From publishing deal to self publishing in the blink of an eye. Poppets, things happen. Or Vickie Lester goes belly up, but not for long.

No matter how you design it, or chart it out, things change. This Friday, past the end of  business hours I heard some astonishing news. My joint-publishing partners were no longer a publishing entity.  Partnerships dissolve, other opportunities arise… People move on. And while it’s felt these past few months like I’ve been living in between the ticks of the clock, book-wise, now I’m the one who gets to set the time.

This is what my partners have taught me. How to build a platform (you’re reading it). How to muster talent; designers and editors and photographers. How to publish…and prepare a book for publication, on my own. It’s a new world, and I’m stepping into it. With gratitude, and a swift kick in the pants. Cross your fingers and wish me well. And a deep bow to my partners (now friends) for getting me here.

train design for living

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  1. February 4, 2014

    That’s dispicable! (I could only find Daffy saying “you’re” and I didn’t want that!)

    So sorry that side fell apart. I am impressed by your quick pick up and ability to charge ahead! Go for it!

    • February 4, 2014

      Thank you! It’s seems like the publishing world is in a huge flux. Taking the reins feels good, bordering on great. And if I get thrown from this stallion at least it’ll be my own doing. I don’t know what’s up with the horse analogies, they smell…like horses, and every time I ride I get sore as hell. Hm. Maybe it’s not such a bad analogy 😉 .

      • February 4, 2014

        Well, at least you know what to do if you fall off …

      • February 4, 2014

        Or get your head examined. Depends …

      • February 4, 2014

        Ach! All they’d find in my head are Gilligan’s Islands reruns and the formula for mud pies…

      • February 4, 2014

        As long as they don’t find Depends® you’re OK.

      • February 4, 2014

        Not quite there, yet. And I predate KIMBIES®

  2. February 4, 2014

    Go forth and conquer. 🙂

  3. Heather in Arles
    February 4, 2014

    You can do this and it will be the smashing success that has been foretold! But meohmyohcincodemayo is that a doozy. So I am also sending along a virutal pitcher of martinis just like you like ’em for the route. Whew. We all believe in you!
    With a big squeezy hug,

    • February 4, 2014

      A bolt outta the blue, baby! But, in retrospect… Maybe not so much. On the whole it’s been kind of a wonderful experience. And I’m not a Pollyanna type. I really respect my former publishing partners and what they’ve taught me I couldn’t have learned any other way.
      Cheers! And I’ll take that dirty martini! You are a doll!

  4. February 4, 2014

    you know it’s going to be glorious.

    all of it.

    you just changed trains and caught the orient express heading to paris.

    see you on the platform at gare du nord!

    • February 4, 2014

      I have a very strong sense it will be.
      So excited.
      I love traveling by train.
      Especially with the likes of you!

  5. George Kaplan
    February 4, 2014

    Reading that news left me with a yawning pit opening in my stomach and hole in my heart…but, Vickie, your ability to pick yourself up and recover is simply awe-inspiring, as the fabulous ladies above say this is the merest of blips and we Believe in You and Everything You Do. You ASTONISH, Ms Lester, and you’ve only just begun to do so. We Know and You Know that Your Fire Will Never Be Extinguished (a lot of capitals? I know!). Oh, and besides, YOU – as they say – ROCK!

    • February 4, 2014

      I did have a sleepless night and a few bad hours in the morning following the news… And then something dawned on me, it was completely possible to do this, I was prepared — and my partners/now friends had been the best teachers I could have asked for. You know, the kind of clarity that comes after twelve hours of intense, very, very, quiet anger. The kind that burns you down to the essentials. What’s that line?
      Louis, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

  6. February 4, 2014

    Dearest V
    You have, if you’ll allow me to change the metaphors to cricket, been bowled a googly, good and proper.
    But you are a champion, my dear, and will hit that ball for six!
    What’s more you’ll soon chalk up a century and have your name down in history.
    All of which goes to say, in a somewhat complicated way: I have every confidence in you and if self-publishing seems as alien as our over complicated bat and ball game I’m sure it will be just a matter of time and application before you are a master of this as you are in oh so many other fields.
    More power to your elbow.
    Writer, Editor. Publisher. Publisher In Chief.
    Yours ever
    The Perfumed Dandy

