The Magic City

The Magic City

Monday, May 18, 2015

Fear and Publishing - M. V. Freeman's Journey of Changing Publishing Houses

Choosing the right path in publishing is one of the hardest decisions an author must make. Urban fantasy author M.V. Freeman is guest blogging today about her story of changing paths. 

Fear is an emotion that can help one move forward, complete a project, and get the job done—or it can paralyze.

I learned this with my first book—INCANDESCENT.  In 2012 I signed with a brand new digital publishing house and I was excited; but within months I realized I’d made the wrong decision. It wasn’t the fact I signed or was published – it was the kinds of stories being represented by the publisher. Their focus was on Category Romance (To be clear--There is nothing wrong with Category, and I know some fabulous authors who write this very well.) I write a cross-genre; Urban fantasy Romance, heavy on plot with numerous characters, which didn’t work well with where I signed. My word counts were higher---80- 100k compared to the 50-70k average.

What was I supposed to do? I’d  written the second book-ILLUMINATION, obtained an agent, and I knew I couldn’t send my current story to them, because it just wouldn’t fit. It wasn’t fair to them or to me; I felt it was misleading—people buying my book expected a certain type of story related to category and mine wasn’t.

The only option I saw was to get my rights back.  But, I was uncertain, if I asked for my rights was I committing professional suicide? If I stayed I knew it would be. What’s worse? Staying where I knew I couldn’t go forward or taking a chance?  Fear had taken hold and I struggled with a decision.

I was uneasy—but I took a chance and asked for my rights back—and was awarded them. Now I had my first book -- what was I going to do? For a little while,  I shelved the first book and tried shopping my second book in the series.

As many seasoned authors know most publishing houses rarely pick up a series, especially after the first book has been published.  There was interest, but I wasn’t surprised when there was some reticence about ILLUMINATION, because of my first book. Self-publishing was an option, but the truth was, I had neither the time or the funds.

I started getting frustrated. I don’t like being afraid. Sure, things are in flux in publishing. There are publishers going under and still others opening their doors. Self-publishing authors are struggling, even as others are finding success.

Who would  *want* my type of story?

At this point I could’ve just dropped it. Moved on, started another series. Used this experience as a graphic training aide of what not to do.  But I decided not to let fear rule me.  I’d been published – now I understood how important it is to make the correct decisions.  I hate to say—it’s easier to find these sorts of epiphanies after the fact.

I took a chance and pitched to a few publishers.  I was nervous, but really, I’d given up on being afraid. All it did was make me second guess myself and I stopped taking chances. No more.

I did find a publisher who liked Romances outside the box. They said yes to my second book in the series (ILLUMINATION) and agreed to republish my first book (Incandescent).  I was floored—and very pleased.  I really had thought I’d never find a book home, or that I deserved one.

Now I have my first book INCANDESCENT re-edited and published, and my second book in the series, ILLUMINATION is now out. (I love the covers)

Fear, while helpful can be a detriment— and my advice, is don’t let it rule you.  Be fearless! Take chances and never let someone tell you that you are trapped. There are always options — sometimes you have to create them if you can’t find them.

Author Bio:
M.V. Freeman lives in North Alabama. A nurse by day, at night she enjoys creating  and exploring alternate worlds within our own. She gravitates toward stories of determined heroines and anti-heroes who push the boundaries as they both fight to find their light in the dark.

M.V. is represented by Victoria Lea from The Aponte Literary Agency. Her award-winning and best-selling debut novel INCANDESCENT is the first in the Hidden Races Series. Currently she is working on the third book in the series, while plotting others. When not writing, she can be
found reading, cooking, throwing around kettle bells, or making coffee.

You can find her here: Website:

Simon & Schuster (pre-order links)




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  1. Great post! When you re-released your first book, was it marketed as a new release? How much time passed between the first and second book coming out?

    1. Thanks Joan!
      (If this publishes twice--I apologize; I tried answering and blogger ate it)
      When my first book released--they did release it as a new release (but didn't emphasize it). They'd re-edited and I added about 7k of material. (I still considered it a re-release). The second book came out 5 months later. Now I am currently working on book three.

  2. Thanks so much for sharing your story! It's definitely very heartening and inspiring!

    1. Thanks D.B.!
      It certainly taught me some painful lessons!

  3. Awesome post and way to persevere!