Wednesday, May 4, 2016

IWSG: When Your Publisher Closes


This week, Booktrope—a hybrid publisher that’s published almost 1000 books—has announced it has closed.  This follows a number of publisher closings: Samhain, Musa Press, McArthur & Company, and Egmont USA, to name a few.

If your publisher closes -- don't panic.

Yes, it's sad your book(s) will come down off vendors and no longer be for sale.  You'd be within your rights to have a pint of ice cream and a big ol' pity party.

Now, shake it off because you're still way ahead of the game.

1) You know your book is good and you're a good writer -- otherwise the publisher wouldn't have accepted it.  
2) Your novel has gone through content editing, copy editing, and proofing and come out the other end a much more professional work.
3) You have the choice of finding another publisher or self-publishing.  Freedom!

First--IMPORTANT!--write a letter to Amazon to inform them your publisher is closing and your book will be removed from sale. Tell them how many reviews are on your book's page and that you intend to re-publish and ask them to save the reviews for you. They can and will do that for authors. Contact Amazon at: https://authorcentral.amazon.com/gp/help/contact-us

Your book will stay up on Goodreads and so will its reviews.

Now you have some breathing space to research other publishers or, in case you decide to self-pub, research costs of a cover, an ISBN number, and a formatter.  

And remember -- there are plenty of authors in this community who'll help you in any way they can.  All you have to do is ask.



This is a post for the Insecure Writer's Support Group, the brainchild of Alex J. Cavanaugh. It exists so the community of blogging writers can share and support each other, blog-hopping to cheerlead and commiserate. To find out more, visit: Insecure Writer's Support Group. Plus, check out the IWSG Website for lots of helpful info and links.

49 comments:

L.G. Keltner said...

This is useful information! Thank you for sharing it!

Lynda R Young said...

A great post, Lexa :)

Sue Bursztynski said...

Some good thoughts. Someone I know made sure her contract gave her first dibs on any remaindered stock. When he publisher closed, she bought out the copies and has been taking them with her to talks and conventions, where she sells them for full price.

Annalisa Crawford said...

Great info. I'd never have considered the reviews on Amazon would disappear, but of course they would. Glad I read this, though I hope I'll never need the info!

... um, might just bookmark though...

Kate Larkindale said...

Great post! I wish I'd known that about the Amazon reviews when Musa closed last year. I lost all those….

Ah well. as they say, you live and learn.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

That's good to know! Scary thing when a publisher closes.

JeffO said...

Good advice, Lexa, thanks for sharing!

Natalie Aguirre said...

That's great advice for people in this situation. So true they can go on and survive it.

Denise Covey said...

Very informative Lexa. One door shuts and another opens. Good advice re Amazon. Thank you.

S.A. Larsenッ said...

Wow, great information! I'm sure it will help many. Thanks for sharing!

mshatch said...

Very good info! Thanks :)

L. Diane Wolfe said...

It's rough when a publisher closes, but you get back a very polished and ready to be published again book.

Yolanda Renee said...

Great advice and not really bad news after all! You're right!
Happy IWSG day! Love your positive slant!

Starting Over, Accepting Changes - Maybe said...

Reading that your publisher is closing must be so upsetting to writers who have already gone through so much to get their book out to the public. Your advice will help them greatly.

Crystal Collier said...

What a sad day. I understand why so many publishers are going under. It's a tough business, made tougher by the recent industry changes. I'm gald to know you don't have to lose reviews though. I can't imagine that nightmare!

Stephen Hayes said...

This isn't anything I've thought about. Thanks for sharing this useful information.

lorilmaclaughlin.com said...

Thanks for all the useful info, Lexa, particularly about the reviews on Amazon. It never would have occurred to me that I could do that.

Sheena-kay Graham said...

Oh my God. I know a bunch of authors who signed up with Booktrope last year. Quite unfortunate. But the fact that amazon saves reviews for authors is amazing. Will note that.

Joylene Nowell Butler said...

Thank you for this very important post, Lexa. We don't like to think about this happening, but it's happening too often. Great info.

Dianne K. Salerni said...

Excellent advice, Lexa! I know someone whose books are published through Booktrope, and I wonder if she knows Amazon can save the reviews. I'll let her know!

Tamara Narayan said...

