Wednesday, May 1, 2019

An Unfortunate Announcement & IWSG

Let me start by giving a huge 'Thank You!' to this month's IWSG co-hosts  Lee Lowery, Juneta Key, Yvonne Ventresca, and T. Powell Coltrin! You make all this writing love run more smoothly.

I'm going to forgo this month's optional question and get on with my announcement which has heightened my insecurities by more than a few notches. *Writers - please read to the bottom because I'm looking for some advice. TY!*

*clears throat*

Last Friday, I received an email from Leap Books, Motley's middle grade publisher, informing me that they have decided to close their doors after eleven years. *Feel free to read their heartfelt post and press release. 

I want to thank them for the kind words they said about me, my fellow Leap authors, and the entire Leap team. I know they did not make this decision lightly. My heart is heavy for them. They are wonderfully, talented people and have always been enthusiastic and encouraging about my work. I'm also sad for my fellow Leap authors and what this means for them. Mostly, I'm heartbroken for the world of MOTLEY EDUCATION that I've created. I was just finishing up work on the second book in the series, and I was in hopes that it would be released by the end of the year. I can't imagine Ebony and Fleishman without a home. I'm not sure what I'm going to do, or even what my options are.

I've always been the type of person to take things in stride. Being married 27 years and having four kids will do that to you. Dwelling on a negative is a waste of time. Saying that, the past 16 months have handed my family blow after blow starting with my mom entering a nursing home, which left my dad home alone, and all has continued to go downhill from the stresses of starting a new family business, my wonderful brother-in-law passing away at the age of 49, being concerned about my sister-in-law's loss and her three kids, my father-in-law entering a hospital four months ago which led to a nursing facility where he's now on hospice, worrying about my sweet mother-in-law who probably shouldn't be living alone, and having to say goodbye to our beloved family dog of almost 14 years. 

Now with all this and Leap's closure announcement, I need to take a step back to reassess. I'm not quitting writing. Never. I have more spooky stories that need to be told. And who knows, this setback with Leap just might be what my work needed to catapult it to higher and more successful ground. The one thing I do know is that I need to take a step back and breath. I'll be shying away from social media and blogging for a bit, while I try to figure out what my next move should be. But if you need to contact me feel free to use my email. 

More Participants!
So, what should my next move be? Leap is reverting my rights back to me, presumably to approach other publishers with Motley. How do I go about finding Motley a new home? Is it like regular querying? Have any of you been through this or know a fellow author that has? Could you share that experience with me? I'm truly lost in this jungle of unknown. Thank you for any help you can offer. 


  1. Oh, Sheri, I'm so sorry! You've had so much going on recently and to have this happen as well makes it even more challenging. I haven't been through this experience but I'm betting someone will have some good advice for you. All I can offer is hugs and an ear if you ever need to talk/vent.

  2. Can you epub after getting your rights back? I know another author who did that.

    I love that you said "dwelling on a negative is a waste of time". So true. We can spend time pushing ourselves into a hole to moan about it or we can pull ourselves out of a hole and into fresh air and new ideas. I know you'll keep doing great writing.


  3. I'm so sorry for everything that's going on. My story this last year has been similar, including losing our dog and nearly losing my husband. You are right to step back and take a moment to reassess. I hope some of our published authors have some advice for you on how to move forward with your books. Best to you!

  4. I am so sorry.

    Most publishers want fresh material, but you are coming to them with a potential series rather than just one book. I'd recommend querying, letting them know this book was published and what happened, showing them its reviews and sales, while also pitching the second book in the series. See what happens. If they end up only wanting the second one, then you can self-pub the first.

  5. I'm sorry to hear about your publisher closing their doors. I've been in that situation before, and it can be tough, especially if you liked working with them and thought they treated you well. One thing to consider is what happens to your already published books? Will another publisher takes them on since they've already been published? Indie publishing for those is an option if that's a problem. It helps that you already have a following. But it's also not a case of only one or the other. I know many people who are hybrid authors. They indie publish some and are traditionally published with others. That's certainly an option for you. Good luck making your decision.

  6. Your post is heartbreaking for your family, and with Leap books closing their doors adds to the heaviness. I Agree with L. Diane Wolfe. My publisher opted to take on authors when Samhain closed their doors. I'm sure there are good publishers that would be willing to add your talents to their clientele.

    Take Care!!

  7. I'm sorry. Tara Tyler is in the same situation right now. She would definitely be one to talk to about your potential path.

  8. I'm sorry to read about so much tragedy. Stepping back is understandable.

    Anna from elements of emaginette

  9. I am so sorry for all what you're going through and for Leap closing their doors. I fear the day when this would happen with my small publisher. (I hope not.) But if it ever did, I would end up self-publishing my Disaster Crimes Series and my short eBooks. Hang in there! This is a crazy time, but whatever you decide will be the right path. Hugs!

  10. So sorry for your publishing company closing on top of everything else. I don't think you should give up on your writing because you're really talented. And your book has won awards. Taking a break and just writing when you can may be a good option till life slows down a bit. You know that's what I'm doing too.

  11. Reverting the rights back to your name could be profitable. You will reap the benefits of any profits. But the marketing will be totally on you, of course. You can always try some mid-size publishers and see if they would be interested. I'm rooting for you through all your heartaches!!!

  12. I'm so sorry about your publisher and everything else going on. I don't know what advice I can offer but I would say just take everything one step at a time.

  13. Prayers for everything that's been going on in your life.
    Once you get the rights back for your story, then you can do anything with it. I recommend self publishing, but that's me.

  14. I'm so sorry that this is happening to you. Tara Tyler is going through the same thing, at the moment. So, you might want to touch base with her. I can only wish you the best no matter what your decision is and feel free to poke me with shout-out needs whenever it gets that far again.

  15. My heart goes out to you. I have no solid advice to offer about publishing. Its all new to me right now. I wish you the best and success with finding out what suits you best and discovering your new path. Happy IWSG. Thanks for visiting my blog.

  16. Hi Sheri,

    I wish I had some magical words that would take away all your sorrow and stress. These things always seem to culminate into a great big ball to bowl over the sweetest and kindest people. I am so sorry for your losses and for your stress. As you know, I can relate...when it rains, it pours! Taking a step back and BREATHING is a very wise thing to do. Focus on your health. Don't get yourself sick over this. Somethings are just beyond our control.

    As for "Motley"...with all the awards and readers who LOVE it, I have no doubt you'll make it a success again! My first thought was self publishing, too. You already have a large readership and once book two is complete, your readers will be ready. Yes, the marketing and platform takes time, however, you have a strong reader base and all of the blogging community to help you get the word out. You are an amazingly talented person and I know you can do this with you usual style and grace.

    Take care of yourself! I'm sending you lots of hugs, prayers, and positive vibes.

  17. I'm sorry you're having to deal with this. I haven't been through it myself, but I've watched friends deal with it. The two options are self-publishing and querying new agents/publishers. From what I've seen, it would be a regular query, but be sure to mention the situation so they know it had already been picked up once and that the series has a following. Good luck to you!

  18. My heart goes out to you. It seems that whenever it rains, it pours. I hope things get better. As far as republishing your book, maybe you can contact Dancing Lemur Press. They might be interested. Good luck!


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