Friday, August 2, 2013

Difficult Decisions: Why I chose to cut ties with my publishing house, and the future of the EVER Trilogy . . .

Difficult Decisions . . . 

As most of you may know, my journey to publication was a tough one (as so many tend to be). No, it wasn't long, at all (a short five months), but it was tumultuous, and there were many days that I couldn't imagine continuing on. I'm not someone with thick skin, and I take everything personally, internalize it, and dwell/spin/spiral. From rejection letters, to lost contests, to pitching on Twitter and having absolutely no response, I had so much self doubt during my querying days, that I'm surprised I managed to overcome.

But I did overcome.

And, in doing so, I realized that I am definitely a writer. Whether good or bad, published or not, the writing bug bit me and it won't be ignored.

I've also learned that my journey to publication didn't end with publication. It is a constant, evolving road, and I have a feeling I am only just getting started.

As most of you know, I signed with Curiosity Quills Press back in June of 2012. Initially, I was beyond thrilled. I had a publishing contract! On top of that, I had a publishing contract with a publishing company whose logo was a skull! What could be more fitting for me? I also had the backing of an editor who loved my story, understood my characters, and all-in-all, just 'got' me.

My debut was published in late September 2012, with an "official" release date of October 1st. Publishing EVER was a whirlwind of emotion. I was scared, excited, nervous, happy, and basically running the gamut of every good and bad emotion you can think of! My baby was going out into the world, and I didn't really know what that would mean for me. EVER was my very first completed manuscript. No, not just my first published manuscript, but the very first book I'd actually completed. Period. EVER is special, and precious to me, and probably not the best book I'll ever write, but still, she's mine, and I'm proud of the accomplishment.

After having EVER in the world for a few months, I began to feel like something was missing. Something was off. I began to question my choices, question myself, and question my relationship with Curiosity Quills Press. Eventually, the answer came to me, and it was a difficult one to digest.

During this past year, I've struggled with second-guessing myself. I've struggled with regret--which if you've ever dealt with that feeling, you know it can be a pretty heavy thing. I've struggled with the thought that if some of CQP's authors are thrilled, but I am not, then it's obviously something I'm doing. Or not doing. Or, maybe I just suck . . .

But then it hit me. I realized that though my choice to sign with CQP was not a bad choice, it may not have been the right choice for me.

Many talented and amazing people make up the CQP family. I have learned from them, learned with them, laughed with them, shared news with them, experienced highs and lows with them . . . as a family is supposed to do. Many of the CQP authors are loving life and enjoying their writing careers, as well as their choice to sign with CQP. They publish book after book, hit Amazon bestseller lists, and basically just love their writing journey and where it is taking them.

Unfortunately, I don't share their enthusiasm, and it has been a very emotionally draining road for me.

After over a year with CQP, I feel that my heart is leading me down a different path.

I have recently terminated my contracts with Curiosity Quills Press, which was a mutual and friendly break-up, and the rights to The EVER Trilogy have been returned to me. 

Moving forward, I will continue to pursue my traditional publishing dreams with DIVIDE, and my recent project, ARK (a modern redux of Noah's Ark), with the help of my literary agent, Marisa Cleveland and The Seymour Agency.

However, with these new developments, the EVER series will take a different path.

The EVER Trilogy's future . . . 

EVER: First and foremost, if you have a paperback copy of EVER, treasure it! I'm not completely sure when I will have paperbacks available again, and when I do have them, they won't look exactly the same, obviously. So let's call those current paperbacks collector's items, shall we? Makes them sound speshul.

