Goodbye, Green Woman

Apart from all the upset (literal and figurative) of selling our lovely home in Bordeaux and moving to the rural idyll, I have decided to make things even more painful—I am on the point of un-publishing my Green Woman series and signing a contract with Finch Books, publisher of The Pathfinders series, for a new edition.


Many of you will know my first YA fantasy series that I laboured to self-publish. Many of you, with your support and enthusiasm, were the reason the books were so well received and collected so many good reviews. It’s been a difficult decision to take, but I have reasons.

I love The Green Woman, and her world has become more complex and fleshed out with the subsequent stories—some published, many more gathering dust. It would be wonderful to see all the material published, but most of all, to know that the books are being read. This brings me to the first reason for taking my books down. I’ve said this many times before, but I may as well say it again, unless you are very lucky or know someone influential, no matter how good your book it, unless you market it, promote it and advertise it, no one will buy it. They won’t even know it exists. The Green Woman got off to a flying start when I published it, because of all the well-wishers who rallied round, bought and reviewed, and generally spread the word. Without them (you) its success would never have lasted as long as it did. But without the means to throw money at an advertising campaign, The Green Woman will sink in the morass of YA books available. She needs a publisher, since she can’t do anything about getting a different author.

TSF future

The second reason for pulling out of self-publishing is that I have a follow-on series to The Green Woman, another three books as well as maybe a dozen short stories. I’m not up to the job of self-publishing this series, and no publisher is going to touch a follow-on if they don’t already have the first series. Self-publishing requires a lot of stamina, an easy attitude towards self-publicity, as well as a bit of spare cash. I don’t have any of those, a real loser when it comes to business acumen.

Finch Books like my work and they will give Deborah, Jonah, Hera, Amon, Zachariah, Oscar and all the others a new lease of life. And I hope, of course, that I will be able to stay in the world I have created and bring the next series, set three years later, three years older and more mature, to publication.


So, I’m pulling the plug on all The Green Woman books. It’s an awful feeling, but I think it’s for the best. All I can say is, thank you for all your support, and please don’t go away. I need you to hold my hand and keep passing the tissues until the sparkly new edition is ready.


Published by

Jane Dougherty

I used to do lots of things I didn't much enjoy. Now I am officially a writer. It's what I always wanted to be.

44 thoughts on “Goodbye, Green Woman”

  1. Your grim words on self-publishing are true and sad. Many writers are not salesmen, and the results of my excellent first book via Create Space attests to that. I am a survivor of incest and am just too embarrassed to push it. I can’t live long enough to get an agent/publisher to read it.
    So I’m both glad for you and sad for you reaers.

    1. I’m sorry to hear that, Nan—all of it. Agents won’t touch anything they aren’t 99% certain they can sell, but loads of them seem to be only looking at the new trend of ‘own voice’ and ‘diverse’. Your book falls into that broad category, but it probably needs to be set in 15th century Manchuria, or on a spaceship, or a circus act… I’ve given up touting my books around. They’re just not interested;

  2. I didn’t know that you had books published. Now I really long to read them. So where do you suggest I should search for your books. I know nothing about book publishing, but I can understand how hard it is for you, so congratulations on making a tough but right decision, we will be here to support you, do what you have to do!

      1. Jane NO it’s not an admission of defeat, I refute that and urge you to see it differently. This does NOT mean you have failed in ANY way. It means what you wrote, that unless you are 23 with a trust-fund and all sorts of notables and can network 24/7 and never need to do any work you don’t get far with self-publishing. You know this. We know this. It doesn’t invalidate ANYTHING about what any of us who have self-published done or achieved and believe me, of the self-published you have achieved MASSES more than you will ever credit yourself with. You are being REALISTIC you are being HONEST and you are making a very good decision. You want people to read your books and so does anyone who believes in you as I do, so you’re making the right decision, this is NOT a loss this is a new chapter, it ultimately will be a gain. Now as for liking your old covers, well so do I, but as with all authors, some covers come, some covers go, you will go ON not go backward or into the fog. Remember that. Do not be defeated, do not see it that way. That is not how it is. You should be VERY proud of yourself as I am and many others who support you are. VERY proud.

