reversion granted by their publishers.

Some writers weren’t exactly sure what they wanted to do with their rights. They only knew that they’d been told that they should try to have them reverted.

Yes.  If you’ve been traditionally published and your series has been dropped by your publisher, you should try to get your rights back. Continue reading Thoughts on Getting Rights Back

The Relaxed Release

Woman in hammock overlooking a wooded, mountainous scene with the post title, "The Relaxed Release" superimposed on the top

by Elizabeth S. Craig, @elizabethscraig

I remember how stressed I was whenever I had a book launch for Penguin Random House.

For one thing, the launches were happening pretty regularly, since I was writing two series for them.

But mostly, I was stressed because their expectations were high.  Any marketing related emails or calls were more centered on what were my plans for the release and less on what they were doing to promote it. (Let this be a heads-up for anyone thinking of pursuing traditional publishing for marketing support.)

Oh, the publisher’s publicity person did usually do one thing: set me up on a book blogger tour.  But who was doing all the work? I was–I was writing the posts, sending them over to the bloggers, and answering comments. Continue reading The Relaxed Release

Evaluating a Series

A flock of sheep are heading in a line toward the right with a blue sky in the background and the post title, 'Evaluating a Series' superimposed on the top.

by Elizabeth S. Craig, @elizabethscraig

Back at the start of the Memphis Barbeque and the Southern Quilting mysteries, I didn’t worry at all about planning the length of the series. That’s because I knew the fate of the series was in the hands of Penguin.  If they decided to end the series, they would.

And I was right…sort of.  Penguin did decide to end the Memphis series because my editor had left the publisher and I was ‘orphaned’ (and because due to the nature of our contract, I couldn’t get my character rights back).  But I wasn’t exactly right about the Southern Quilting mysteries.  Penguin decided not to continue the series in print (asking me to consider a digital-only contract after 5 books)…but I decided to take the fate of the series into my own hands and requested a reversion of rights.  I’ve published two more books in that series myself, and am working on book 8 now.

The Myrtle Clover series, which I took back from Midnight Ink after the first book,  currently has 11 books in the series. Continue reading Evaluating a Series

Back Up Your Work

Aerial view of hands typing on a keyboard with a white mouse in the upper right. Superimposed on the photo is the post title, "Back Up Your Work."

by Elizabeth S. Craig, @elizabethscraig

Every so often, I run a variation of the same post.  It’s a public service announcement to back up your work.

I have heard so many horror stories from writers about lost work that I truly believe their stories account for the white hairs I have cropping up.

The most harrowing tale is from long ago.  Hemingway lost months of work because his wife, who was bringing the stories (and, sadly, also the carbon copies) to him in Switzerland. She left the overnight bag unattended to get water before the train pulled out. When she returned, the bag, and his work, were gone.  More about this episode here on the Hemingway Project site (including a recorded interview with his wife, Hadley, on the subject). Continue reading Back Up Your Work