By Gail Gaymer Martin
Recently I had the opportunity to enjoy two of my OOP novellas being used in a published collection of stories with a similar theme. My novella, Apple of His Eye, was published in Barbour’s, The British Brides Collection, which included five novelist with nine stories ranging from Jane Austen to Dickens. This month, An Old-Fashioned Christmas Collection has been released from Barbour with a novella from nine novelists. It includes my story, Yuletide Treasures, a romance with the thread of a mysterious package Livy has been asked to deliver.
The request to use these novellas was a surprise, especially since the rights for both novellas had been returned to me. I granted them one year use of the books before I self-publish them.
What are the author’s benefits of out of print book collections?
1. An out of print book will be available in bookstores.
2. Collections sell well, especially with Christmas themes.
3. The author needs only to review her biography and recommend changes if an error was noted in the original book.
4. Book sales are multiplied by purchases from the fans of the other novelists.
When I learned Yuletide Treasures novella would come to life again, my mind turned back to the time I decided to write this particular story, and reminded me of another lesson for novelists. Your past influenced who we are today, and when a past experience or memory stirs in you, make a note of it. If the story triggers your emotions, it may well touch a reader. Yuletide Treasures resulted from my mother’s memory rather than mine.
Growing up, I heard many stories of her life as a child and teenager in a world and time I didn’t know, but this particular memory came about from a sadness in her life. As very young child with nine older siblings, my mom was sent to stay with well-to-do relatives in Grand Rapids when her mother had a stroke at Christmas time. The same setup occurs in this novella except the child is a young boy named Davy and the woman who brings her is the sister of Davy’s father. Some of the events in the story revolving around Christmas traditions are also from my mom’s memories.
They stayed in my mind and became the fodder for this wonderful story idea. Keep your ears open as you learn about experiences of your family and friends, and don’t neglect your own memories. They could be used for a novel or novella and shared with readers all over the world.
If the opportunity arises to be part of a collection, don’t hesitate to welcome the offer. Even though the royalties are split with other authors in the collection, you will find your story back in stores and whatever you earn is a bonus for the limited effort and time it took to be part of the collection.
Multi-award-winning novelist, Gail Gaymer Martin is the author of Christian romance, romantic suspense, and women’s fiction with 55 published novels and four million books in print. She is a cofounder of American Christian Fiction Writers and a keynote speaker and workshop presenter. Her website is at www.gailgaymermartin.com. Click here to Read an Excerpt from Yuletide Treasures