A Time of Change…and New Directions by Cassie Knight

So, a few months ago, I wrote a post in which I noted that my journey is changing. Well, it certainly is. Since Su spoke a bit about it in her fantastic post about See Jane Publish’s year anniversary (I’m still stunned that we’ve done this for a year — and where are since then. Amazing), I thought I’d share more with all of you, dear readers and friends.

Life is a journey but it’s also about changing and new directions. Big, small, good, bad–things happen. The change, itself, is the easy part. It’s dealing with the aftermath, that’s tough.

My publishing journey started sometime around 1996. With a dream. I mean, literally a dream of a story I couldn’t get out of my head. I wrote it down. Buried it and kept writing. Stalled a bit then started up again in 2003. Never looked back after that. First published a book in 2007 then my “big” break came in early 2011 when my first Samhain book released. Now, by the end of this year, I’ll have released five books (1 twice ) and write for three publishers. I was President of my local RWA chapter for three years, been volunteering at the National level, coordinated Readers Luncheons and Conferences, and found my bliss in this crazy industry. Not too shabby, eh?

Well, as Su noted, I’m ever an overachiever (and I have NO idea where I got that from), so six months ago I started editing. And I love it. Really, truly love it. It doesn’t surprise me, not really. I enjoyed judging contests, and I tended to do a lot of work with those. I think I was pretty good at it but that was a heck of a lot of work with only my satisfaction as payment. Which for years was plenty.

Anyway, back to editing. Originally, I thought it was about making some extra money to pay for my writing stuff. Lately, though, the editing has taken on a life of its own. The only downside is that I haven’t been able to write. But that’s temporary so I’ve accepted that.

The editing; however, is not temporary. Currently, I edit for three digital houses and work with over 15 authors of various skill levels and wonderful talent. The houses I edit for (Champagne Book Group, Lyrical Press and eTreasures Publishing) are run by amazing women and I’m proud to be associated with them.

But the biggest news I have is that, as of September 1, I will be working for Champagne Book Group as their Senior Editor in charge of the editing process and working closely with the publisher, Ellen Smith. I will have several content and line editors working with me. I’m so excited by this opportunity! As much as I love writing, I love the business/editing side of publishing more.  And I love, love working with authors. You know, we are such an amazing group of people.

So, what does this mean for me? Well, for my writing, right now, for the next few months, I will only be able to write sporadically. That’s the bad part because I still love writing. I’m okay with that. I’ll find my time again.

The absolute hardest thing about this, and it’s what I’ve been agonizing over, is that I will have to let go of RWA. Oh, not my membership and not all of it – I’d be devastated – but I have to give up being on any Board (and I was going for a Nationals position this year), can’t enter contests, vote or have any of the privileges a full, general member has. Since I will have the ability to offer and send contracts, I have to change my membership. Deciding to do this took a lot of thought. And it’s been hard to know this is where I’m at, how much things have changed, since RWA has been so awesome and I couldn’t be where I’m at without them or my awesome peeps from Rose City Romance Writers. In spite of having to give all that up, I know it’s right for me. I love being a part of the editorial process. Love the idea of giving authors a chance at publication and love working with authors to make their stories shine.

My journey is changing gears, still in publishing but taking another track. So, while my blog posts will talk about my journey as a writer, I will be also be sharing with you all my journey as an editor and the other side of publishing. With that in mind, I’d love to know, now that you have someone with an insider’s view of what goes on at a publishers, what kinds of things can I tell you about? No top-secret company stuff but other things are wide open.

And while we are talking about journeys changing, have any of you, dear readers, had anything that changed yours?

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Posted on July 12, 2012, in Cassiel Knight and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. I love that you are following your dream in all its splendid surprises. And won’t it be fun, readers, to have an editor on board to answer those nagging questions?

  2. Gina Fluharty

    Wow! Awesome news for you!!!! By the way, I’ve got “Song of Soloman” arriving in the mail shortly and I’d love it if you’d sign it for me.

  3. Congrats! It sounds like you have found a wonderful opportunity for your skills! Does this mean you can quit your day job? Or did you already do that and I missed that post? I too would be interested in answers to Maggie’s questions. Champagne press has just been brought to my attention through some contest opportunities and while it does make me curious I’m not sure about their distribution or really anything else about them.
    Renee

  4. What a tough decision for you. Congrats for figuring out how to embrace what you love and the talents you have for editing. I have heard similar stories from writers who become agents and find they enjoy advocating for other authors (or editing authors) more than the original writing. We need all sides, so I say whatever works for you is great.

    If I had a question to ask, it would be about the small press editor vs the big house editor. I know my personal experience with small press was that the editors are much more accessible and their jobs are 80%+ editing. Whereas the big press editors are often only spending 20% of their jobs editing while the rest is convincing marketing, sales, PR, cover artists, etc. to do right by the book they’ve acquired.

    Is this true to your experience with the three presses you’ve been involved with? What do you see as the reasons anyone would want to go with a small press like Champagne Books?

  5. Wow! Congrats on your new direction! Glad you found a wonderful fit for you. :)

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