Edith’s Ebooks are Back! #giveaway

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?

71 Thoughts

  1. Wow, Edith, that is a LOT of work! But your series sure is worth it. Congrats on getting all the wrinkles ironed out and now you can (sorta) relax.

    As of last night, I finished re-tiling around my bathtub. Some of the tiles had come loose (after 58 years, imagine that!) I tried to get someone to do it, but that didn’t work out, so I tore off the loose ones, cleaned everything up (including the mold), and relaid and re-grouted them. Finished the whole job off with a new bead of sealer around the tub, and it looks great. Can’t tell anything was done, which is success in my mind. A huge check mark on the TBD list.

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  2. Edith, you’re a dynamo. I admire and am in awe of your tenacity. This past year I completed funeral arrangements and will be spending eternity in Green-wood. Cleaned up financial matters and promised myself to keep submitting short stories hither and yon.

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  3. I’ve never read any of these books but I love the cover designs (wicked cool)! Such simpler times back then, can you imagine no Google? Lol! My husband and I have been chipping away at our winter to-do list around the house, re-arranging, cleaning out closets, etc., biding our time til Spring.

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  4. I loved that story. A nice morning greeting, since I am reading it first thing sipping my full cup of hot coffee. To me, it’s a story of perseverance. A necessary personality trait of a successful author, such as yourself.

    With four kids, a law practice, and writing my second environmental thriller, The Green Ocean File, (a sequel to The Green Beach File), my to do list runs pages long and sometimes items float around the bottom of it for a long time. I guess what I have to share this morning though is a story of hope rather than one of perseverance.

    Taking down the Christmas tree stayed on my to do list much longer than normal this year, but I had a good reason. Around January 2nd my ten year old asked if we could leave it up until the 19th, the day sports were allowed to start up again in Connecticut. I realized as he said this that the only possible answer was yes. The trees sparkly lights and message of hope were maybe needed to get through some of the changes brought by the pandemic, and it’s permeating and rippling reverberations. So the tree stayed up and it’s lights sparkled each wintry evening. And then, a few days ago after many youth sports had started again here in Connecticut, including my youngest son’s own soccer and basketball, I took the Christmas tree down. I felt accomplished, by leaving it up so long, and then by taking it down so late, even though it really was a small task. It felt more important than ever before.

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    1. Yes, perseverance is critical!

      You had good reason to keep that tree up. I have kept up the twinkly lights I strung around my living room – and see no reason to take them down, ever!

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    2. A couple of years ago, our daughter who is 51 and lived in Arizona, wasn’t able to come home for Christmas until the end of January, so we left the tree up. It’s a big tree with a LOT of ornaments so it’s a lot of work to put up and take down. We ended up leaving it up all year. And we loved it! Made the room so cozy at night. BTW, it is still up this year. It will come down before too long because our daughter is moving in with us for a short time and she is bringing 3 cats who would love to trash the tree. Fortunately, our kitty is much better behaved!

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  5. Edith,
    I was so sad when Midnight Ink closed down but happy that you found a home for your new Quaker Midwife mysteries with Beyond the Page Publishing.

    I know other MI writers who got the rights back for their books and have re-released them, but I had no idea the amount of work involved for you (the author). Kudos to you for your efforts, and I hope these ebooks find a bunch of new readers.

    I don’t have any long-term projects that need to be finished, just daily/weekly to-do items.
    I try to make 1 new recipe every week, so today I am baking some blueberry scones (from Judy’s post on JRW yesterday) and will try to make Asian pork-chive-cabbage dumplings for the first time. Wish me luck!

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    1. I took inspiration from Gigi Pandian, who did a set of simple covers on a theme when she rereleased her Accidental Alchemist books.

      I love hearing about your recipes, Grace!

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  6. I am STILL culling emails (for the second time) down from 20k to the current 9,326, but I HAVE made the switch from satellite internet to fiberoptic.

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  7. Know it’s been a lot of work, but well worth it. So many more now can enjoy your fabulous books.

    When we downsized and moved plus now just being hubby and I, we thought that there wasn’t a need for this big stocked pantry full of groceries. After all, we only live 2 miles from two grocery stores and the cabinets in the kitchen would hold more than plenty. Plus when we downsized our new home has only one huge closet.

