Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Baker's Dozen Success Author: Eliza Crewe

Here's this week's Showcase author:  the lovely Eliza Crewe!

My entry was #36 Cracked in the 2011 Baker's Dozen Competition. Victoria Marini won my full, and I signed with her about 9 months later, a few weeks after I received my first publishing offer from Penguin's Indian branch (long story). 

Since signing with Victoria, it's been a crazy roller coaster of a ride.  Right after I sold the Indian rights to Penguin, we sold the rest-of-the-world rights to Strange Chemistry.  Penguin India wanted Cracked to be an inaugural title of their brand new YA imprint, so we rushed through revisions and released in April--about 6 months after I signed and two weeks after I gave birth to my daughter. 

Then came the editing/cover art/promo process again with Strange Chemistry for Cracked’s release in November--the same time the draft of the sequel, Crushed, was due.  It was a CRAZY year. 

This one's shaping up to be just as wild: In June, just six weeks before Crushed was to be released, Strange Chemistry folded. 

Penguin released Cracked in India in July, but the rest of the world was up in the air. I didn’t know if I’d get my rights back, if Crushed would ever get published, if Cracked would continue to exist. It was a pretty big blow, and I’ll tell you, the only thing that made it bearable was the awesomeness of the writing community. The outpouring of support, not just from other writers, but readers and book bloggers, was incredible. Nonetheless it was a pretty tense few months as we waited for the dust to settle. 

Fortunately, this story (as all the best ones) has a happy ending. Just three weeks ago Strange Chemistry gave me my rights back. It was six weeks after it was supposed to be released, so I turned around and self-pubbed that bad boy as fast as I could--which was just this Monday. My publishing journey has definitely taken some unexpected turns. I had a publishing offer before an agent, an international deal before a domestic one, and now I’m embarking on a surprise venture into self-publishing. It’s been a bumpy road, but certainly an interesting one!

Nook, iBook, and Kobo coming soon!

Eliza's MSFV success story is HERE.

Eliza's website is HERE.

Follow Eliza on Twitter: @ElizaCrewe


  1. Yay! So happy for Eliza. I LOVED Cracked and have great expectations for Crushed. Definitely worth checking out.

  2. What a crazy ride! Love the covers - very gripping.

  3. Thanks! I love them and am really lucky--the designer has been AWESOME about the whole SC dissolution and let me keep using them. I'm really looking forward to working with him on number 3.

  4. Congratulations, Eliza! So glad everything worked out after those ups and downs -- and the covers are terrific!

    I was quite surprised when Strange Chemistry closed, and I've been wondering whether the fact that it was an imprint of a press that's still in operation -- and not an independent press that went out of business altogether -- means that the books that were already released will be kept available. It seems to me that if all the work involved in putting those books together was completed, it wouldn't cost anything to continue to sell them when you're dealing with POD and e-books. And if that's true, it wouldn't make financial sense to release the contracts of all the SC authors, only the ones whose books weren't actually published yet... Do you happen to know how they handled that?

  5. Hi L.C.,

    You're right--that's exactly what they're doing, and it took a lot of work by my agent to get my rights back. As far as I know I'm the only one, and it was only because AR never paid me my advance, which they've owed since LAST August, nor any royalties whatsoever, despite selling my book for over a year and dozens of emails from us. They still haven't paid but finally they agreed to at least give my rights back--though they reserved the right to keep selling my books through the end of the year.

  6. Thanks, Eliza!

    I was very curious about that, and I see that they still have a list of authors on the SC site. I wonder if they might eventually give all the authors the choice of keeping their published books with the press (presumably under the umbrella of Angry Robot) or getting their full rights back. Surely that would be the best way to be fair to the authors.

    And I'm glad that your agent was successful in negotiating with them for your rights, especially since you've received no payments! Of course, that's a great illustration of why a good agent is worth every penny of their commission -- I know most writers wouldn't want to deal with all that messy legal stuff themselves, even if they knew how! :)