Author Susan Speaks: Unpublished



I don’t fully understand it, but here it is.

After thousands of downloads, after Amazon’s continued refusal over a span of many years to price-match, I’ve had to unpublish one of the short stories of my heart, Mannequin.


Because four years ago, Smashwords changed the requirements for the size of their covers. And the cover for Mannequin was no longer compliant.

Faced with the choice of spending money on a perma-free story that wasn’t leading to increased sales (and, despite the downloads, I don’t remember the last time I saw a review of it! See, folks? Reviews MATTER) or… doing something else, I chose the latter. I suppose I could have left it at Amazon, gone exclusive with it over there (although I don’t believe in exclusives) or taken it out of Smashwords’ premium catalog and left it at Smashwords itself, since so many of those downloads came from there. But… nope. That felt like doing something halfway, and I don’t like to do things halfway. Not when I can help it.

So I was conflicted. What to do with this little story I love so much?

Credit my teenaged daughter with a creative solution: she created an account for me over at Wattpad — yes, the domain of the young and the unpublished and the hopeful and the experimental and the fan-based — and slapped Mannequin up over there.

You can go read it.

If you have a blog, you can talk about it. Reviews matter. Reviews help drive sales. And the benefit to you? If someone reads a review you wrote and agrees, you’ve just become a tastemaker. Go, you.

I’m sad about this. Like I said: story of my heart.

But on the other hand, the girl is going to fill my shelf with stuff. She’s going to talk to cover artists she knows. She has plans for her mom, with the promise that if there’s any revenue to be made, she’ll get some. I’ll get that kid through college with only large, instead of insurmountable, debt yet!

So stay tuned. You just may see some fiction up there that you’ve never seen from me before. Like I said, the girl has plans. And I have a hard drive that’s full of stuff that hasn’t seen the light of day.

Why do I have a feeling there’s a lot of revision in my near future?


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