Edith here, on one of the coldest days this winter.
But my spirits are warm! Pour yourself a cup of tea or a glass of wine and I’ll tell you a story. (I’ll try to keep it short.)
Once upon a time, Midnight Ink, a division of Llewelyn Publishing, published crime fiction. Lots of it. All genres of it. Award-winning books of it. When Editor Terri Bischoff offered me a three-book contract back in 2014 for my historical Quaker Midwife Mysteries, I joyously signed.
Annually starting in 2016 Midnight Ink released the adventures of Quaker midwife Rose Carroll: Delivering the Truth, Called to Justice, and Turning the Tide. Each was nominated for an Agatha Award for Best Historical Novel. I signed a contract for three more books. Charity’s Burden released in spring, 2019.
I wrote book five, Judge Thee Not (due on January 1, 2020), had it edited, and polished it.
Boom. In the fall of 2019, Llewelyn announced it was closing the entire line of Midnight Ink books. Many excellent authors were stunned. And orphaned, including Wicked Julie with her Theater Cop series, and me with Quaker Midwife books five and six.
I knew I wasn’t done with midwife Rose and her sleuthing tales, and I had book five ready to go. I signed a contract with Beyond the Page Publishing to put out books 5-7. Charity’s Burden was nominated for – and then won – the Agatha Award for Best Historical Novel (in a virtual presentation, it being last spring). For the time being, Midnight Ink kept selling and distributing books 1-4.
Until…boom. Again. In September, 2020, Llewelyn reverted the books 1-4 rights to me and precipitously removed the e-books from all markets. Ugh. Paper copies are out there for sale, but nobody had access to Kindle, Nook, or any other e-versions.
I didn’t get the rights back to the gorgeous original cover art by Greg Newbold, but I did have the very nearly final book files. Still, if I paid an artist to do new covers, would I ever make the money back? And did I want to do the work of converting the Word files into eformats? I had a busy fall, writing and, oh yeah, having hand surgery and coping with pandemic depression. I stayed in denial about the project.
But with A Changing Light coming out in April, the Quaker Midwife Mysteries aren’t over yet. And ebooks are permafresh. So this month I bit the proverbial bullet. I hired Dar Albert, the cover designer for books 5-7.
She already knows the era and the style of my covers, and does a beautiful job (plus, her web site is Wicked Smart Designs – we were a match made in, well, wicked heaven). I wrestled my way through the ebook conversions. And now? Voila!
I have ebooks again! We kept the covers simple, variations on a theme. I love them. As of this writing, Changing the Light hasn’t yet been connected with the rest of the series, but we’re working on that. And the new ebooks are integrated with their other versions.
I’m delighted to cross this task off my long-term to-do list. To celebrate, I will happily send one commenter an ebook from the series – winner’s choice! (Although you’ll have to wait until April for A Changing Light.)
Readers: What have you knocked off your to-do list lately?