Friday, May 18, 2012

Partnering with Amazon

by L.J. Sellers, author or provocative mysteries & thrillers
I've been sitting on this news for two weeks, and I'm ready to explode. Amazon just offered me an 11-book contract! They bought my entire backlist of nine novels, plus the next two I’ll write. They're planning foreign translations, audio books, digital editions etc. It's so amazing, it's still not real to me. I was quite happy being a mid-list successful indie author, but this will definitely take my career to the next level. It’s exciting to realize my work will be translated into foreign languages and reach readers I never thought possible.

The only disappointing thing for my readers is that my next Jackson book, which I had planned to release in early July, won’t be published until the end of the year. Amazon wants time to produce new versions of all six of the Jackson novels and release them at the same time the seventh story comes out. It’ll be a grand debut! They also bought the first book in a new series I plan to start after I finish this Jackson story, and they acquired it on the strength of a one-paragraph description. Which gives me more confidence that the new series is a solid idea.

Even though this sounds like a sudden and unexpected offer, in reality, I submitted two of my standalone thrillers to Amazon last November. I didn't hear much except to get an occasional email from the editor apologizing for the delay and promising that he still planned to read my work. Then last week he emailed to say he was turning me over to a new editor. Four days later, the new guy called to say he’d read several of my novels and loved them. He also asked a bunch of questions about the Jackson series. That was when it occurred to me that they might be looking at all my work and not just the two standalones.

Considering the near misses I’ve had in my writing career, I shouldn’t have let myself think it was possible. But this was Amazon—not the Big 6—and Amazon had already changed my life twice. So why not believe it could happen a third time? The next day my editor—and new best friend☺—took my "project" to an editorial board meeting and it was approved. He called me afterward and made a wonderful offer. I was sitting in my car after dropping off my son, and I managed to stay calm and professional during the conversation. When I hung up, I had to fight the urge to cry. My greatest feeling now is one of relief—like the pressure is off me for the first time in years. I’m no longer alone in this endeavor, scrambling and writing as fast as I can to stay on top of the competition. I now have a supportive partner.

I expect some writers to criticize my decision to give up my indie status. Others will accuse me of making a pact with the devil. But I left my small publisher two years ago because I knew I could go farther and make more money if I were self-published. Now I’m making a similar decision. Amazon will take my career to a level I couldn’t reach on my own.

40 comments:

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  2. L.J., I am thrilled for you! You have worked hard and this dream come true is exactly perfect for where you are in your life.

    I love this for you. I can't wait to hear how things roll out for you down the road.

    Big hugs!

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  3. Congratulations. This is amazing news. Good luck moving forward. I'm sure this is an inspiration to all authors who read your posts.

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  4. Big news indeed! Congratulations, L.J.!

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  5. Congrats L.J. That's fantastic news, and well-deserved.

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  6. Big Congratulations to you, LJ.! You've worked long and hard for this and deserve every bit of it. Enjoy this exciting new adventure, and much continued success!

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  7. Wonderful news, LJ! I am so thrilled for you! Even though it means you probably won't need me to edit any more of your books, I couldn't be happier for you! So exciting! You've worked so hard all these years and now you're finally reaping the rewards of your persistence and dedication! So well-deserved! You go, girl!

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  8. Fantastic news, LJ. I wish you nothing but success.

    Terry
    Romance with a Twist--of Mystery

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  9. Thanks for all your good wishes! I feel incredibly fortunate at this point, and I hope to be gracious enough to express gratitude every day.

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  10. L.J. you have me sharing your tears of joy! I'm so happy for you and can only imagine how thrilled you are to have made this new partnership. Write on, girl!

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  11. Wonderful news LJ. Congratulations!

    You've worked very hard and the payoff is here. Keep writing great books and enjoy the ride!

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  12. Wow! Just wow. So deserved. Congrats!

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  13. I am so pleased for you, L.J. I'm aware of how hard you have worked to earn this.

    Amazon has made a good choice and so have you.

    You blaze a trail for those of us who admire you and like Jackson.

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  14. Pheeeeenominal. LJ. And you worked your ass off to get it, too. All congratulations.

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  15. Holy crap, that's awesome. Congratulations.

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  16. Huge congrats, LJ. I've read THE SUICIDE EFFECT, THE SEX CLUB, and THE ARRANGER, and all were excellent. You've earned your success.

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  17. L.J.,
    That is wonderful news!!!!! CONGRATS!!!!!!!!!!!

    BrendaW.

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  18. LJ! That's fabulous. I am so happy for you. Yay, yay, yay. I can't quit smiling.

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  19. Thank you, thank you, thank you! I was nervous about announcing this, but I'm happy to finally share it. The support is truly appreciated.

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  20. Congratulations, LJ! You deserve this and more! :)

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  21. That is freakin' awesome! So happy for you. And that's what being self-published or an independent author is all about---making the choices that help your career along. I can't think of a better situation. Happy trails! bobbi c.

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  22. That is awesome, LJ! Congratulations! :)

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  23. It couldn't happen to anyone who deserves it more!!! Congratulations!!!

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  24. This is AWESOME!!! Love your books.

    Congrats!!!

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  25. Congrats! I love hearing stories like this!

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  26. It's hard to imagine anyone criticizing this decision - the opportunity to reach thousands of new readers and benefit from what might be the best author/publisher partnership out there is one I would be willing to bet none of the "critics" would pass up. Well done, and congratulations on the start of the next phase of your career!

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  27. LJ, congratulations on finding a publisher who fits your needs and desires at this stage of your career, and best of all--GETS your work! I am very, very happy for you. Going it indie can be wonderful--as you have proved--and having a team behind you, investing in your work, is a whole other kind of thrill. I'm so glad you've got to experience both!

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  28. I'm jumping for joy for you. This is fantastic news and well deserved after all of your hard work. A great big congratulations!

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  29. HUGE CONGRATS, L.J. This is good news -- thanks for sharing.

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  30. L.J.,
    Way to go! This is great news.
    Mike Befeler

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  31. L.J.! This is so great. I'm very happy for you and wish you outrageous success! I see this as more evidence of what an excellent time it is to be an author.
    Lynda Hilburn

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  32. This is wonderful news and you'll never get criticism from me on how you're handling your writing career! You've met each situation and challenge in the best possible way, IMHO. I'm so happy to see you meeting with this success!

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  33. Congratulations, L.J. The success is well deserved.

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  34. L.J., that is wonderful 10 times over! Congratulations! You re-invented yourself and now are shooting to the stars. Wonderful to see authors, like you, take their careers into their own hands and succeed. All the best to you!

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  35. L.J., that is wonderful 10 times over! Congratulations! You re-invented yourself and now are shooting to the stars. Wonderful to see authors, like you, take their careers into their own hands and succeed. All the best to you!

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  36. This is wonderful, very happy for you!

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  37. LJ - I'm a little late to the party - but please accept my hearty congratulations - I'm so happy for you!!! xoxoxo

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  38. Big Congratulations to you, LJ.! You've worked long and hard for this and deserve every bit of it. Enjoy this exciting new adventure, and much continued success!

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