In the midst of one of the worst financial situations in my life, I had advice from a friend to just self-publish as many books as I could and that the money would follow. It’s that whole “do what you love” thing. I started that with my Regency romances but I also decided to follow another path. I had an amazing idea (I thought) for a paranormal anthology. And it would be one that could keep going forever. I created my world around a pub called The Bowman’s Inn and opened the doors to writers who were interested.
I made mistakes. The first volume died on the vine while people got worried about Amazon’s logarithms for “erotic Romances” and pulled their stories out. I and the other interested authors regrouped. We adapted our winter stories for spring and put out the real first book.
I’ve made some lasting friends through this process, which is worth all the pain and struggling involved. But I also made some lasting enemies, people I admire and regret leaving behind. All because I wrote a blog about making mistakes in the books and half seriously asking readers to look for the errors we didn’t catch. Suddenly there were cries of off with her head.
The end result was that one author wanted all of her associations with the anthologies erased from history. She was none too pleasant about it and threatened legal action when I wasn’t up to the task. My best friend had died and I was struggling with that situation. We did resolve it quietly.
I put a lot of money into the project, not asking for any contributions from the other writers most of the time. A few were able to help with money, and they are saints among authors. The editing cost about $400 per book. The covers ranged from $75 to $325 depending on what we wanted to be done. We got better and better at that, I think. This also brought to my attention how difficult it is to find nice photos of interracial couples. The bottom line, so to speak, is that we sold very few copies and made very little income from the project.
About this time, as the last volume went out, I knew I was done with the stress of the project. But I wanted to leave the world open for the other writers to play with. I even had a few stories left I wanted to tell. But now another author has asked that her story be removed from the books. Because we put the author names on the cover, this means reworking the cover. Because we have the original story in one of the first four books and again in the “yearbook”, we have to redo those publications. It’s doable, but in my current low place having lost my young dog to cancer, I can hardly manage the task.
With a heavy heart, I think it’s time to just pull the series. I don’t do this easily. I may damage my standing in Romance Writers of America, but maybe not. If you have the ebooks (I was always planning to format them for print, but too much else is going on) you may have something rare and interesting at this time.
Looks like The Bowman’s Inn anthologies in all forms will disappear at the end of August 2018. You can purchase them until then and even review them. As to the future of the city of Anteros, who knows? A magical place will never die, right? And my advice is to never get involved in an anthology but if you do, make sure to have a clause in the contract saying the stories can never be removed from the published version.
Thanks for reading, I’ll be back on Sunday.