Nell Dixon: "Writing for different publishers"
_Nell Dixon is a Black Country author, married to the same man for over twenty-five years. She has three daughters, a tank of tropical fish and a cactus called Spike. Winner of the RNA’s prestigious Romance Prize in 2007 and 2010, she writes warm-hearted contemporary romance for a number of publishers in the U.S. and the U.K. including Samhain Publishing, Little Black Dress, Astraea Press, E-Scape Press and Freya’s Bower. Her latest titles include Making Waves, Cue Me In, Dangerous to Know, September Song, and A Cornish Christmas.
I didn’t begin my writing career by intending to write for lots of different publishers. Back in 2006 when I sold my first book I sold two books in one week. My first was to a small – now sadly defunct U.S. sweet romance specialist, Moonlit Romance. That was on the Monday, on the Friday I sold another story to a U.K. print company.
I went on to sell several books to Moonlit Romance and then they asked if I could write something short for an anthology for their Inspirational sister company, By Grace. So of course, I did.
This took me up to three companies. Then life really became interesting, I still had rights from my U.K. print sale so I sold large print rights to another U.K. print company and e-book rights to Samhain. It helped that the book, Marrying Max, had won a major U.K. prize. Samhain also bought one of my chick lit titles too.
By now I’m up to five different companies in two different countries and three different formats. I began to worry, maybe it was better to concentrate just on a couple of companies. I was told it made it easier for readers to find my backlist. Other authors told me it was good to diversify, to spread my risk in case anyone folded.
I’d just sold my first single title to Little Black Dress, part of the Hachette publishing group when Moonlit and By Grace folded, returning my rights to me. It looked as if the diversify group were right. I went on to sell four books to Little Black dress who in turn sold my books into Turkish, Bulgarian, German, Spanish, and Indonesian before that line too closed.
Undeterred, I’ve since sold to Freya’s Bower, Astraea, and E-Scape Press and in audio format to Audiolark. I’m also going to be announcing a new sale to another U.K. print publisher in a few weeks when the contract is finalised.
What have I learned from all this?
_Excellent advice, everyone. You can find Nell on her blog, Facebook, and Twitter. Her work is widely available.