When I finished working on Fifty Days, it was summertime, and my first semester of college was soon approaching. I knew it would be difficult to promote and sell Fifty Days while in school. At least, I assumed that I’d be busy. So, after coming in contact with an indie publishing company, who helped format and edit my book, I decided to publish with them. They were kind to me, and seemed hard-working. Their other clients had sold many books and had a plentiful amount of followers, and the business itself looked fun and well-run. I was ecstatic to begin working with a company, especially because they would be helping me market, would send out free copies to readers, and I wouldn’t have to stress so much about marketing myself. But… I was completely wrong.
Now, I am not writing this post to talk negative about anyone, that is why I am not including any names. However, I will say that with this company, I experienced many problems. Perhaps it was Createspace’s fault, because they got bought by Kindle Direct Publishing right as we were getting Fifty Days ready, but still. The cover, for a long time, was not the right color, and the spine was too large. Also, it took a while to correct the genre of my book, and the summary was one sentence that I had not chosen for the first few months. Everything was moving much slower than I expected. But, the thing that really disappointed me was how sudden and hectic the actual publication day was. There was no proper date--even I was not given one. So, when my own book was released, I didn’t know until two days later. I couldn’t send out Advanced Reader’s Copies like I had intended to.
Basically, it was all just a big mess. I had the full rights to my book still, but it didn’t always feel like it because I couldn’t go into KDP and fix things myself and such, nor could I send free copies to readers.
I was with this company for about seven months, when I couldn’t take it anymore. I broke down to my mom and spilled everything. I didn’t feel like the author of my own book, I wasn’t selling any books, and I felt like I wasted over a year of my life. I dedicated so much to Fifty Days, spent so many late nights pouring my heart out, and then it completely flopped. I wanted to do so much more, but couldn’t. Also, everyone who didn’t read Fifty Days thought it was horror, and they’d ask me whether or not it was too scary, and that just led me to believe that I did everything wrong. I didn’t market right, because I was out of the loop of my own publication date.
It was at that moment when my mother and I decided to ask out of the contract. Once again, it wasn’t the company’s fault--it was mine, for putting too much onto them, for expecting them to take full control of my book and market the exact way I wanted them to.
After one text, they agreed to let me off the contract. It took about a month for my to finally get out of it, and because I am still a bit baffled by the entire situation, I am going to say that it did get very heated toward the end. After I kindly messaged the owners several times to see if they would hurry the process because I was eager to begin work and they hadn’t responded in many days, I was told to relax, be patient, and more. My mom got involved, because she was equally eager, and then it went downhill from there. They told me that it wasn’t their fault my book wasn’t selling, and they told me not to burn my bridges in the future if I want to become a successful self-published author, and they also said they wanted nothing to do with Fifty Days anymore. All of this was topped with a, “I think you’ll do fine in life.” Once again, I am not trying to throw any sort of shade, but I do think it’s important for all self-published authors to be aware of these types of things. Please, understand what you’re getting involved with way before you make any decisions.
Finally, the contract is gone, and my book is back in my hands. (Fifty Days is still on Amazon and Goodreads, but it claims to be out of stock… but I really don’t feel like messaging them about it again, so it’s whatever, aha!) I could easily just publish the book again, same cover, same interior… however, doing that doesn’t seem right to me. Honestly, I feel gross.
While Fifty Days was published, I was so ashamed of the sales and the slow process, I didn’t market it, I didn’t promote it. One of the reasons why I wasn’t writing because I now had this terrible mentality and assumed that every book I ever write will go to nothing. People were watching me, claiming that I inspired them, but I felt like a fool. It was… a bad time, really.
Then, after participating in an argument with the owners of the company I was apart of, a company I kindly offered to help out with, my own mother getting involved as well because it was so strange… I felt even worse. Looking at this cover, this book layout, just brought me reminders of my poor decision making!
In reality, I am too hard on myself. I didn’t know any better, and I was excited. I assumed that I was on the right path, and would work my way up to bestseller in no-time. Then, I realized how much I missed self-publishing on my own, marketing consistently, having full control. I was still managing Forsaken, of course, but Fifty Days was my current masterpiece, a work I was beyond proud of and had dreamed of becoming a huge hit.
So, instead of just pushing Fifty Days back into the world and hoping it’ll reach the top of the charts without truly marketing it, I’m completely re-launching it and starting anew. I am currently in the middle of reformatting it, changing up the title page and headers, making the font smaller and not so spaced out so there are less pages, and so on. Also, my boyfriend and I are in the middle of creating the new cover. Yes, you heard me… I’m making a new cover! It fits the story better, and doesn’t look so scary like the original. It’s clean, light, and simple. And, it’s a fun project for myself, a way to get me even more excited for the re-launch.
My book isn’t scary at all--it’s deep, mysterious, suspenseful, beautiful… a psychological story that is meant to inspire and touch readers of all sorts. It’s my book, and I’m going to market it as such. The book itself is not going to change, but it’s physical appearance definitely is. So those who have read it before, don’t worry!
This might all be a lot of information, but I felt like everything was needed to say. I had been receiving a lot of questions from readers, and friends, and being completely honest, writing out my stored-up feelings that had been settled within for over seven months, felt great to share.
So, thank you for listening, and thank you for following along as I embark on this journey of figuring myself out. It hasn’t been easy, but I’ve grown a ton, and I truly believe that right now is the absolute best time to re-launch Fifty Days, and make it into the book I’ve always intended it to be.
The publication date has not yet been set, but it will be late in March or early April. My book will hopefully be available for pre-order sometime next week. Goodness, I’m so excited! I hope you are, too.