I used to think a publisher would lend legitimacy to my work. When a micro-press accepted three of my novellas, I thought I'd made it. Looking back, I learned a ton about writing, editing, and marketing. Thanks to other publishing disasters in M/M, I also knew the warning signs to GTFO.
Having a publisher gave me confidence I didn't have as a would-be author. Soon after I got my second contract, I joined an author's group. They helped me fine-tune my short stories. They also helped me see the light when I was willing to hold my breath and wait to get paid.
I'm never going to see the money I made from the first release of Pika Perfect. It's not okay, but it is what it is. If you purchased it last year, thank you. I'd love it if you bought the re-release for the (gorgeous!) cover and 15k more words, but I get it if you'd rather not.
Queen fired their first manager around the time of A Night at the Opera and A Day at the Races, leading to amazing music (including "Death on Two Legs," about said manager). I'm grateful I held on to my two series ideas, Hollywood Ever Afters and Farbonnur Elves. Now, I have a chance to make my own way, taking what I've learned and moving forward, for me, not for anyone else.
My work feels more legitimate now. I have a say in my covers. I paid for coaching and editing tools. I spend a lot more time polishing my work now. I am a better writer than I was, and I continue to improve. I'm writing new stories again, which is the most important part. I have a reason to write. And because I wouldn't be me without a Freddie Mercury meme, here you go:
Thanks for riding along on the journey. I love you all. <3 (But not like that - I'm still ace.)