It seems to be the dream of every romance author to get picked up by Harlequin, set up in a writer’s stable and see their book on a shelf at Barnes & Noble for a week.  I’ve never been one to fall in line with traditional thinking so that wasn’t really the route I chose.  When Sapphire Blue Publishing offered me a contract for the first novel in what I had planned to be a seven novel series, I did some deep thinking.

I could keep trying to get an agent but with a story that crosses genres like The Path to Freedom does, that was never going to happen.  (OK, it might have happened but after 55 rejections I was beginning to wonder if there were any agents I hadn’t queried yet!)  I could approach one of the Harlequin lines with the story.  It had been written with the Bombshell line in mind and might find a home in Intrigue but that was a long shot since I hadn’t used their guidelines when I was writing it.

Then there was the question of pinning my hopes on a brand new e-publisher at a time when other e-pubs were dropping off and starting up left and right.

Finally there was the question of whether I could achieve my career goals by offering this series with an e-publisher when everybody seemed to want hard copies.  (My friend Michelle informed me she would not be reading my books until they were available in paperback.)

I’ve always been a risk taker so when my gut said to go with Sapphire Blue Publishing, I did it.

I couldn’t have asked for a better first publisher than Sapphire Blue.  I knew nothing about writing or the business end of things when I won their Grab Me! Contest in 2008.  Since then I have learned SO MUCH and it is all due to them.

I can’t speak for other publishers but Sapphire Blue Publishing partners with their authors to create a symbiotic relationship.  Personally, I like knowing that I’m still in the driver’s seat when it comes to my writing career.  They foster a community feeling by running three email groups: Marketing (where the in-house Marketing guru and authors share tips on how to increase exposure and market their books effectively), Authors (where authors can just rant about edits and life in general with other SBP authors only) and Fans (where authors can chat with fans and keep them updated on new releases and projects in the works).

The editors that I have worked with thus far have all taught me valuable lessons about how to improve my writing.  Tina Gerow and Maria Clayton are very careful about who they hire and ensure they are trained properly.

What is expected from authors as well as what authors should expect is laid out neatly and concisely in a small handbook.

As for the money, it is no secret that e-publishers pay authors more per sale than print publishers.  I was disturbed recently to find out what MacMillan pays their authors on e-books.  I like the royalty rates at Sapphire Blue Publishing and especially enjoy the monthly checks as opposed to the quarterly system that print publishers use.  If I were a Tom Clancy or a Nora Roberts I’d probably sing a different tune but for where I am in my career, Sapphire Blue Publishing is providing me with a priceless education and just enough money for pizza and beer once a month to keep me motivated.