Publishing Limbo?

Here goes. Some people have contacted me to ask “Where is Where Loyalties Lie?” It’s true, the first book in my piratical adventure duology (Best Laid Plans) should have been out already. It should be in the hands of millions maybe a few thousand at least. But it’s not. It appears to firmly stuck in publishing limbo and out of my hands. So here is where I let you all know just what is happening.

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Where Loyalties Lie and The Fifth Empire of Man

I first submitted a version of the manuscript to Ragnarok Publications well over a year ago in late 2015. I was first told it would be released in Spring of 2016. The follow-up, The Fifth Empire of Man, was also submitted at the same time and was scheduled for a Fall release. Then Ragnarok signed a deal with the Independent Publishing Group (IPG) to distribute their books on a more global scale. Delays hit. We weren’t given too much in the way of details, but I was told Where Loyalties Lie would be pushed back to late 2016. I’ll admit I was not best pleased. I want to get the book out there. I want people to read the adventures within and I want to continue the saga of First Earth that I started with The Ties that Bind.

But delays happen. Besides, the deal with IPG is supposed to give my books a wider reach so is a good thing in theory. So being the polite English chap I am I shut up, ignored the worry in my head, and soldiered on with a cup of tea and a stiff upper lip. Quite a lot of tea actually.

Eventually I was told Where Loyalties Lie would be release in December 2016. I wasn’t sure if it’s the best month to release a book (I’m still not), but a release is a release… except when it isn’t. This is where things start to get dodgy.

November 2016 rolled around and I still hadn’t received any edits to the manuscript I submitted. It’s fair to say this had me worried. I like to think I’m a pretty good author these days but any story needs to see an editor with a big red pen and an angry disposition (I’m looking at Grimdark Magazine on this one, they have a very angry, but superb, editor). To make matters worse I received an email from my audible narrator, Gerard Doyle, to tell me work on the audio book version of Where Loyalties Lie had begun. This. Was. WORRYING!

After a few days of pulling my hair out I finally got hold of someone at Ragnarok and they told me that the edits weren’t finished and audible had been pushing for work to start so they were sent the version of the manuscript I handed in back in late 2015… That was not a finished version of the book. It had never seen a professional editor. It had been through alpha readers, beta readers, and my own jaded eyes, but never an editor.

The audible version of Where Loyalties Lie released in early December 2016. You might have noticed I haven’t done much shouting about it. Well that’s because I’m VERY hesitant to direct my readers to an unfinished version of my book. It’s the equivalent of an early draft being leaked online. Now this may be counter intuitive to say but I would implore any readers of my work to wait for the official publication of Where Loyalties Lie because I would rather you get to experience the finished work.

So my trepidation wasn’t over in 2016. It was December and as far as I knew my piratical, swashbuckling yarn was releasing… and I STILL hadn’t received an edited version of the manuscript. For a while I thought Ragnarok was going to release the same version that went to audible. It led to a very stressful early December.

Eventually I got through to Ragnarok and was informed that edits had been started but were not yet finished and Where Loyalties Lie would hopefully be released in late December 2016, if I could get the edits turned around in time… once I received them. If not then it would be a January 2017 release.

Both Christmas and the New Year have been and gone and I am still waiting for those edits. So that pretty much brings me up to date. Where Loyalties Lie has been delayed again and I have no clear answer as to when it will get its release. With the best will in the world I can’t see it before February at the earliest.

I can’t wait to introduce you all to Drake and The Fortune, Keelin and the Phoenix, Elaina and the Starry Dawn… But I have to wait. I will let you all know as soon as I have more information.

This post is in no way meant as a gripe, but as a state of the game. I will be following it up in a day or two with a what to expect from me in 2017 post… hopefully it will contain both books of Best Laid Plans. 🙂

14 Comments

  1. Reply

    Seems like Ragnarok are all over the place at the moment, which is sad because I love their books. I can’t remember the last time I got a newsletter from them either

    • Rob

      I think it’s an issue of a small company trying to grow. I for one hope they can get things back on track… and I’m only a little biased. 🙂

    • Rob

      Lol, I have heard that. Sometimes it’s important though. Something about sharing information never being a bad thing?

  2. Mike M

    Reply

    Always a pleasure, sir. Good luck.
    — Mike Myers, Angry Editor @ Grimdark Magazine

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    • Rob

      No. I agreed for WLL to made into an audiobook. I was still waiting for the edits myself when I received a message that the audiobook was being recorded. I was both annoyed and stressed up to my eyeballs.

    • That’s terrible. Were you given opportunity to accept the audio before it was finalized?

      I’ll have to look up my contract with Evolved Publishing, but regardless I am thankful that even though it was them and the audiobook producer signing the acx agreement, we had a verbal agreement that I would be the one approving the audio before it was completed. I say that because I want to say this is a breach of contract, but I don’t know the language in your agreement. In the least this is very disappointing to hear, not only for you–as I said I hate to hear this–but also because I am friends with Ragnarok ownership and also a fan.

      I understand it is a difficult position as authors to speak out about our publisher, so when you say this happened to you, I have to wonder if it has happened to others, which not only makes me hesitant to support Ragnarok going forward, but it also makes me wonder if other audiobooks were made out of unfinished products. How would I ever know?

      In your position, though not having all the information, I’d fight for my rights back and demand the audiobook be taken down. I understand growing pains with this transition of theirs, but this –again without having the contract in front of me–is unacceptable.

    • Rob

      I was not given the chance to accept the final version. I had a very brief contact with the narrator who wished my advice on pronunciations, but that was it. Having recently turned It Takes a Thief to Catch a Sunrise into an audiobook, I was involved with the creation at every step of the way. Via ACX I was able to listen to each chapter as and when they were recorded and was in regular contact with the narrator so if any issue needed fixing along the way they were done quickly.

      I can’t say if the same thing happened to others. It’s never been my intention to slam Ragnarok for business practices, but I am determined to be open and honest and my own experiences with them. I still have friends within the camp and wish them all the best. I honestly hope they pull through this turbulent time and come out the other end stronger and wiser for it.

  6. Durand Welsh

    Reply

    Very informative post, Rob. I hope it all works out for the best. I’d heard a few rumours floating around but this is the first concrete info I’ve read about the situation. The audiobook situation sounds like a really rough deal.

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