I’ve struggled with writing this post for a bulk of the year. 2016 didn’t start off great and I kept putting off writing this until a better time. But a better time never came and now with 2016 coming to an end, I thought it was time to rip the Band-Aid off.
On February 16, 2012, Paper Crane Books was born. It was initially supposed to be an imprint for my own books. It was never supposed to be an actual operating small press with authors and scheduled releases. It was mostly supposed to be a name–a brand, really–that said these books that I’ve written belong under this umbrella of YA books. And somehow it ended up being a bigger thing with the prodding of some family and friends.
But one person can only sustain so much energy for so long before they become exhausted. And exhausted I did become since Paper Crane Books was a one-person operation. There was just me doing all the editing, formatting, cover designing, marketing, and admin work. Yes, I did receive some help from time-to-time. Yes, the authors also did their part in marketing. But at the end of the day, it was just me late at night, finishing some task I should have gotten to earlier that kept getting pushed back.
By the end of January 2016, just a couple weeks shy of the press’s 4th anniversary, I knew deep down in my heart that the press was done. At least in the version of it being a small press. I was tired, my family was in financial trouble and though I loved the press dearly, it was just barely making enough to sustain the operations of the press every month. If I wanted to pay my bills on time, I took on freelance work on the side. Since the end of January, I’ve worked with all my authors to get them in as great a place as I could so that they could continue to produce quality work in an environment that they were comfortable in.
Holly Barbo has moved her work to Paper Gold Publishing. She’s republished her work over there and also published her short stories individually into a “Quick Reads” series of stories. She’s doing phenomenally well there.
Michelle Franklin has self-published two new novellas this year. Her most recent novella, The Ship’s Crew, just released! Twisk outdid herself with the absolutely beautiful cover!
Morgan Straughan Comnick has self-published the third novel in her Spirit Vision series, The Power of Mortals! Suzy’s illustrated cover are always breathtaking and we finally get to know what in the world happened after that cliffhanger of an ending in Book 2!
I don’t call this a failure. In fact, because of the press, my knowledge of the publishing industry has grown by leaps and bounds. I had never been confident in my editorial skills before the press, but after the press, I feel more assured in my skills as an editor.
So what will Paper Crane Books become? I think at first it will become what I originally intended for it to become: an imprint for my books moving forward. In a perfect world, I’d also extend to produce anthologies where proceeds would go to various charities. Whether that will happen in 2017 or not is still up for debate. I want to focus on rebuilding my author platform because while Paper Crane Books was fully functional and running, I stopped writing for myself and for the readers I had following me. I didn’t feel I had the time to focus on me and every time I did anything promotional for me or did some writing for me I felt guilty for not putting that time for my authors. So I’m teaching myself how to write again and not correct, and it’s exhilarating and scary all at once! I’m also putting my attention on my freelance work, which is going to become an actual business with its own website in the first quarter of the new year! I’ll be offering design services with the option of other author services later in the year.
Finally, I want to thank you, the reader. Thank you so much for hanging out with Paper Crane Books and reading my authors’ works! I couldn’t be more proud of what was accomplished in the years the press was operational. And though I’m sad to see this phase of its existence come to an end, I’m also excited to start out in my new venture as a freelancer and author/creative! I hope that you continue to follow and read everybody’s books, because I know that they’ll have some amazingly new work in 2017. Though this end is bittersweet, I look forward to hearing and seeing from you once again in the next phase of Paper Crane Books.
From the bottom of my heart: thank you, thank you, thank you. Without readers like you, I wouldn’t have had the energy to keep this press afloat for so long. And to my authors: I’m so, so proud of all of you. Your growth these past years has been such a privilege to witness and I can’t believe that I get to say I had a small hand in all of it. I’ll always be there, rooting for you in the corner. And if you ever feel down and need a cheerleader, I’ll grab my pom-poms and wave them high in the air.