When I finished working on Fifty Days, it was summertime, and my first semester of college was soon approaching. I knew it would be difficult to promote and sell a full novel while in school. At least, I assumed that I’d be busy. So, after coming in contact with an indie publishing company, who helped format and edit my book, I decided to publish with them. They were kind to me, and seemed hard-working. Their other clients had sold many books and had a plentiful amount of followers, and the business itself looked fun and well-run. I was ecstatic to begin working alongside a company, especially because they would be helping me market, would send out free copies to readers, and I wouldn’t have to stress so much about marketing myself.
But… I was completely mistaken.
Now, I am not writing this post to talk negative about anyone, nor call anyone out, that is why I am not including names. However, I will say that with this company, I experienced many problems. Perhaps it was Createspace’s fault, because they got bought by Kindle Direct Publishing right as we were getting Fifty Days ready, but still. The cover, for a long time, was not the right color, and the spine was too large and even though I knew why and addressed it early on, the company didn't really listen. Also, it took a while to correct the genre of my book, and the summary was a random sentence that I had not chosen for the first few months. I sent in my own summary, but it wasn't posted until about a month later. Everything was moving much slower than I expected, and I found myself experiencing more stress than I could've ever imagined.
But, the thing that really disappointed me was how sudden and hectic the actual publication of Fifty Days was. There was no proper date--even I was not given one. So, when my own book was released, I didn’t know until two days later. I couldn’t send out Advanced Reader’s Copies like I had intended to, and I didn't have a launch party, or anything. For the majority of the publication process I had no idea what was going on because of poor communication skills.
Basically, it was all just a big mess. I had the full rights to my book still, but it didn’t feel like it at all, because I couldn’t go into KDP and fix things myself and such, nor could I send free copies to readers.
I was with this company for about seven months when I couldn’t take it anymore. I broke down to my mom and spilled everything. I didn’t feel like the author of my own book, I wasn’t selling any copies, and I felt like I wasted over a year of my life. I dedicated so much to Fifty Days, spent so many late nights pouring my heart out, and then it completely flopped. I wanted to do so much more, but couldn’t. Also, everyone who hadn't read Fifty Days thought it was horror because of the strange, one-sentence summary and the fact that the genre an Amazon was horror for a while when I specifically said it was a psychological thriller This led me to believe that I did everything wrong.
It was at that moment when my mother and I decided to ask out of the contract. Once again, it wasn’t the company’s fault--it was also mine, for putting so much onto them, for expecting them to take full control of my book and market the exact way I wanted them to.
After one text, they agreed to let me off the contract. They were kind and understanding. But, it took about a month to finally get out of it, and because I am still a bit baffled by what happened after... I am going to say that it did get very heated toward the end.
After I kindly messaged the owners several times to see if they would hurry the process because I was eager to begin work and they hadn’t responded in many days, I was told to relax, be patient, and more. My mom got involved, because she was confused as why they were taking a while as well, and then it went downhill from there. They told my mother and I all sorts of rude things, like the fact that it wasn’t their fault my book wasn’t selling. They told me not to burn my bridges in the future if I want to become a successful self-published author, and they also said that really, they wanted nothing to do with Fifty Days because it wasn't making any money. All of this was topped with a, “I think you’ll do fine in life," which hurt and didn't sit right with me at all. My mom and I were absolutely stunned by what happened.
Once again, I am not trying to throw any sort of shade, but I do think it’s important for all self-published authors to be aware of these types of things. Please, understand what you’re getting involved with way before you make any decisions.
Finally, however, the contract is gone, and my book is back in my hands. (Fifty Days is still on Amazon and Goodreads, but it claims to be out of stock… but I really don’t feel like messaging them about it again, so it’s whatever, aha!) I could easily just publish the book again, with the same cover, same interior… however, doing that doesn’t seem right to me. Honestly, I feel gross.
While Fifty Days was published, I was so ashamed of the sales and the slow process, I didn’t market, I barely promoted it. One of the reasons why I wasn’t writing for a while after was because I now had this terrible mentality and assumed that every book I'd ever write would go to nothing. People were watching me, claiming that I inspired them, but I felt like a fool. It was… a bad time, really. Then, after participating in an argument with the owners of the company I was apart of, a company I kindly offered to help out with, my own mother getting involved as well because it was so strange… I felt even worse! I had lost connections without meaning to. Looking at this cover, this book layout, just brought me reminders of my poor decision making!
In reality, I am too hard on myself. I didn’t know any better, and I was excited. I assumed that I was on the right path, and would work my way up to bestseller in no-time. Then, I realized how much I missed self-publishing on my own, marketing consistently, having full control. I was still managing Forsaken, of course, but Fifty Days was my current masterpiece, a work I was beyond proud of and had dreamed of becoming a huge hit.
So, instead of just pushing Fifty Days back into the world and hoping it’ll reach the top of the charts without truly marketing it, I’m completely re-launching it and starting anew. I am currently in the middle of reformatting it, changing up the title page and headers, making the font smaller and not so spaced out so there are less pages, and so on. Also, my boyfriend and I are in the middle of creating the new cover. Yes, you heard me… I’m making a new cover! It fits the story better, and doesn’t look so scary like the original. It’s clean, light, and simple. And, it’s a fun project for myself, a way to get me even more excited for the re-launch.
In fact, because I feel the need to address it, my book isn’t scary at all--it’s deep, mysterious, suspenseful, beautiful… a psychological story that is meant to inspire and touch readers of all sorts. It’s my book, and from now on, I’m going to market it as such. The book itself is not going to change, but it’s physical appearance definitely is. So those who have read it before, don’t worry! And those who haven't, you're in for a treat!
This might all be a lot of information, but I felt like everything was needed to be said. I had been receiving a lot of questions from readers, and friends, and so I decided to be completely honest and spill out every little thing that had been going on.
So, thank you for listening, and thank you for following along as I embark on this journey of figuring myself out. It hasn’t been easy, but I’ve grown a ton, and I truly believe that right now is the absolute best time to re-launch Fifty Days. It's time to make it into the book I’ve always intended it to be.
The publication date has not yet been set, but it will be late in March or early April. My book will hopefully be available for pre-order sometime next week. Goodness, I’m so excited! And I hope you are, too.
If you have any questions, feel free to comment, or email me at BrittTheWriter14@gmail.com. Also, I am often available on my Instagram, @brittney.kristina