What a wonderful article! I wish I'd known about Amazon saving reviews. My publisher released my short stories back to me and so I'm in this boat too. I did cut and paste the reviews into Word, but that's not quite the same.

Charity Bradford said...

Great post! I've had friends whose publisher shut down and they are now enjoying being an indie author. Knowing how to contact Amazon is great. I didn't know or even think about that aspect. Thanks!

Fundy Blue said...

Hi Lexa! I'm visiting today as an IWSG co-host! This was an informative post about a subject one rarely hears of. I'm going to send a link to my sister whose publisher went bankrupt and closed! It happened a few years back, but I think she would find your post very interesting. Good luck with your writing!

Cathrina Constantine said...

A Wonderful Post, Lexa!!!!

cleemckenzie said...

Amen to that. Having ridden that wave onto the beach once, I'm here to tell you, there are other publishers and other ways to get your stuff out there. One thing about the new publishing era, that old saying, "There's more than one way to skin a cat" holds true. And, as YAHOO points out, You Always Have Other Options!

Good motivation post today.

Birgit said...

This is excellent information because I am certain this happens more than I think it does. It is best, after indulging in ice cream (chocolate of course:)) that you do everything you mentioned

messymimi said...

That's a situation i'd never thought of!

Olivia Rose said...

Thanks for the information...I never realized Amazon would save reviews. I know Goodreads reviews would be there.

Carol Kilgore said...

It's so important to remember to get your rights back when a publisher closes. I know writers who have had to fight for a long time to get theirs back, even from a defunct operation. It's good that Amazon will keep and hold those reviews for the author. Happy May!

Cynthia said...

I haven't gotten that far yet in my writers journey but it's nice to know what options we have when something like this comes up.

Cathy Kennedy said...

Lexa, this is all good info to know should I ever find myself a well-established author and the unthinkable as my publisher closing. Best of luck in finding a new publisher, which I have no doubt you'll find one soon. :D

Ann V. Friend said...

Great post and information Lexa (smile) Blessings and enjoy the rest of your week!

Julie Flanders said...

It's sad to read about all these publishers closing. I was especially surprised when Samhain made the announcement. This is all great advice! And it's exciting to see your 2016 releases off on the right side here. You have great things ahead this year. :)

The Cynical Sailor said...

Wow, that would be quite a shock, but you've got some great tips for folks in this position.

Valerie Storey said...

Thank you for sharing this important info, Lexa. Good to know, but also sad that so many publishers are closing. Not sure what's in store for the future but the important thing is to keep writing, never give up! A body of work is a valuable asset.

Shannon Lawrence said...

Excellent advice! I had no idea they'd save reviews.

Kim Lajevardi said...

Great information! Have a great rest of your week, Lex!

Michelle Wallace said...

Thanks for this info!
You've shared some really important stuff.
I would never have thought about some of those points mentioned above.
Seems like lots of publishers are closing. I wonder if it will push more authors to go the self-pub route? Though I suppose there may be other small/medium sized publishing companies popping up too? Interesting.
Writer In Transit

Erika said...

Thank you Lexa. What an encouraging post.

T.F. Walsh said...

Oh I didn't know the some of those publishers closed down... and great advise here. Very positive:)

Tanya Miranda said...

I chose self publishing because I started hearing more news about publishers and agents going out of business and authors having to take legal actions to get their rights back and so forth. It's a scary, shifting market.

S.K. Anthony said...

I didn't know Amazon did that for authors!!! How very cool :)

Great tips here, if I was in that situation I'd panic to no end LOL

H.R. Sinclair, Southpaw said...

That is an excellent tip for authors in regards to Amazon. That's actually pretty great.

Cherdo said...

I like your attitude, Lexa!

Cathy Keaton said...

That's good advice, Lexa! I'll never be in that boat, but it's great for those who are. ;)

Beverly Stowe McClure said...

I didn't know that Amazon would keep the reviews. Great. Thanks for telling us, just in case.

Loni Townsend said...

Great tips, Lexa! And you're right. The fact that you had a publisher means you're worthy!

Annie Neugebauer said...

I can't imagine how heartbreaking this must be! I certainly feel for the authors who've gone or are going through it. :( This is great advice, though, Lexa -- especially about asking Amazon to save the reviews. Who knew?

DMS said...

These are great tips! Definitely heartbreaking to have this happen. The information you gave will help lots of us! :) Thanks for sharing! :)
~Jess

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