    • February 4, 2014

      The only reason I’ve heard the word “googly” is because it’s in one of my favorite films, Hope and Glory. Still don’t know what it means but it sounds glorious, even though it is part of the mysterious game of cricket.
      You are so kind to me it makes me want to cry. Thank you, Darling Dandy. Thank you very much.

      • February 5, 2014

        Dearest V
        Hope and Glory!?!
        Can you mean John Boorman’s incredibly affecting and effective drama of evacuation and reconciliation set during the Second War?
        I thought no one loved that film but me.
        I’ve adored since I was a young thing and it came ion the telly, a charm that has never been broken.
        A googly, for the record, is a ball that feigns to be a certain kind of delivery but turns out to be an entirely different type of spin.
        It fools the foolish, weary, tired or unfocussed batsman – but the true talent, you my dear, sees it for what it is, a fairly easy ball underneath, an opportunity indeed, and whacks it off the pitch!
        Yours ever
        The Perfumed Dandy

  7. February 4, 2014

    Oh Dear,thats a shock to say the least.Glad to hear that you have stayed positive about it.I am afraid that if I had that sort of experience I would be very very annoyed to put it mildly.Glad to see that you are keeping on-that is so important.

    • February 4, 2014

      It was a…shock, you’re right. But it also was a great experience, on many levels, I hope for both me and my ex-publishing partners. The older you get, I think, the more quickly anger cools and the more able you are to adapt practically to shifting circumstance… Yeah, I’ll stand by that!

  8. February 4, 2014

    Oh my goodness! I am so sorry! 🙁 What a pain in the derriere. *sigh* Gosh, I am really sorry to hear about this, and you must feel like a building has fallen on you.

    • February 4, 2014

      Thank you! I was cross for a bit (and that was difficult in itself because I’ve grown very fond of the ex-publishers, they were facing a tough restructuring), and then I decided I was on the precipice of publishing, so it didn’t make sense to start over with the whole agent/submission process — I just wanted to press ahead. So the book will be out soon, and I can say that with full authority because I’m the one who’s publishing it. Power-mad, control-freak me! Say, this self publishing thing isn’t so bad… I’ll keep you posted. xox, V

  9. February 4, 2014

    “As god is my witness” …. You know the rest Luv. You’ve got Gumption and that’s what it takes to rise above disappointments. We love you…and I love you and know you will rise again, if you “have to lie cheat steal or kill.”

    • February 4, 2014

      Where’s my handkerchief?!? Sending you love. Am just as determined as that actress, in that role, long ago, let’s hope I don’t go batsh*t crazy like poor Vivien in the process. Did I just say batsh*t? Heavens! I must have meant fiddle-dee-dee!

      • February 4, 2014

        “Miss Scarlett you jes have to go on bein’ strong….and don’t say Batsh* ain’t fittin…jes ain’t fittin…Um um um!”

  10. February 4, 2014

    What a twist! But great that you are going ahead on your own.

    • February 7, 2014

      Great things in the form of #teamgloria in RL 🙂 .

  11. February 5, 2014

    I gasped out loud when I read your news. So sorry to hear this… But also very pleased to see you’re taking charge and publishing on your own. Very inspiring, this decision. 🙂

    • February 7, 2014

      If I had been a drinking gal I would have lined up five martinis and gulped them down. But since I’m not, the only thing I could think of to do is press on. Do you know, saying that the book is being released June 1st fills me with such happiness? Goals set, actions taken. It’s a completely new business model 😉 .

