Vanilla Heart Publishing is the second publisher to publish my story Courage of the Heart about two-star crossed lovers and secrets. The first imprint (purposely not including the publisher’s name) was POD (print-on-demand). When I submitted my manuscript to them and they accepted the deal was no cost to me and they even promised a “small amount” of editing and marketing; yes they did offer marketing packages for a fee but those were optional.
Somewhere between my signing with them and the actual publication date they changed their business, they no longer accepted manuscripts without some kind of payment, they even sent me a pricelist of services and tried to bill me. I made them stick with the terms of the contract, they did, but they also said that they no longer offered any marketing assistance (those terms were not as specific) and no special cover design. Long and short, the original Courage of the Heart sold less than two-dozen copies (almost half of which were family and friends).
|the 1st Courage of the Heart|
Since I was such a newbie to the fiction world (I had been writing for newspapers and magazines on and off since I was 19) I had no idea how to promote my book. Oy, if I had only known them what I know now. Down the road a few years… I met Namid, an author with Vanilla Heart Publishing and she was very excited because the managing editor had just accepted one of her books. Namid bragged how wonderful VHP was and that it was a traditional small press publishing company. I brazenly asked Namid if she would mind if I contacted VHP with a manuscript of my own, I had written Bartlett’s Rule (having given up on Courage of the Heart).
To my delight and surprise Bartlett’s Rule was accepted! I was ecstatic. Kimberlee, VHP’s owner and managing editor was phenomenal with support, guidance, cover design and even did an on-air launch. Eventually VHP and I joined together to produce several more novels: His Lucky Charm (originally named Forgotten), Within the Law and THEN, Courage of the Heart — this time an attractive cover and dual efforts at promotion made a huge difference. By the way, Courage of the Heart is now available in Print, E-book, and Audiobook editions.