Thursday, June 29, 2017

Southern Writers' Magazine

How exciting! My article "When A Door Closes" is featured in this month's Southern Writer's Magazine.
I drew my inspiration from what could have been a catastrophic event in my career. My mystery publisher pulled the plug on their entire mystery line. As I networked with other authors in my house and unbelievably other publishers who'd also cut their cozy lines, I realized the reaction from the news devastated some and energized others. I was upset, don't get me wrong, but I was also determined not to let it beat me.

Here's the first little bit of that article:

I encourage everyone not to let roadblocks get them down. Opportunities are still out there, if you only know where to look!

[I don't have permission to post the entire article, but I can at least post something more legible of what's in the teaser they prepared. The snip follows.]

 When a Door Closes by Maggie Toussaint
Runners pace themselves. If they go out too fast, they won’t last to the finish line. They push through the burn and find their stride. Authors go through a similar pacing process throughout their careers.

We learn how to navigate the ups and downs of story crafting, submissions, rejections, contracts, edits, blog tours, booksignings, reviews, conferences, newsletters, and social media. When we hit our stride, we feel confident and think, “I’ve got this.”

Then something unexpected happens. For some, financial or health concerns take precedent over their creative journey. For others, their publisher drops their books or an entire product line.

One day everything was fine for them, and the next, it wasn’t. When my publishing world upended, I stumbled and couldn’t quite catch my breath. Here’s what happened.

In the fall of 2015, my publisher announced it was closing its entire mystery line. The books already acquired for 2016 would still be published, but that was it. On our author loop, shock and concern dominated our posts. Many said this was a career ender for them because no house would acquire an ongoing series.

Several authors quit. They couldn’t conceive of writing for another house. Others stalled in the complaining phase of this turn of events. The rest looked around and said, “What’s next?”

A few decided to change genres, a few started a new series to shop around. Some, like me, had a backlog of manuscripts in a current series. If we wanted to keep publishing, we needed a new house or the stamina to become indie-publishers.

Finding a new house with an ongoing series is difficult, but indie publishing is no cakewalk either. Another consideration crept into my decision making process. Many of the larger mystery conferences require that authors be with a Mystery Writers of America approved publisher to be eligible for panel consideration.

Concurrently with my publisher closing their mystery business, other big houses shut down their cozy lines. Suddenly the ground was thick with unemployed cozy mystery writers, which is my genre. I knew that I couldn’t delay making a decision.... more at Southern Writer's Magazine.



Dadgummit, my August 1 release from Camel Press is receiving exciting reviews. It's up for pre-order at all venues. Check out the early reviews at http://maggietoussaint.com/dadgummit/ 

That's it for now. I hope you're having a great summer!

Maggie Toussaint
http://www.maggietoussaint.com

15 comments:

  1. Maggie, I can't read the entire article. Is there more? You give excellent advice as far as I can tell ;)

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    1. Thanks for visiting and leaving a comment, Donnell. I tried to upload the magazine's pdf but blogger wasn't having it. I'll see what I can do content wise. Maggie

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  2. Tiny print, but I did read it. Great article, of course.
    I, too, suffered a loss-Publishing by Rebecca J. Vickery was shut down dues to failing health. We saw it coming...but still it was an emotional shock. However, another publisher stepped up and took all my books! All of them! Best of luck.

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    1. That's the tale I'm hearing from more and more authors, Celia. What seems a certainty and a done deal is no such thing. The publishing world is always in a state of flux it seems, and none of us are aging any slower. The trick seems to be what's right for you when something happens. Thanks for visiting!

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    2. Hi Maggie, For me, it was too hard to read the article, but I can only imagine the shock. I'm with Celia when Publishing by Rebecca J. Vickery closed. My writing is more contemporary/paranormal, (and I haven't had to time to deal with it. I'll have to make time soon!!) So I don't think the publisher that picked up Celia will pick up me. I'm tempted to self publish, but right now, I've got so much going on with Scouting, I'm afraid I wouldn't give it the attention it deserves. I agree - publishing is in a state flux.

      Steph

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    3. Steph, I have a similar issue with some of my romances. They are still on the market, but the sales have really slowed down. If I got my rights back, I could reissue them and reap more of the tiny profit, but when would I have time to create the covers and do that formatting. For older works, it's a big temptation to re-edit them as writing styles change. Right now, I'm just letting sleeping dogs lie.

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  3. Congrats in having your article published in SW Mag!!
    Good luck and God's blessings
    PamT

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    1. Thanks for the comment and the blessing. I need all the help I can get!!!

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  4. I had difficulty with the small print, also. But, I know it probably took you a little time to get around the curve. And in end, you found daylight...as doors begin to open, the sunlight creeps in :) Wishing you all the best as you wait for the next door to swing wide :) Lo

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    1. The photo image of the article is a teaser for the article (sorry about the microscopic print). Southern Writers Magazine would love to get new subscribers out of the deal, but if anyone wants the complete article, just contact me through my website and I'll send you the pdf of the article.

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  5. Maggie, you always amaze me. You're unstoppable. I remember when this happened, and though you were down, you went to work, and before long had the new publisher. I wish your motivation rubbed off on me. Congratulations.

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    1. I'm not so amazing. Some might call me stubborn and determined. Some might call me daffy, and of course, fashion-challenged. Some might call me too frank for my own good. But few call me amazing. Thanks for that ego boost, Polly.

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  6. It takes versatility to survive in a constantly changing marketplace, and writers have to be prepared to adapt. You've done well at finding a new publisher, Maggie. And there's always indie publishing for those backlist titles. Finding the time to do everything is the biggest hurdle.

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  7. Hi Maggie,

    I'm sorry that Five Star will no longer be publishing our novels. However, like you, I've moved on and now have a variety of novels with other publishers. Life goes on and we writers need to move with it--even if the changes aren't always to our liking.

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  8. I'm glad to see so many of my fellow Stars have found new publishers and moved on. Right now I have three editors interested in a new series, so I have my fingers crossed that one will buy it. I've learned a lot in the last two years, since we got the word on Five Star. But the biggest lesson is one I've always known--attitude is everything. Thanks for sharing your story, Maggie.

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