Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Our Years of Living Dangerously by Sandra D. Bricker

Sandra D. Bricker
The times, my sweet writer buds, they are a-changin’! It all started with talk of the demise of bookstores; progressing to an avalanche of freebies offered on Amazon; deteriorating further with traditional publishers fighting and clawing to stay afloat. Readers have become so accustomed to receiving free books that having to pay more than a couple of bucks is met with appalled gawks and dismissive sighs. Even my most loyal readers—of which there are many, thank the Lord!—have become far more discriminating about where they spend their entertainment dollars in recent years.

I published a total of six books with Summerside Press/Ellie Claire, only to watch helplessly as the two companies were dissembled like an automobile sold for parts. Then came River North Fiction. After two books with them, Moody made the choice to discontinue their fiction line. The same happened with B&H Fiction around the time that my Christmas book was released. And just recently, my most loyal and beloved publishing home—Abingdon Press—delivered the too-familiar bad news. After nine novels with them … no more fiction.

Yes, I know. It would appear to be a pattern snapping at my heels; but I’m fairly certain I haven’t singlehandedly brought about the destruction of Christian fiction as we know it! Instead, multiple contributing factors have intersected and brought about severe climate change in the publishing industry that makes it necessary for writers to be more adaptable to change than ever before.

When I first accepted the position of managing editor for BLING!, a romance imprint under the Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas umbrella, many of the agents out there didn’t want their authors considering us. Despite the fact that LPC pays substantial royalties an author could never get with a traditional publisher, the concern was about sales numbers and the impact on future contracts. However, in the last six months, I’ve had half a dozen name authors approach me about BLING! Why? Because they’re less concerned with what the traditional publishers will think than with the idea of getting their content out to their readers.

In that vein, after the final blow of losing my connection to Abingdon, I started thinking like many of my counterparts and did what I never thought I would do either: I took “the book of my heart” to LPC.

Moments of Truth is not what my readers (or publishers) typically get from me. Romance? Of course. Christian thread? Naturally. But there was a lot more latitude I might not have been afforded with a traditional house. The luxury of being able to write straight from my own life experience and apply my Christian purview to it was liberating in ways I hadn’t expected. How readers and reviewers respond to it will, of course, factor into my decisions about how/if to proceed as an author, but the experience has been fulfilling and illuminating.

Meanwhile, I’m also preparing a project that readers will hear more about in October, but self-publishing options have enabled me to continue telling stories revolving around my Another Emma Rae Creation series in a fairly unique and interactive way. I’m not sure I could have done that with any confidence of success a few years ago. Or even one year ago.

Convinced that this is the YEAR OF THE PIONEER in the publishing world, I’m eager to watch trends and talk to other writers and hear from readers about what might come next. I’m not exactly the most adventurous spirit you’ll ever meet … but in this case, I feel like I’m up for anything. How about you, writers? … And what say you, readers? What shall we do for you next?

About the Author
SANDRA D. BRICKER was an entertainment publicist in Los Angeles for 15+ years where she
attended school to learn screenwriting and eventually taught the craft for several semesters. When she put Hollywood in the rearview mirror and headed across the country to take care of her mom until she passed away, she traded her scripts for books, and an award-winning author of LIVE-OUT-LOUD fiction for the inspirational market was born. Sandie is best known for her Another Emma Rae Creation and Jessie Stanton series for Abingdon Press. As an ovarian cancer survivor, she gears time and effort toward raising awareness and funds for research, diagnostics and a cure.
Moments of Truth
by Sandra D. Bricker

Five women ... Five lives ... Strength in numbers. Regan Sloane was married once. Eight years, no kids, she got the house. In the years since the divorce, she's managed to keep afloat with the only real skill she has: Writing. She hadn't really noticed how her readership had blossomed until a well-known reviewer noticed her sweet little lifestyle blog. When had it transformed into a single woman's go-to? With the life and loves of her four BFFs to fuel the content and have her back at every turn Regan realizes that something magical happens when women join forces. Girl Power just might be the new super power!

10 comments:

  1. Sandie, since I'm a historical romance writer, I love your description of writers these days as "pioneers." Just as it took courage and a willingness to pack all their stuff into a covered wagon to find a better life in the west, so authors today need to set out on new adventures in publishing. Enjoy your journey blazing the trail for the rest of us!!

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    1. Thank you so much, Barb! It's a brave new world in fiction publishing, that's for sure.

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  2. Your words are right on the money, Sandie. Great article!

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    1. Thank you, Pam! I'm excited to see what comes next.

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  3. I am glad you have his new opportunity and I am eager to hear about the new adventures with Emma Rae.

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    1. Thanks, Susan. Emma has a nice following, so it should be a lot of fun.

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  4. I am glad you are seeing opporitunies and stepping out in faith and seizing those opportunities!

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  5. Sandy - love your candor and your books! The publishing world is definitely changing. As a writer and a reader it is hard to keep up and hard to break in.

    Unlike many readers, I still love a print book and I don't mind shelling out more for a book by an author I like.

    Will you be at ACFW? Where can we learn about BLING!

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    1. Thanks so much, Terri. I have always had the call on my heart to help new writers, and this environment has made it a challenge to find new roads. But that's why He's in control and not us, right? :-) I won't be attending ACFW this year, but will be there in spirit.

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