That title sounds a bit biblical, doesn’t it? Don’t worry, I won’t be spouting fire and brimstone in this post. However, in an effort to hone my author brand and steer readers more toward my fiction, I will be going a bit Old Testament on my firstborn…book, that is.

A Look Back

In the beginning–oh, sorry, going biblical again, aren’t I, let me rephrase that…At the start of my road down the writing path I kind of sort of floundered about everywhere. I was writing short and long fiction, I was writing essays, I was writing articles, I was writing web content, I was a writing fool. Self-publishing was becoming a little more of a “thing” and I thought I’d expand one of my articles into a book just to try out the process.

And so, Easy Preserving was born. I really liked this little book at the time and was even able to cut and paste some of its content into a few more articles (which actually earned more than the book ever did). I even bothered to re-work it a few years ago with a new cover and some new content.

Your days are numbered!!

Taking Stock

Over the past couple years, and especially the last year, I’ve gotten a little embarrassed about Easy Preserving (and my second book Soup for You which I quietly killed off earlier this year). The writing in both books is a little silly (not that I’m not silly) and the recipes are nothing out of this world. Plus, sales of Easy Preserving have dwindled to nothing, proving that it was time to take a critical look at this book.

He’s coming for you, Easy Preserving!!

My fear is that people might pick up this book, think the writing is crap (which it kind of is), and never want to read another book from me again (not that the Easy Preserving demographic is the same as a fantasy fiction demographic, but you never know where interests might overlap).

And since, as I mentioned above, I really want to be known for my fiction, I don’t want to confuse people with a lackluster non-fiction backlist.

And so, it is with a big ol’ sacrificial blade that I’m killing off Easy Preserving.

Backlist culling…a bit like this.

Letting You Live….For Now

All that said, I do have a non-fiction title that sells well and that I’m not completely embarrassed by: Simply Soft Cheese (although I do admit some of the “bonus” recipes aren’t very creative). This was my third book (you can now see why it took me so long to get my first novel completed) and has always trickled in some steady sales.

Each year I go through my books and rework the keywords, fix the front and back matter (you know, that part where the Also By and Bio are), and do a little copyediting on the blurb. This year, I simply couldn’t stand the cover of SSC any longer. I mean, really, how did I ever think this was a good idea….

simply soft cheese, tammie painter, cheese making,

Playing around a bit, a new, classier cover was born…

Wait, What?

Okay, okay, I know I just went on about wanting to steer readers more toward my fiction and away from the non-fiction, but it’s hard to resist the royalties this book brings in. I will likely eventually say goodbye to SSC (and my gardening book Going Native) or re-release them with a pen name, but for now they’ve been given a reprieve…at least until the book publishing gods tell me to sacrifice them for the good of my fiction.

And as for that fiction, don’t forget that The Maze: Book Three of the Osteria Chronicles is still on sale for 99 cents through the end of the month (details below)!

I’ll be back next week, but I haven’t quite decided what to share with you, either a bit about the world of Osteria, some news of the future, or maybe just some random cat memes.  

What about you, any hard decisions this week? Any thoughts on authors who mix genres? Share your thoughts and comments!!!


Get your copy of The Maze: Book Three of the Osteria Chronicles today….
For e-book fans and bargain hunters….

From now through the end of the month you can get The Trials of Hercules (Book One) and The Maze (Book Three) for only 99 cents each. Clicking on the books’ titles above will take you to a handy dandy site with direct links to all your favorite ebook retailers. 



11 thoughts on “Killing Off My Firstborn

    1. Interesting. Do you think readers might be disappointed to pick up a book by their favorite mystery writer thinking it’s a new mystery and then discovering it’s actually historical fiction?


  1. Goodbye, firstborn! I suppose there are always going to be casualties along the way as you climb to the top of the writing profession. And hey, doesn’t it show how much you’ve grown as a writer already if you find this book isn’t quite up to scratch any more? Onwards and upwards I say… Oh, and why not just keep a separate author profile for your non-fiction from now on? Keep your same name (less confusing for people who know you already), but maybe leave off the photo on your non-fiction profile to keep them distinct. Even if someone’s interests do stretch to both cheese-making and fantasy fiction, I reckon they’ll assume it’s two people with the same name… Plus it keeps each individual profile slick and specialised!

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    1. If I had a slightly more common name I might be able to get away with that, but as it is I’ll probably leave most things the same and just ignore those little non-fiction children, while giving all my attention to my fiction babies. It is a change (and hopefully a change that means I’m maturing in my career) to go from thinking a book is the bee’s knees to realizing it’s not quite up to snuff. But these initial experiments were good practice for formatting and publishing and seeing how tiny royalties really can be, so they weren’t a complete waste.


  2. I like the idea of publishing the non-fiction under a different name. While I am both a fan of fantasy fiction and soft cheeses, I agree that it’s a confusing jump-of-genre, and you should now focus on the series/build your rep around that (because it’s good and deserves all your attention!). Keep ’em separate. Hooray for growth!!

    RIP Easy Preserving …. ya had a good run. (Did Hera make you do it???)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think it might have been Demeter…she was tired of me shaming her harvest bounty. I think if I was planning to promote the non-fiction work any further I might contemplate the name switch, but since I’m content with just letting them fade into the background it’s not worth the effort of re-publishing them under a new pen name. Let’s just hope the fiction pans out!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hahahaha, ohhhh Demeter. Yeah true – I guess it’s not worth the hassle if a simple fade-out could be just as effective. I think the fiction has already panned out! 🙂


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