Monday, March 09, 2015

Welcome Back! And Goodbye...

That welcome is not just for you. It's also, in many ways, for me. After over ten years, I am finally back on the writer's side of the publishing desk. ONLY the writer's side. 

And it feels good. 

Oddly, although the closing of Musa Publishing was heartbreaking for me on a personal level, I still feel a level of success. Heck, we NEVER missed paying our authors and staff. We NEVER had to make up bogus cover stories for why royalties would be late. And we NEVER shut our authors out of the process. Thanks to the Delphi system created by Musa (specifically Kelly and Micheal), our authors knew their sales numbers within minutes of our knowing them. We published good  books by great writers at all stages of their careers, from novice first-timers to NYT bestsellers and major award-winners. Unfortunately for Musa--and for all of e-publishing--the atmosphere in digital publishing has changed. The market is glutted with self-published books, cluttering up search engines and third party sites and making it impossible for a casual reader to just find a book. Browsing through titles on a virtual bookshelf is a thing of the past because there are just too many titles. Authors have to market themselves now, instead of their books, and not all authors are good at that. We had a great plan at the wrong time, which sucked for Musa. But I am proud of what our authors accomplished, I am proud of our outstanding staff. And regardless (note this: irregardless is STILL not a word) of our decision to close Musa's doors, I am proud of the amazing experience I shared with the other directors. 

And I will personally stand behind every single book we published. 

Honestly? Felt good to get that out. It's been a monster on my shoulders for the past few weeks, but the grieving process is over and now it's time to move on with my life. And my writing career, which after four-plus years on hold is in need of some recharging.

I have to admit--my study looks strange now with all my publishing/editing materials packed away and nothing but my laptop and printer on the desk.  The publication schedules are gone from my wall, replaced by storyboards and outlines.  The desk isn't facing the window anymore, since for some reason looking at trees always helped me to think my way through an editing passage that just wasn't reading right. Now it's facing the wall, because when I'm writing I don't like distractions and trees are, in the spring, able to pull my attention away from just about anything. The comfortable editing chair is gone with its upholstery and cushions, and the straight-backed antique parson's chair is back, with its hard wood and lacquered lattice work reminding me sternly to get my mind back in the game. 

It all feels weird. But it also feels good. All these stories that have been beating me in the face for the past few years will have their opportunity to breathe. And maybe I will too. 

So, Elf Killing lives again, and I'm sure some of those pointy-eared little twerps will be biting the big one before too much longer. In the meantime, you can expect what you have always expected from this blog: writing and publishing thoughts, sports, politics, the strange and unusual, rants (you know there'll be plenty of those!), cats from our ongoing commitment to rescue and foster abandoned cats and litters, and whatever else might strike my fancy. 

In the meantime, it's just good to be talking to you guys again. Let's do it again. Like...tomorrow.