    Then the pandemic happened with more stay at home time, lot less trips to the store to avoid being exposed to others, no eating out and shortages at the stores. It took some planning, measuring and figuring out where everything would go ahead of time, but we ordered an industrial shelving unit for the shortest side of the closet and as we could find it we stocked it will everything we would need or use on a regular basis. I compiled a master list of what was on the shelves. As we take out or add to our supplies, the list is updated. Not only has it worked out great, now we have less stress about not having a much needed item and we make lot less trips to the store for groceries. We were out a fair amount of money to get the shelves bought and well stocked, but it’s definitely been well worth it.

    Mom had always taught me the value of a well-stocked pantry. I’d always adhered to that train of thought. After a brief lapse, we are back on track and much happier and healthy because of it.

    Thank you for the fabulous opportunity to win one of your books. Shared and hoping to be the very fortunate one selected.

    Have a wonderful weekend. Wish you could send some snow to Arkansas. No storms mind you, but enough to be pretty. 🙂
    2clowns at arkansas dot net

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    1. Thanks, Kay, and congratulations on getting your pantry built and stocked. I’m a big believer in well-stocked food shelves.

      We don’t have much snow, although a bit more might be coming Monday. But it’s COLD!

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  8. I finally got through all of my boxes and bins of books that have remained packed for years after a couple of moves where I didn’t have room or shelves for them. They are all alphabetized and in bookcases! Now my task is to see which ones I’ve read and give those away so that others may enjoy them.

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  9. Bravo for you! Who knew you had all that to contend with? You have handled a tough decision with grace and skill. So happy it is working out so well for you.

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  10. What full and fruitful journey you have had Edith! My story is in a 3rd floor knee high semi walk-in (I’m 5’11’) closet. It goes back 38+ years, maybe I should start when I was 5 yrs old…when I learned to sew. My great grandmother came over from Lithuania thru Ellis Island with her trusty Singer treadle machine and set up shop. I have that sewing machine in my kitchen as a side table. My grandmother and great-aunt in that family were sewers and my mom could sew a fairly straight seam. They say talent skips generations; I loved sewing and made clothes for me and my dolls and anything else that i wanted to play withers a child. As a teenager I attacked patterns with a vengeance and learned many skills. I was in a 4-H sewing club as well (loved overnight summer camp in the Berkshires!). As a young mom with no extra money I sewed some of my clothes and about half of the baby clothes, on into my kids’ childhoods. Being so tall it was awesome to have pants that were not ‘floods’ and sleeves that touched my wrist! I saved just about every scrap that seemed big enough to make something or to add onto a piece of clothing. Those boxed of fabrics moved with me 5 times. I bought fabric to make a project but it became a UFO about 1/4 of the time. (UnFinished Object) Back to the cleanup…..you might be able to imagine that my knee high semi walk-in closet was full. I had never really gone thru everything in those fabric boxes. Well, with just time on my hands this past year I did it!! What memories the fabrics evoked , taking me back thru the years even the more recent ones where I tried quilting and home dec kind of as a business. Now everything is sorted by relative color , easily accessible in many smaller boxes. Whew!

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  11. I love the new covers and actually prefer them to the originals. Having been in your situation (when Barking Rain went under), I know the amount of work that is involved to do this but it is well worth it. And now the lesson has been learned if you ever need to repeat it.

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  12. Edith, those are such charming covers, my compliments to Dar Albert. Good for you slogging through the ins and outs of publishing and coming out a winner. My to-do activity for today is to get a start on writing the postcards I send out to friends and family on a mostly monthly basis. February is a fun month to send cards with cheery greetings and love hopefully arriving to brighten even a cold and dreary day. 😉

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  13. So glad you’ve got the ebook versions out, Edith. It’s a wonderful series. No need to include in the chance to win. I have everything that’s been released so far and would love to see someone win it who doesn’t have them all or maybe is just starting in the series.

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  14. Wow, you have accomplished so much! I haven’t read anything in this series, but I am going to now! Great job. I am a list maker and I find I get so much more done each day if I make a list, then cross things off as I get them done. It is a feeling of accomplishment and during this pandemic we all need a feeling of accomplishment. I got my first Covid vaccination yesterday so that is one big thing crossed off my to-do list. Keep up your wonderful writing!