  12. February 5, 2014

    While terribly disappointing the timing might not be so bad. Had this happened at the start of your travels through the publishing world the journey to the end might have seemed too daunting to continue. As it has come now, when you’ve learnt so much, it is a bump in the road, not a yawning chasm.
    Good luck with your self publishing endeavours. I’m sure you’ll meet with success whatever you do! 😀

    • February 7, 2014

      Metan! Thank you! I haven’t been to visit in such a long time. I must remedy that later today. I hope the summer in Australia is balmy and not searing this time around.
      I keep going through stages on this whole thing, most of them bordering on gibbering incoherence. But yesterday in the meeting I had with Sophia Stuart, a lot became very VERY clear, and it’s all good. My best to you sister-blogger! V

  13. February 7, 2014

    Damn it. I’ve seen this type of thing happen before and it’s devastating, that is, to mortals. Leave it to you to turn it around with grace and determination. It wasn’t meant to be with that particular group. Poo on them. You’ll come out on top and it will be brilliant. There must be some law in the universe that prevents your type of brilliance from falling by the wayside. It won’t happen — that’s why I’m able to smile. Go get ’em.
    I love you!! You’re an inspiration to all of us, my beautiful friend. xoxox

    • February 8, 2014

      I don’t think there was much grace involved. The first 24 hours I went silent. Then I got on the line and hollered for help from some wonderful friends, and now I’m back on track. Except for those moments when someone (usually in an email, in person I keep it together) says something beautifully supportive and then I burst into tears. Which is odd (mental health expert) because I’m very pleased with how this turned out. Not the circumstances that led me here, but the result. xoxox, and I think I owe you for a session now 😉 .

  14. February 9, 2014

    OOooo…there’s a plot twist I didn’t see coming. I’ve very sorry to hear that. Fortunately, though, we live in the age where there are alternatives, ie indie publishing. I’ve just released me 3rd novel and am entirely convinced at this point that indie publishing isn’t so much a “Plan B” as it is an “Alternate Plan A.” It all very doable and results in a professional product if you do it right. If you need any help, you know where I am!

    • February 14, 2014

      Honey! How did I miss your message? I like that… “Alternate Plan A.” Now that I’m over the shock, I’m kinda getting into this whole concept, and it makes me remember something my mom always told me, “the best thing you can do is figure out how to be your own boss.” And if I screw up, I’ll just demote little ole Vickie to the steno pool 😉 . Thank you, Martin. You are a champion, and your words mean so much to me. xox

      • February 14, 2014

        The thing about indie publishing – both Kindles & ebooks, and (print-on-demand) paperbacks – is that you can “test drive” (so to speak) your handiwork a number of ways to catch any screw-ups before you publish. And even if you don’t discover them until after you’ve launched, you can go back to the file, fix the oopsies and upload the corrected version. And if you REALLY screw things up, you can always unpublish until you’re ready to go again. Either way, there’s no need to send little old Vickie back to the steno pool.

  15. penelopebianchi
    February 13, 2014

    First of all; before I introduce myself, let me say that I am old; and I recognize a “gift in disguise!”!!

    And this was one! So there you go! You will look back at this and say…..”whew! How lucky I was!!”

    I believe that…..hold on to that and just keep going self-publishing your book. Please let mine be the first order!

    Just tell me how! (I am a living example of “it’s in his kiss”! oh what a story!!! 37 years! very complicated exit in 2 weeks! and it is all about “it’s in his kiss”!!)

    Bravo! Stuff that happens like this… will turn out BETTER!!

    Doors fly open!



    • February 14, 2014

      Amazon, paperback and Kindle June 1st!

      Thank you for your words of encouragement and your glorious insight, not to mention I am WOWED by your artistry. Plus, you’re an almost neighbor, so I think we may have to have tea and I will present you with a signed copy.

      Yours, Vickie

      • penelopebianchi
        February 14, 2014

        I would absolutely love that!!!

  16. April 15, 2014

    Design for Living. GREAT movie. (Though his previous one, Trouble in Paradise, was even better.)

    • April 15, 2014

      Trouble in Paradise, one of my favorite films of all time!

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