This is a summary of the updates about Looking For Hope that I posted on Twitter in March 2022, along with an update from April 2022.
LOOKING FOR HOPE is one of the hardest books I’ve written. I wrote it while in hospital, and two months ago, again in hospital, I was trying to finish its edits. Then Amazon messed up and cancelled all the preorders. None of these have been reinstated. They won’t even list the book now. And I’m just…exhausted and deflated. When Amazon cancelled it, I lost all the motivation to keep editing it. I haven’t touched it since then. And now I just don’t know what to do with it. It was a pretty destroying book to write, and I feel defeated. I haven’t had the energy to argue with Amazon to get the title back up, and part of me just thinks maybe I should leave it be and not release this book (at least, at the moment). There are preorders on other platforms but as Amazon holds the monopoly for indie titles, I am really considering cancelling this book altogether. The preorders from non-zon platforms wouldn’t cover the cover cost, let alone editing, design, and marketing—or the MONTHS I spent writing it! I rely on my Amazon sales to do that. But Amazon apparently doesn’t like my ace books 🤷♀️
It’s super hard being a hybrid author (publishing indie and trad) and right now, it’s making me want to just stick with the trad route. I’m motivated to write the manuscripts I send to my agent, but the ones I’d planned to be indie? I’ll still finish existing series, but it’s really making me consider whether I should switch back to fully trad. I set up these pen names (Elin Annalise and Elin Dyer) to be my adult and YA pen names for indie publishing, while I use @MDyerAuthor for trad and my teaching work. But maybe going forward I should ask my agent to represent these books too (she has asked about taking my ace romances the trad route before…).
I just feel deflated at the moment. Indie publishing is hard enough without Amazon working against you.
I’ve talked to my agent about my lack of enthusiasm for self-publishing my ace titles, and she’s happy to take the next one out on submission, as she does with my books I publish as Madeline Dyer—but I would still be using the Elin Annalise name for my ace romances. I don’t know whether my next Elin Annalise book will be Looking For Hope as I feel this one has been soured by this whole experience with Amazon (not to mention how they also messed up the preorders for my third novel) and my illness at the time. I have started rewriting it and the plot is becoming very different, but I just don’t know how it’ll turn out. What I do know so far is that I may very well move a little more into the ‘women’s fiction’ genre (or as I will now be calling it, Social Studies Fiction) with some of my new books which publish as Elin Annalise. They’ll still have ace romance in, but romance likely won’t be the heart of every single story.
This isn’t to say I won’t write more romcoms, because I probably will. But I want to be able to write what feels organic for me. 💜
It’s a little weird that I’ll be moving away from self-publishing, especially as I have already commissioned covers for some more Elin Annalise titles that’ll hopefully be trad published now, but sticking to self-publishing these books just because I’ve got the covers doesn’t make sense.
It also made me think about my other pen name I use for self-pub: Elin Dyer. I’ve got two series in progress under this name (each with the first book already published—both including ace MCs!) and I think I’ll likely finish those series via self-pub, and then plan to trad publish everything after that. So it may be that going forward I only use my pen names that are set up for traditional publishing: Madeline Dyer for dark and story stories, and Elin Annalise (which will hopefully become trad) for lighter romcoms and contemporary social studies fiction.