Book Update: New Plans and a New Publisher

book publishing update

Back in April of this year I announced that I was offered a book publishing deal with Coventry Publishing House. I signed their contract in October 2015 and had six months to write my book, tentatively titled, Journey to Freelance: An Unconventional Guide to Being the Boss.

I turned in the final manuscript at the end of April 2016. Since then, a lot has happened. Read on to find out my plans for the book and why I may not be publishing the book as soon as I thought.

My publisher broke up with me

At the beginning of the second season of the Budgets and Cents podcast (that I co-host with my biz partner, Cait) I announced that my publisher and I had some creative differences and we parted ways.

Basically, I wasn’t willing to compromise on the name of my book or the look/design of the cover. We went back and forth for about two weeks trying to find “just the right image” and layout for the book title + cover.

Finally, we narrowed it down to three final images.

I chose the white cover and then the blue one as an okay second option. I still didn’t think any of them were super-awesome-totally-what-I-was-looking-for, but I was willing to compromise since we’d gone back and forth so much.

I mean, just to get to this point I spent hours researching book covers on Amazon and even went local book stores to see what book covers stood out the most. When you scan a book shelf, the covers that pop out most (at least to me) are the white ones, so that’s what I chose. Plus, it needed to be clean and easy-to-read on a very small-sized thumbnail when it’s being sold online, or on mobile devices.

HA! All the details you don’t realize that go into a book’s cover.

Anyways, after emailing the CPH team and letting them my decision to choose the white cover, we all agreed and were moving forward to the next step. Then two days later I received an email saying they no longer liked the white cover and that I HAD to choose one of the other two options.


I was sad and a bit annoyed, obviously, because we had already agreed on this. But okay, let’s go with the blue one and tweak it so it could be better. NOPE. They emailed back and said I was being too difficult and they no longer had the time to invest in my account, so they were cancelling the contract.


Naturally I was a bit shocked by these words.

I even asked Ryan and a few colleagues to read over my emails to make sure I didn’t sound rude or that I wasn’t willing to work with them. Everyone was shocked too and had no idea why I got that response.

After a few hours, I emailed to thank them for working with me thus far as I learned a lot about the book publishing process. Then I moved on.

(It turns out that another author, who also signed a book deal with Coventry Publishing House, encountered even more issues with them. So I guess I’m the lucky one.)

I’m working with a new publisher

I reached out to a few blogger friends, and other published authors, asking if they knew any good publishers that I should reach out to. My podcast co-host, and fellow author, Cait suggested several and introduced me to a couple different publishing houses.

I sent over my manuscript, and after reviewing it, multiple people from different departments were interested (one handles the career books and other handles the entrepreneurship books).

Woohoo! So now I’m working with a new publisher.

I still have to finish up the proposal, which includes my plans to market the book, who my target audience is, what books are my competitors and things like that. But it’s nice to know that my book idea is validated by another publisher and that they’re willing to work with me in the future.

Obviously, nothing is set in stone as we haven’t signed a contract and I haven’t completed their proposal form, but there’s hope. Basically, that’s where I’m at currently so you’re up-to-date on the goings on of my book publishing story.

But there are a few more questions I’d like to answer.

Traditional publishing vs self-publishing

After my first publisher dropped me, I took about a week to consider whether or not I should pursue traditional publishing deal or go the self-publishing route. Both directions are actually very viable and have their pros and cons.

So I picked up the phone and called an expert on the matter: my dad.

My dad is a minister and missionary (yes I’m a preacher’s kid!) who’s published multiple books through traditional publishers as well as self-published. So he was the perfect person to talk to about everything.

To make a long story short (going back and forth about the pros and cons of publishing routes) I decided to stick with the traditional publishing plan and find a new publisher that would jive better with my goals.

I’m not looking to make a bunch of money off this book as I’m more interested in spreading my message and actually helping other freelancers change their lives. I truly believe that freelancing saved my career, and ultimately my life, and I want to show other go-getters how to be their own bosses so they can regain control too.

Having a publisher will help get my book into bookstores and into multiple online retailers, so this is a plus for spreading my message. I’ll continue pursuing that idea until doors slam in my face, or I decide to self publish.

What’s next for my book?

Right now, my book plans are on hold.

I’ve been “trying” to finish the proposal for the past six weeks and it’s just not happening. When I want to make something a priority, I do it, so when it’s not coming together I know it’s because my heart’s not in it.

I’m not giving up on my book, because I do want to publish it. But I’m just going to wait a few months, maybe until the end of this year, before I start reaching out to publishers again.

I’d love to secure a deal where I’m paid an advance and have time to do everything the right way. I want the cover and title to be amazing. I want to produce a book that I can proudly stand behind — not something that I’m rushing through to check off the list.

Down the road the title may change and the message may evolve, but I’m not giving up. I’m just waiting for the right time to release it into the world!

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  1. Wendy Merron says:

    Carrie, so sorry to hear what happened. Not very professional, and no one deserves to be treated that way. My one little piece of advice – which I’m sure you already know- make sure you own your copyright so you can self-publish when you want! I self published (as per recommendations from friends in the publishing industry) and I’m glad I did.