      2. Well, after a vote of confidence like that, I have to take it all back. Well, some of it. I don’t mean that I see myself as a failure as a writer, and even as a promoter I did fairly well when the books were first published. But in the couple of years since then, the game has changed enormously. I had an awful lot of support from bloggers and from the authors who were with my first publisher. It’s a lot harder to drum up support now. Bloggers and readers have so many more calls upon their time, and you have to be prepared to do a lot of blowing your own trumpet, and shelling out of spondoolies if you want to get anywhere at all. I admit defeat there because I can’t do it. No time and no money. I’d rather write than promote—no, I HAVE to write— and there just isn’t any advertising budget. I wish I could have carried on alone, but it’s the kiss of death for the books waiting to come out. I just hope that Finch can drum up some interest. It’s a good series, a good world.

      3. You say it all when you say you’d rather write than promote. Now ask yourself whom would you admire? The promoter or the writer? Thus yours is a truth and being real to yourself, the right direction revealed itself

  3. Jane – PS – really and truly whilst you have a heavy heart that is because you see this endeavor as somehow failed or fallen short. But of what? You make a perfect argument about why self-publishing can only go so far. After which point we need more. It is that simple. That is absolutely nothing to do with the quality of the work but the inability of such a small machine (oneself) to promote it beyond the natural confines of ones life. You recognize that. Who would not having done it? Whom among us and beyond can say oh I have self-published and now Ridley Scott is making the movie. It doesn’t happen. And if it ever does? That’s because of networking with fairy folk. The reality is self-publishing is not without merit, I admire those who do it, I think it is much like anything, a necessary step, sometimes you even go back to it after being published by a publisher as I did, because it becomes again a necessary step, as not all is linear, but either way, at some point if the desire is for people to read ones work then the next step must differ. That doesn’t invalidate a thing, and you should really see this as a journey to be proud of because you have achieved already many things others could not, moreover the caliber and quality of your work speaks for itself but anyone who loves you will tell you – a greater audience will only increase that appreciation so I for one think you are doing a very good thing and like my collection of Narnia books, some of the covers are ‘of the moment’ and some I prefer more than others, but all shall exist as Narnia shall exist as your stories will too, beyond us both. And that – that is what counts that you did this that you continue to do this. Be proud of yourself for this and so much more and have NO regrets.

    1. What I regret the most is the reviews. I feel that I’m doing the dirty on all the people who enjoyed the book and too the trouble to review it. All I can do is sprinkle free copies as lavishly as the publisher will allow me and hope I can use the old reviews on my website. Sounds like a museum put like that, but you know what I mean.

      1. You are NOT doing the dirty everyone goes on but what you have behind you is not lost. Im sure they will let you use sone of the old reviews. Be proud of the work it has taken to get to this juncture ♡

  4. I wish you and the Green Woman the best of luck. I can certainly understand why you’ve made this decision. Self-publishing is a lot of work especially if you dislike marketing and promotion. As an author, you have to decide what’s best for you and your books. Wishing you much success!

    1. Thanks Tricia. I just can’t do it. And I hate the idea that the only way to publish the sequel would be to do it myself. At least there’s a chance a publisher will look at it now.

  5. It is 100% the right decision. Be not sad that you are taking the books down rather be glad and happy that they have a home with Finch. Bon continuation!! I look forward to the next installment ….

      1. I am certain they will but will cross fingers and toes for you. You have worked SO hard and you are a gifted writer rather than being one of the multiple myriads who THINK they are gifted writers. It would be foolish of Finch not to take the books on.

  6. Had no idea you had books that you did not self-publish yourself, Jane. Good luck with the next chapter of the future of this series. Go with what feels best to do. If you’re anything like me, then you will know when you’re on the right road.

    1. Thanks, Hugh 🙂 I put such a lot of work into getting that series the way I wanted it, it breaks my heart to take it down, but it needs a reboot, and I’m not the girl to do it.

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