I plan to re-release EVER via self-publishing in e-book form, in the coming months. I'm throwing in a little something extra for the fans--a few chapter's from Toby's POV, possibly? Why don't you take this quick little poll and tell me what you'd like me to throw into the re-release? Sound fair? :-)

If you could pick just ONE of these options to be included in the re-release of EVER, which would you choose? free polls 
PS. "All of the above" is not an option. Sorry, guys! ;-)

EVADE: The cover photo shoot is scheduled for THIS Tuesday, August 6th! I am so excited, its not even funny! AND, I surprised one of EVER's biggest fans--a book reviewer/blogger from right here in sunny SoCal!--with an invite to join us for the photo shoot! SQUEE! She'll get to meet my awesome photographer (Face on by Tamara), interview my hottie models (Tracy Stanbury-Ever and Sean Ciccione-Toby) and hang out with us, documenting the entire day and blogging about it for all of you! Make sure you follow Annabelle Lovell at Sparkles and Lightning or on Twitter so you don't miss the awesome behind-the-scenes post in September! She's super excited, which makes me even more excited!

I am still planning on releasing EVADE near the end of September, beginning of October, just a year after EVER was first published. EVADE will be self-published in e-book format, and possibly paperback as well, depending. This is all very new to me and I'm taking it day by day, learning as I go, so please bear with me.

BOOK THREE: I'm sure you've already guessed, but Book Three will also be released via self-publishing, and will hopefully be scheduled for a year after EVADE is published, landing that release date around 10/1/2014. (See the pattern here?)

In closing . . . 

Regardless of my decision, I will forever stand by my original thoughts on small presses/big presses/self publishing. There is no right or wrong way to follow your dreams or bring your writing goals to fruition. REMEMBER THAT above all else. Your choices may not be mine, and mine may not be yours, and you know what? THAT IS COMPLETELY OKAY. You need to take charge of your own destiny, your own happiness. So grab that bull by the horns, and turn your dreams into reality--whichever path that may lead you down. This is YOUR career, your passion. Go with it. 

I want to thank the Curiosity Quills Press family for the experience and knowledge I've gained in this past year, and for being supportive during this difficult decision to part ways. Please know that this decision wasn't made lightly.


  1. Really appreciate you sharing this, Jessa. Sending you lots of hugs. Good luck with your awesome agent and the super fun photo-shoot! Rock on, girl :D

  2. Beautifully said . . . you'll always be my sister no matter where you go~hugs!!!! And yay--I have a collector's book! Mama always did tell me I was "special." :-)

    1. Haha! You ARE special! ;-) And you'll always be my sister too! We can be sisters in YA. Or sisters in awesomeness. lol


  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

    1. Ignore that. It was supposed to be me. Way to ruin a moment! LOL!!

  4. Oh my gosh, Jessa. This brought me to tears. I know exactly how it feels to want to quit and feel bad about the lack of results. I don't have a thick skin either, although I can pretend I do. It's important to go with your gut and trust yourself and do what's best for you and I'm happy to see you doing that. Thank you for sharing this story. (I accidentally posted this as my boyfriend, oops! haha!)

    1. Thank you for your support and understanding, Monica! It was a tough decision, and I'm still afraid of the results/repercussions of going it alone, but I'm also super excited about my choice.


  5. Loved Ever! I wish you the best of luck in everything =). As I don't do e-books, I'll be waiting patiently for the trilogy to come to paperback so I can read all the great stories I'm sure you have yet to tell! I know you're an amazing author and I know you'll find the right path for you! I'm behind you all the way! :D

    1. Thank you, Kel! I appreciate your support so much!

      And have no fear, I've just ordered my proof copy of the new EVER (complete with bonus material), so paperbacks are right around the corner! YAY! :-)

  6. I loved Ever too! I am super excited to read Evade! Yours was definitely the best book I ever read from CQP so it is their loss! Well done to you for doing what feels right for you! Please let me know if you are doing a cover reveal and I will definitely post for you :)

    1. Hi Sarah! Thank you for the support! <3 I'd LOVE to have you be a part of the EVADE tour in October (you can review, interview, spotlight, etc)! Please sign up here, if you're interested:

      I'd also love for your help in the cover reveal blast, so thank you!! :-) I'm HOPING to do that on 9/15, so I'll get back to you about that!