Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Having Multiple Publishers Works For Me

Please welcome today's guest blogger and good friend, Melanie Atkins. She's a multi-published author of romantic suspense, a fan of crime dramas, and an avid reader. Writing is more than an escape for her—it’s a way of life. She grew up in the Deep South listening to tall tales and penning stories about her cats. Now she writes gripping stories of love, suspense, and mystery with the help of her furry little feline muses.

Take it away, Mel.

Liz, thanks so much for giving me the opportunity to guest blog. For those who don't know me, I write romantic suspense and have eight books out right now with three different publishers: Cobblestone Press, The Wild Rose Press, and Desert Breeze Publishing. All are epubs, and the Wild Rose Press also releases its titles in print. I enjoy writing for multiple publishers—and I do so because I was burned a few years ago when my then-publisher (which shall not be named) filed for bankruptcy and I had twelve titles tied up in red tape for over six months. I vowed then and there to never again put all my eggs in one basket.
My latest print release, SKELETON BAYOU, is a single title suspense released in December by The Wild Rose Press. According to You Gotta Read reviews, SKELETON BAYOU is "very gripping… It all plays out in the end with action packed, bite your nails moments… Overall a good read.” — rated as a You Need To Read by Jennifer.
Blurb: Savannah Love is emotionally and physically battered, but is determined to survive after escaping the hellish imprisonment imposed on her by her psychotic cop-husband. After seven months in hiding, she resurfaces at Mossy Oak, her ramshackle family home on a Louisiana bayou, and attempts to restart her life. The empty house provides shelter, but isn’t the fortress she needs when her cruel ex comes calling.
Mack O’Malley, former cop turned handyman conflicted over a bad shoot on the job, comes to Savannah’s rescue when the psychopath draws them into a deadly game of cat and mouse. Fearful of Mack at first, she soon discovers that beneath his steely exterior lies a resolute defender with a heart hungry for love. Will their alliance save them, or will they fall victim to the Legend of Skeleton Bayou?
PRIME SUSPECT, the second ebook in my New Orleans Detective series, is now available from Desert Breeze Publishing and many other online outlets, including Amazon and All Romance ebooks. It will soon be up at Barnes and Nobles, too.
Blurb: New Orleans Assistant District Attorney Marisa Cooper prosecutes murderers for a living, but the tables are turned on her when her ex-husband is found dead in her garage. To prove her innocence, she must team up with her former fiancĂ©e, Slade Montgomery, the detective who risks his career–and his heart–to help her find the real killer.
All of my books contain edge-of-your-seat suspense. It's what I like to read, and what I write. But I don't want that kind of suspense in my everyday life—and certainly not in the publishing world. So I'll continue to spread my submissions around and reap the rewards of having my name in many different venues. You can check out all of my work on my website at http://www.melanieatkins.com and my blog at http://melanieatkins.blogspot.com.

*Look for New Orleans Detectives Book 3, CHOSEN TARGET, coming in June 2010 from Desert Breeze Publishing.


Liz Lipperman said...

Hey, Melanie, thanks for blogging with us. I find it fascinating that you write for three different publishers. Can you tell us a little about working with them. Are they similar in their editing process? How long does it take from finished manuscript to release date?

Kari Lee Townsend said...

Great post, Melanie. I write for two different publishers as well, Sourcebooks and Berkley Prime Crime. Multiple deadlines can be tricky to balance. How do you handle balancing all your multiple deadlines? By the way, your books sound fabulous!

Melanie Atkins said...

Thanks, Liz. All three publishers have basically the same meticulous editing process. Epublishers often bet a bum rap, and they want to change that. I'm very pleased with the editing I've had from all of them.

Most of the manuscripts I've sold to these publishers were already finished (in fact, they demand it usually). I have to turn in the properly formatted mss about three months ahead of time, and I get the first round of edits soon after.

I do have one book to complete for Desert Breeze, but it's not due until June 2011...so I have some time. Right now I'm working on a single title to submit to a larger print publisher. It's a dark, gritty story based close to where I live.

Cassy Pickard said...

Melanie: Welcome to our blog!! How great to have you spend time with us.

I'd like to echo the questions Liz and Kari have posted. What is it like to have different houses asking different results from you? Or, is that not the case? Deadlines? Editing? Interactions? Keeping it all straight?? You must have quite the spreadsheet thing going.

You write what I love to read! Bring on the suspense and the action (with a little romance definitely thrown in).

Again, thanks so much for your thoughts. I'll check back to read your words of wisdom.

Melanie Atkins said...

No, no spreadsheet... unless you count the one I'm using to outline my current single title WIP. lol I've got it all in my head, and since the mss are all done, it works. I have to deal with edits, which so far haven't been too extensive.

Cassy Pickard said...

Great for you, Melanie! I feel as though there are days I live spreadsheet to spreadsheet. You clearly are much more mentally organized than I am. My husband starts with, "Honey, could you..." I cut him off. "Write it on the pad," I command. Geesh, if my lists disappear, so will I.

Thanks again, Melanie.

StephB said...

Melanie, nice post. It was also interesting to learn that the publishers were similiar in their editing formats. It is understandable to use different publishers after that happened.


Gail R. Delaney said...

Mmm... yes... the publisher who shall not be named. *shudder*

If anyone hasn't read your books, Melanie, I strongly suggest it. :-) And not just because I'm your editor!

Actually, I just purchased Skeleton Bayou and am looking forward to reading it.

June said...

Melanie, it must take some organization to keep all three publishers straight and yet, no spreadsheet. I'm impressed. And, this comes from the spreadsheet/list queen.

Donnell said...

Melanie, you write my kind of reads. I love your escapist quality and edge of your seat suspense! Not that there's a chance of it happening, but I hope you never lose your passion!

Sylvia Rochester said...

Great article, Melanie. Yes, I think you're smart to approach different editors that are a match for your work and your plans for marketing. Things are changing so fast in the publishing business, we need to do our homework and test the waters. Epubs have exploded on the scene, resulting in some of the larger houses trying the eletronic format. That's a good thing.

I love romantic suspense, also, and especially since your set most of your book in my neck of the woods.

Melanie Atkins said...

Thanks for being so supportive, everyone! Right now I'm really distracted because of having to look after my mom (she's 88 and not in the best of health) and run all her errands, since she can no longer drive. I'm not getting nearly as much writing time as I'd like, but I do value my time with her.

Margaret Tanner said...

Great post Melanie,
Romantic Suspense, I would love to be able to write in that genre, and you do it so well. I can relate to not putting all your eggs in the one basket, as I too was burned when a publisher closed its doors.