Farewell, Lucky Press! What’s next after a publisher quits?

Right in the midst of saying goodbye to friends from Tuscon on Saturday morning, I got the news that Lucky Press was going out of business on April 30 that’s today! That announcement gave me a whole three day’s notice. What a shock and what a scramble. It took me the better part of that day, a sleepless night, and until the next morning to get over it and consider this event an opportunity, not a disaster. First, I decided my book is way too important to abandon now.

Actually I should have seen the writing on the wall when Janice, the owner of Lucky Press, informed me about a month ago that she would not produce my e-book in May as promised. She had been in ill health and just moved. Plus creating graphic designs seems to be her passion and provides her real livelihood.

However, I was fortunate that she resonated with my book and offered to publish it. Her attention to detail with my text, photos, and book design was flawless. I am very proud of the book she produced. And it got my story out and my mission to erase the stigma of mental illness and suicide off the ground.

However, the repercussions of her shutting down her business especially with so little notice have been horrendous:

  • Do I self publish or find another publisher? I prefer finding another publisher, but we’ll see.
  • Hardback, paperback, or e-book? I don’t think I would want another hardback edition. It is expensive to buy. It will definitely be an e-book and maybe both paperback and e-book.
  • Are my books still for sale online? Since I have an Amazon bookstore set up I think my books will still be for sale there as of tomorrow, but I’ll find out for sure tomorrow.
  • How do I fix the link that went to my Lucky Press page that as of Saturday went to nowhere. I immediately contacted my friend who created my domain name: www.MadelineSharples.com and he fixed it to point to my blog for the time being. I’m going to ask him to build me a new website once all my ducks are in a row.
  • Do I own the copyright? Yes
  • Do I need a new ISBN number? Yes
  • Should I take up Janice’s offer to send me all the native files with all pertaining to Lucky Press removed? Yes. I arranged that today and paid the bill.
  • What about my bookmarks? This has to wait until I know if I’ll have a publisher or will self-publish.
  • What about new flyers? Same as above
  • And how do I even start on the road to recovery? Well, almost immediately one of my friends suggested I contact her publisher. I did that today, and I’ll follow through with an email with information about my book. I’ve also contacted a few other people I know on Facebook who might be able to help. And of course I emailed my mentor who helped me throughout my query process all those many months ago. He is as always encouraging.

I’m sure I’ll have more to say during this learning process. If nothing else this new publishing wrinkle will give me more blog fodder as the days and weeks go by.


  1. Sorry your publisher went out of business. You seem to be really on top of the situation though. I’m impressed! … My life was touched by suicide, too, and I wrote a memoir called Reversible Skirt about growing up in the aftermath of her demise. I published it myself because the publisher I contracted with just sat on it for over four years, making all sorts of promises and excuses. The challenge is persevering in helping the book find its audience.

  2. Good luck, Madeline.

    This one of the reasons I decided to self publish. Are you considering it?

  3. Add the book trailer to that list! :-/ Good luck, Madeline. I think I might need some too! xx

  4. Laura, I’m sorry for your loss.Yes, I feel that getting the word out about mental illness and suicide is the most important challenge. I’ll keep at it.

    Thanks, Linda. Yes, I’m considering self-publishing. Since I have a well formated and edited book now, it is a good option.

    Right, Jessica. I definitely need to add that trailer to the list. What a mess. Good luck to you too. xoxo

  5. My mother’s favorite mantra during her toughest times was, “You just do what needs to be done.” As I read your post, Madeline, her words echoed throughout the actions you have taken. when I got your TW message, I felt tense and sad that this was happening to a favored author, a friend. Life just happens, doesn’t it. So thankful for friends.

  6. Dody,

    I love your mother’s words. I feel like I’m living them right now. Yes, life just happens, and as John Lennon says: when you’re busy making other plans.

    I’m so thankful for you, dear friend. xoxo

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