But things have changed. The economy has changed. Books cost more to produce and fewer people are buying them. Small publishers are crashing and burning all around us and even the larger national publishers are tightening their belts and making cuts. Personal goods and services cost more but no one is getting a big enough raise to cover them. Lots of people are getting laid off and losing their homes. I don't know about you, but at our house, both my husband and myself have had to pick up extra jobs to make ends meet.
As the economy squeezed tighter and tighter (both professionally and personally), I found myself carrying a greater work load than I was comfortable with. Eventually, it became obvious that I couldn't continue to do everything I was trying to do. It became difficult to keep up this blog with the ever increasing demands of my job(s). I was reaching a personal breaking point and I seriously considered dropping this blog altogether because it was just one more thing for me to do. I no longer had the time to write it at work and although I loved writing this blog, it was hard to justify why I was spending limited personal/family time on something that sounded like work but that wasn't generating an income.
Not too long ago it was suggested to me that I might want to consider a career change (that's the polite way of saying that I realized I might not have a job in the future). I could continue as I was for awhile or I could look for work at another company, but honestly, I've been working harder, yet getting further behind financially. And I'm tired of it all. Tired of rejecting good manuscripts because we can't afford to publish them. Tired of trying to collect money from bookstores who are feeling the pinch and can't pay their bills on time. And just plain physically tired of working longer days for less pay.
So I've made some decisions and plans are being implemented—including changes to this blog and the LDS Fiction blog.
First, my career move. I'm going freelance, aka semi-retirement, aka mostly unemployed. I'll no longer work a regular schedule at a publishing company—partly due to the current state of the economy and partly due to my own desire/need to slow down a little and stop working 16 hour days. That sounds like I'm moving backwards, doesn't it? Perhaps I am. We'll see.
Instead of working in-house for one publishing company, I'll be auctioning off my services to various publishers on a project-by-project basis. Right now, I have agreements with four publishers—two projects lined up and a few more tentatives. I think it'll be a win/win situation—they don't have to hire, then fire staff when things are slow and I can take a health break when I need to.
Now for the blog changes. No, I'm not shutting it down and going into blog retirement. Instead, I'm going to ramp it up a bit and hopefully make this a more valuable resource for LDS writers. I've just about got it all worked out, with the help of a friend who's working on some design changes for me. Everything should be in place and working by the end of this month.
Here are just a few of the changes that are on the way:
- The LDS Publisher blog will be updated to a classier, more professional look. The LDS Fiction blog will also be updated to match the look and feel of this blog.
- While your questions will still be answered, the focus of this blog will shift to step-by-step how-to articles covering the entire gamut from novel idea conception through publication and promotion.
- Author interviews and the occasional guest post will find a place here.
- Monthly contests will continue on both this blog and the LDS Fiction blog where readers and commenters can win books and authors and publishers can promote their books by sponsoring the contests—but there will be a few changes (to be announced later).
- Reasonably priced ad space will be made available in the sidebar to authors/publishers who want to promote their newest releases, to companies who offer professional services to authors, and to other companies/individuals with a connection to books, writing and/or publishing.
- An LDS Fiction Review site will be networked in where newly released LDS fiction will be reviewed (as opposed to simply listed as on the LDS Fiction blog).
- Various LDS Publisher links pages will be added, including links to LDS publishers and their submission guidelines; links to LDS author websites and blogs; links to workshops, events, networks, and other items of interest to writers.
- And probably a few more things that I think of as we go.