Today, I sent out to my newsletter friends a short history of my publishing journey, so they could understand a little bit about what’s behind the fairly wide variety of books I’ve authored over the past 9 years (18 in all). Here’s most of what I shared (if you’re curious):
To the right, are 8 of my traditionally published novels, all published by Revell (a major Christian publishing house). They were published between 2009 and 2014. I loved writing them all and recommend them all highly (that is, if you’ve enjoyed my more recent novels). I don’t think there’s a dud in the bunch.
All but 2 of them have more in common with my recent Forever Home series (Rescuing Finley and Finding Riley). The Discovery and What Follows After are romantic-suspense novels.
During that 6-year period, I also wrote 4 novels with renowned marriage/relationship expert, Gary Smalley (the Restoration series). I actually wrote these stories: I created the characters and the storylines. They were drawn from Gary’s bestselling non-fiction teaching books (some co-authored with others). He served as an advisor and provided important input as the series unfolded. I’d also recommend these books, although they are a little different than the rest (focused more on significant marriage, family and relationship challenges Christians face).
I should add this…while I do recommend the novels (at least what’s inside), Gary and I DIDN’T LIKE THE COVERS and the last 3 titles. We wrote the books for BOTH men and women, but the publisher decided to market them only to women.
And Yes, the deal at the bottom still holds (email me if you’d like a signed set with matching bookmarks at this price).
The last thing I want to say about all 12 of these novels is — I HAVE NO CONTROL OVER THE PRICE. If I did, ALL the ebooks would be marked down to $3.99. The publisher controls the rights to all these books, since they are all still “in print.”
When my first novel came out in 2009 (The Unfinished Gift), I didn’t know anyone who owned a Kindle or read ebooks. Almost no one used tablets. No one had smartphones. Ebooks represented only 3% of my total sales. People mostly bought print books in retail stores, like Barnes & Noble and Books-a-Million.
Starting around 2012, things began to radically change. By 2014, everything had changed. Amazon, Kindle ebooks, and Prime (free shipping) literally began taking over the publishing experience. With this massive shift, most of my published author friends were not being re-signed.
After my publisher turned down my proposal for my next book series (including Rescuing Finley and Finding Riley), I decided the time had come to step out on my own and “become an indie.” They also rejected my Jack Turner Suspense series, saying “that is not your brand.”
Since 2014, I started writing, producing and publishing my books under my own imprint, Bainbridge Press. With my wife’s help (she really was my main editor for the last several years), I’m getting to write the books I want to write, the way I want to write them, and getting to market them much more effectively.
I’m writing 2 different series now; one that is totally romantic-suspense, and one that’s more similar to the books I wrote with Revell. My plan is to keep writing both kinds of books from now on.
Why? Because these are the kind of books I love to read, not just write. AND…they are actually selling better, getting as good or better reviews, and I’m doing better financially than my best years with my former publisher.
Well, didn’t expect this newsletter to be this long. But hopefully I’ve answered most of your questions and cleared up some confusion. Feel free to email me if you have any additional questions about my books.