Sunday, January 17, 2016

Found: One silver lining

January 16, 2016

I've been quiet thus far in 2016 for a rather unhappy reason. It was announced on January 2 that Amber Quill Press is ceasing operations. With the bulk of my books there, I've been in Photoshop hell scramble mode. The owners did give a three-month notice which is plenty of time to get organized. Is it plenty of time to make forty book covers? If only Photoshop will cooperate!

I am getting better with the software, and some of the covers I'm coming up with are much closer to my vision than the ones the publisher created from the [subjective] Art Form I submitted. I'm pleased with the finished products. I'm debuting them on my website as I get them done. You'll have to click through to the individual book pages to spot them, but I will tell you the ones for Ian Coulter's Amethyst Cove series and the Sundown saga are there. I did the one for Kentucky 98 Proof last night but  it may not be loaded depending on what time of day you read this blog. I also suspect, as my skills develop, I'll tweak a few of them. 

There was some pointless wailing and gnashing of teeth with the announcement Amber Quill was closing. For myself, I've been down this road before. There was Silk's Vault - the owner simply absconded and left everyone hanging. Aspen Mountain Press - same thing. Whiskey Creek sold its operation and tried to force authors into an agreement with the new company - just say no. There was the Triskelion debacle and bankruptcy. My alter ego has been around a while. 

As sorry as I am to see AQP close, it's not the end of my world. Amber Quill is the best publisher I've been with, bar none. But I've long thought the publishing industry has a few BIG flaws, the first of which is trying to metaphorically beat authors into submission. The writer is the backbone of the industry and the writer is the one treated like shit. (Please excuse my language.) There's a lot of shade being tossed at Amazon over the rise of indie publishing but I say publishers need to look at themselves. 

Poor contracts, ugly cover art, abusive editors, slow pay, wrong pay, no pay, refusal to respond to emails - all these things pushed authors away from publishing houses and into Amazon's open arms and beyond. 

I already have a revision of rights letter from AQP. I never had a doubt I'd get a proper letter. I don't doubt for a single moment I'll be paid out on all sales. Is that my silver lining? No. This is - I've got the rights back to my stories and with it the chance to stroll down new and interesting avenues. Honing my questionable skills with Photoshop is just the beginning. 

Will it be easy? Parts of it yes, parts of it no. The bottom line, for me, is that I accomplished what I set out to do. Way back in 2003, I wrote a book. Everything good that's come my way since has been icing on the cake. Now I get to bake a new one. 

KC Kendricks