    • Carrie says:

      Thanks for the advice, Wendy! I’m definitely looking into getting the copyright for my book. I want to make sure I still hold the ability to make choices! It’s nice to know you self-published and it worked out, in the event I go that route. 🙂

  2. Beth says:

    Carrie, congrats on finishing your book and finding a new publisher! FWIW, I really liked the third cover with the desk and laptop on it. I like that it is color and the title stands out with more contrast. The subtitle stands out more too, as does your name across the top. I don’t understand the text “deposit photo” on the background though. Maybe with your next publisher you can specify how many cover designs you can choose from? Look forward to reading the book when it comes out!

    • Corinne says:

      The “deposit photo” text is a watermark from the Deposit Photos web site. The image used in the book cover sample is a free preview image. If the image is purchased, the watermark will not be there.

      • Carrie says:

        Yes, Corinne is correct. The “deposit photo” is just a watermark text until we determined if we wanted to purchase the image. I like the third image too, Beth. I just wasn’t sure how it would look on a very small screen or thumbnail on a website, since it’s so dark. But I appreciate the input and encouragement. Thanks!

  3. Ashlynn says:

    Congrats on finding a new publisher! I’m sure the book is going to be amazing! I agree with Beth in regards to liking the 3rd book cover. My eyes were drawn to that because it seems much more warmer and makes me think freelancing when I see the cozy home office space. The light bulb with the “nuts and bolts” doesn’t reflect that. I can’t wait to see your book!

  4. Emily says:

    Ugh, I just hate the way the publishing house treated you. They tried to belittle you and make you feel bad, when it seems pretty clear that there must be something else going on behind the scenes on their end. I always get crushed when someone treats me that way. It takes me some time to step back and acknowledge that I’m standing by my values and behaving in a professional way. So congrats on parting ways so gracefully (on your side) and moving on without a backward glance. You’re an inspiration, as always!

    • Carrie says:

      Thanks for being so sympathetic, Emily. It was a bit of a bummer how things turned out, but I’m glad I didn’t continue on with them. It still took some time to step back and remind myself that I didn’t want to compromise, and that’s still hard to do. But it was the best decision!

  5. Tracy Corral says:

    Have you thought about talking to a book cover designer? There are graphic designers out there who understand the theory and nuances of designing a book cover so that it’s appealing and gets the message across. Years ago I worked in traditional publishing and the company I worked for had a graphic designer on staff whose sole purpose for being there was to design the covers. Don’t know what it would cost, but it might get you closer to your goals.

    • Carrie says:

      Yes, actually more recently I have thought about talking a designer or book cover expert. I’m sure it will help in the long run to have someone on my side who understands that part of the industry. We will see what my new publisher thinks and what their contracts states. But it’s definitely on my radar!

  6. Sarah says:

    Carrie – I’m sorry to hear about this. You mentioned that another author has encountered even more issues with them. This sucks in general but you are right to think you are lucky. For me I believe that I don’t want to work with people who want what I have but with people who believe what I believe. (That comes from “Start with Why” – such a great book). There was obviously something happening in the background but if they weren’t willing to stand by you over a book cover I can only imagine what would happen when it comes to marketing or anything else. Best of luck with the book and I hope your heart gets back into it soon so you can finish the proposal. You will change people’s lives for sure.

    • Carrie says:

      Sarah, this is such a good reminder! I read Simon Sinek’s book, Start With Why, a few years ago and it had a big impact on me then. Going forward I’m definitely focusing more on finding people who believe in my story/mission/message and thus believe in the book and what I’m trying to share. Too many publishers are in it for the money (which I know is important, they are running a business) but I want to also share my message and actually help people. So far, this new publisher is a good fit, so we’ll see how it goes. Thanks for the reminder!

    • Carrie says:

      Thank you for the kind words, Jennifer! It took a few days to work through the emotions but I hardly ever regret anything I do in life, so I don’t beat myself up over things. 🙂

  7. Deborah says:

    Carrie – It’s great to hear you found a new publisher, you did not deserve to be treated that way by the other one. I’m sure the book will be amazing. My eyes were drawn to the third cover. I like the way the title and subtitle fonts are and your name on top stands out for me. It also made me feel like I don’t need a lot of space to be the boss, the look is very clean. Ultimately it is your choice and I look forward to reading it once published.

  8. Kimmoy says:

    I like the book cover to the right as well. It’s exactly what I envision a freelancer’s office looks like or aspires to look like. Besides a white cover doesn’t stand out to me in a bookstore, I feel like most books and magazines are white LOL. Either way, I’m happy that you’re working with another publisher, I’m sure it is for the best. As they say, moving on to bigger and better things 🙂

  9. Tai Stewart says:

    I’m so sorry you went through this craziness, Carrie! It’s your work, and you should have it the way you want it. I can see why self-publishing is becoming popular. At least you have a completed book, AND a new publisher….congrats!

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