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  15. I totally get the frustration. As a very new author, I went the wrong way, drawn in by a vanity press. took me one time and I learned to just bite the bullet and learn how to do it all and self publish. I do hire out my cover designs and use editors for each book. I bought a couple of templates from Joel Friedlander and loved how easy they were to work with while allowing me some freedom to change some things for my paperback. I use Draft2Digital and KDP for the e-books, so that is the easy part. Writing and editing a book into decent shape is the hard part, but one that I love. I’m still learning and can sympathize with your journey. Hard times equals hard decisions for some of these companies and good writers are left wondering what to do next like you.

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    1. Thanks so much, Bobbie. I’ve heard good things about Draft2Digital, but I already was familiar with Smashwords and stuck with them. Glad you’ve figured out your way forward!

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  16. Oh Edith! The publishing woes look like they have turned into something wonderful. Great covers! As for me….im planning the launch of my mystery next month.

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  17. Nice covers and kudos to you for hanging in there and getting those books reissued. I’ve walked a few miles in your shoes… Have had a publisher quit publishing mysteries, plus I had another one dump 95% of its authors, and I had already begun the process to get my earlier romantic suspense books’ rights reverted and delisted from the original publisher. In 2020, I reissued 5 mysteries and 5 romantic suspense books, and in a bizarre twist of fate had 3 full length mystery books release by 3 different publishers! This year, I have no more backlist to push out, and the remaining orphaned but unpublished book in a culinary cozy series comes out in April 2021, and then I can take my time getting a new series shaped up. Doing more with those backist titles. Wouldn’t want to have spare time on my hands, LOL. Best wishes for your upcoming release!

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  18. BRAVA! You persisted and readers will love you for it. When our library closed last spring, they budgeted extra for ebooks, so people could continue to read. Many, including me, flipped the mental switch and now prefer ebooks.
    I’ll read about Rose and family in any form, but it’s good to have options. ❤

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  19. Since it is Saturday, the normal weekly chores I do on this day are essentially what I got knocked off the to-do list. After a crappy night of sleep that left me getting up at 10 am when I finally got some mostly uninterrupted sleep at 7 am or so, I got the sweeping and trash done. Then I vacuumed before heading out to take care of the stuff I wanted to get done for me: Picked up a CD, bought two books (the new Joanna Schaffhausen and the paperback edition of a Carlene O’Connor title). Throw in some adequate lunch and a stop at the comic store and I’m home with plenty of reading material and no desire to do much of anything else for the rest of the day.

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    1. And like a dimwit, I forgot to mention: Congratulations of getting the e-books back on the market Edith. I’m sure your readers that don’t read the physical copies will be greatly appreciative of the hard work you put into making sure they were able to read the stories once more.

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  20. Congratulations , and your new book covers are Beautiful! Perseverance pays off, good for you. My husband and I are both retired and so we have been doing different things. We have been going on our daily walks together with our pup. Have a Great weekend and stay safe. I am very happy for you. God Bless you. (not entering this ebook giveaway, but thank you)

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  21. I sent in the last Avon order after 55 years of my Mom selling. She is currently in a rehab center. I still have some of the orders to be delivered. It is a bittersweet situation. She has sold Avon my entire life. It was a hard decision to make. She is 82 years old. She has been dealing with heal issues since August. It was time. God bless you.

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  22. Great news about the Quaker midwife ebooks. This is your only series I haven’t started yet. I am trying to finish cleaning out some closets.

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  23. Oh, do I feel your pain! I was surprised last spring when my publisher emailed me that they were releasing me from my contract 6 months early. I was not sad about having the rights back, but soooo unprepared. Finally got mine reissued by July. You are a trouper for taking on so many. Congratulations and best of luck!

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  24. As another victim of the Midnight Ink surprise, my story matches yours, Edith (except for the historical mystery nominations LOL!) I, too, regained my book rights from Midnight Ink and reissued them – AND had Dar Albert design new covers. I love her work! It’s great to take control, isn’t it?

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