Fairway’s Great Escape Story

27 Oct

About a year ago I made a big decision. It was to offer my self-published book, Fairway To Heaven to Escape Publishing to see if they liked it, and FairWayToHeavenFinal-harlequin 200_200x315wanted to re-publish it in the Escape stable.

Escape’s managing editor, Kate Cuthbert, sent me a lovely note saying, “this book was great” and from that point on, deal memos and contracts were signed. I hit the ‘unpublish’ button at Amazon to remove Fairway To Heaven from sale and it took four or five months before the book appeared again for sale, under Escape and Harlequin’s banner, in April 2015.

Fairway to Heaven got a new cover. It went through an edit with lovely Laurie Ormond, but other than a few changes to the ending, it remained the very same book it had always been. I joke with my writing friends about Fairway as “The Dodgy Fanny” book. It is a book that takes risks both with the heroine (Jenn’s) story, and for her love interest, (Brayden). Some readers have found it too explicit but not because of the sex – more for the medical issue that plagues Jenn’s life and that she must resolve, during the book. 

It’s quite something to have a “dodgy fanny book” in your portfolio… 🙂 

In this ever-changing publishing environment, many aspiring and established authors wonder about the merits of self-publishing versus going with a traditional publisher. I thought long and hard about it too. I had one title (my first title – His Brand Of Beautiful) with Escape, and after that I self-published two other works, Fairway To Heaven and The Goodbye Ride.

Now, all my books are contracted to Escape and I no longer have any titles self-published. In the end, I think it comes down to what individual authors are seeking from their writing, and what stage they might be in their careers. For me, the motivation for moving from self-publishing was multi-factored. One was the ease of being with a major publisher – getting one royalty statement at Tax Time rather than trying to track Amazon sales against my bank statements.

The other was to engage the marketing expertise of Harlequin, the largest romance publisher in the world, and have them repackage Fairway (with new cover, new blurb etc).

By far the major factor was sales. I wanted better sales. My reviews and feedback for Fairway were excellent, but the book didn’t sell as a self-pubbed title.

In August, Fairway To Heaven became a Kindle Monthly Deal on Amazon Australia. In that month it hit the Amazon Top 100 which was the first time any book of mine had reached that level, and then it kept going. Top 50, Top 20, and the highest ranking I saw it reach was 12 overall and 5 in Contemporary Romance.

Fairway spent more than 20 days in the Top 100, and sales of my debut book, His Brand Of Beautiful also bounced to levels I hadn’t seen before. In October, His Brand Of Beautiful was a Kindle Daily Deal, reaching No 22 in the charts. During the time when both these books were doing well, my newbie, So Far Into You came up for pre-release, and pre-sales and sales in its early days have been wonderful, brilliant, great! (I’m not comparing to anyone except me!)

The good news didn’t stop there! Fairway To Heaven will be in a print book bind-up with Victoria Purman and Juliet Madison called More Time For The Beach, released in January 2015-16, but possibly on shelves in time for Christmas. Booktopia is selling it already on pre-order.

So from self-pubbed and wallowing, to a Kindle Monthly Deal, the Top 100, and now a print book bind-up. That’s pretty good going. It’s another tick on my writing bucket list. A print book! My first one.

More Time for the Beach

So that’s my Fairway To Heaven story. It’s not every self-published author’s story and it won’t suit every writer, but for me, I’m so very glad I made the decisions I did, and I’m very grateful to Kate Cuthbert and Escape Publishing for the opportunities they’ve given to me. 


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13 responses to “Fairway’s Great Escape Story

  1. Imelda Evans

    October 27, 2015 at 4:51 pm

    Thanks for sharing that story, Lily. It’s always good to hear how things went, especially for books you know and like!

  2. Louise Allan

    October 27, 2015 at 4:56 pm

    Congrats on the print book deal! I knew it was a winner!

    • Lily Malone

      October 27, 2015 at 5:00 pm

      You did! You had great faith in my Fairway story from the beginning. Thanks so much Louise!

      • Louise Allan

        October 27, 2015 at 5:07 pm

        I have great faith in all your writing, Lily! I predict good things for Kate and Jobe, too …

      • Lily Malone

        October 27, 2015 at 9:21 pm

        Oh I hope so… they’re not rushing into anything quite yet it’s got to be said! Only a couple more chances for publication for that story…

  3. Cate Ellink

    October 27, 2015 at 8:15 pm

    Good on you, Lily!! I’m so damn pleased for you. This book is awesome. I hope you see some spectacular sales with the print book too!!!

    Cate xoxox

  4. raehilhorst

    October 27, 2015 at 9:15 pm

    Congratulations I can’t wait to read it, next in my pile x

    • Lily Malone

      October 27, 2015 at 9:20 pm

      Well – you can wait now if you want to – you can read it in print! How exciting! But if you do get to the print book, I hope you enjoy it Rae 🙂

  5. kerriepaterson

    October 27, 2015 at 9:58 pm

    So excited for you – well done!!

    • Lily Malone

      October 27, 2015 at 10:12 pm

      It is exciting – thanks Kerrie! I’m also excited for November’s Bindarra Creek release – and I love seeing Bindarra Creek doing so well 🙂

  6. JennieJonesRomance

    November 3, 2015 at 7:45 pm

    Fantastic! I’ll be wanting my copy signed next time we get together 🙂


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