When a Publishing Deal Goes South by Alex Cavanaugh

Alex J. Cavanaugh

 Guest blogging for me today is ninja extraordinaire Alex Cavanaugh, creator of the writing haven and community Insecure Writers Support Group.

Thanks again, Alex…

We’ve all heard of publishing deals that fell through. Maybe it’s even happened to us. While it’s disappointing, it doesn’t have to end in defeat.

Last fall, there was a call for anthology submissions. I wasn’t working on anything at the time and decided I could craft something to fit the theme. I’d written short stories that followed my novels and thought this would be a great opportunity to something that would lead into my trilogy. If people enjoyed it, then they would purchase the series.

So I wrote the short story, sent it off, and when accepted, I signed a contract. 

Things seemed to be going well. Cover art was produced and marketing efforts underway. We were even asked to submit a short video highlighting our story and I contacted the illustrator who’d produced the trailers for my series. The publication date was announced and we all awaited links and further instructions.

That date came and went. Another date was announced and that passed as well. All without a word from the publisher.

I finally started hearing from some of the other authors that there might be a problem. Eventually, authors began to withdraw, and I sent in my termination letter as well. Not long after, the publisher announced the anthology had dissolved and rights reverted back to the authors.

I had my rights back, but what to do now? A year had passed since I wrote that story. I’d hoped it would come out late spring and now it was already fall. I’d wanted it to generate sales of my series, but it wasn’t generating anything but computer dust.

The publisher of my series contacted me and offered to publish it as an eBook through their imprint. And they could release it before the end of the year. I jumped at the chance!

And that’s my point – there are always options. I could’ve tossed it out on Wattpad. I could’ve submitted to another anthology or short story contest. But the end of the original anthology didn’t mean it was over. It just set me on a new path.

And on December 6, people will finally be able to read CassaDawn!


By Alex J. Cavanaugh
eBook ISBN 9781939844354 2.99
Science Fiction-Space Opera/Adventure/Military

Release date: December 6, 2016

 The prequel to the Amazon best-selling Cassa series!

 iTunes | AmazonAmazon | B&N | Kobo | Amazon UK | Goodreads

A pilot in training… 

Fighting the odds, Byron is determined to complete Cosbolt training. Poised at the top of his class, only one situation holds him back–his inability to work with anyone in the cockpit. Byron’s excellent piloting skills won’t be enough without a good navigator…


Alex J. Cavanaugh has a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree and works in web design, graphics, and technical editing. A fan of all things science fiction, his interests range from books and movies to music and games. Online he is the Ninja Captain and founder of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group. He’s the author of Amazon Best-Sellers CassaStar, CassaFire, CassaStorm, and Dragon of the Stars. The author lives in the Carolinas with his wife.






  1. Glad you were able to find a happy ending Alex. Pre-ordered Cassa Dawn as soon as I saw this blog post. But Wattpad is not exactly tossing of a book. It is a very popular forum and even some best selling authors use it to expand their readership.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. There have been a number of times when I came so painfully close to getting published only to have some circumstance beyond my control screw it up. Each time it happens, it’s a huge disappointment, but at the same time I know I must be doing something right or I would not be having all these near-misses.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Excellent post and point!!! I sent my story from that anthology off to another anthology – I won’t hear back about that until sometime next year, but if it doesn’t fit there, I’ll send it on again. Out of all the stories I get accepted (30 tiny stories this year), most take at least three submissions to stick. I’ve even gone back and forth with editors over possible changes to individual stories and ended up with a result that didn’t work. So, I sent those stories off again, knowing/hoping that they were stronger for the editorial help I received. Publishing is like any other aspect of life – it ebbs, flows, changes, sometimes gets stuck in the mud, and eventually, it works.

    Liked by 1 person

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