Tag Archives: publishing

Title Reveal: A Secret Rose

The Thunder City novella I’ve been working on for the past six months has a new title. If you heard me talking about a story called “Dodger”, well forget it. The new title is A Secret Rose. I don’t have cover yet (working on it!), but here’s a pretty rose and the back cover blurb  to tide you over until I get the final proof:

Secrets, like roses, have thorns.

Nikolaos Blackwood, swore he would bring to justice the drug dealer known as Dodger. As Ghost, one of Thunder City’s alternative human defenders, it was Nik’s responsibility to keep his high school classmates safe. That included notorious bad girl Daniella Rose. Ten years later, he needs to locate Daniella to deliver an urgent request from her estranged family.

Dr. Daniella Rose finally believes she can lead a normal, happy life and focus on her relationship with Nik Blackwood — the one man she’s always wanted but could never have. Now that she’s back in Thunder City, she’ll do anything to keep him —  except reveal her hidden Alt ability to shapeshift into Dodger, a secret identity she killed before graduation.

When a drug lord from Dani’s past threatens Nik’s life, Dani knows she’ll have to resurrect Dodger to rescue her man, even if exposing her secret could cost her Nik’s love —  and her life.

When will I be able to get your hands on this novella, I hear you cry? This summer: July 12th – mark your calendars.

Busy Weeks

I had two back to back events these past few weeks. First, I was invited to be a apart a self-publishing panel at the Ancient City Romance Writers monthly meeting. Susan Keirnan-Lewis and Tmonique Stephens joined me. We had a lovely chat with the ACRW members about why we decided to self-pub, how we self-pubbed, and what the future holds for our self-pubbed books.

Then, I had a table at the Florida Library Association conference in Daytona Beach. I had great fun catching up with fellow librarians  and selling books to local libraries.

I have more events coming up in April: The Book Obsessed Babes author signing event. Also, if you are one of the lucky few registered for Paradise Lost this year, I will be among you.

Love Between the Covers

I had the privilege of watching the LBTC documentary with a handful of fellow FCRW members at the main branch of the Orlando Public Library. The documentary looks at the publishing industry from the viewpoint of romance authors and publishers. From the very beginning you witness the pride and the passion romance authors bring to their stories, to their fans, and to each other. The Romance Writers of America helped fund this documentary to add to the growing body of professional literature supporting romance as a genre and romance authors such as myself.

You won’t find a lot of graphs and statistics in this film. You can find that information on the RWA website. What you will find here are the personalities behind the stories we love so much. Here are a few quotes (out of so many – it’s hard to pick just a few)

Jayne Anne Krentz: “I believe it is in popular fiction that we preserve our culture’s core values. And that’s why it survives. We need it.”

Sarah Wendell: “This is the one place where you will find women’s sexuality treated fairly and positively.”

Len Barot (Radclyffe/L.L. Raand): “Fiction is not real and it’s not supposed to be. Fiction is a dream. Fiction is a desire. Fiction is hope.”

Eloisa James: “Romance is one of the very few meritocracies left…Any woman sitting at her table can look at this book and say I can do it and what’s more I can do it really well. I can be Nora Roberts. Nora Roberts just had her two kids, there was a snowstorm, she sat down, she started writing. Now she owns two mountains.”

This documentary is being screened all over the country. If you have an opportunity to watch it, please do. You will not be disappointed.

Book Signing LBTC

Publishing and Sundry

Many BooksOy, such drama this month! It’s like spring fever took a whack of good sense out of the entire publishing industry.

First up, there’s the revelation that Jane Litte of Dear Author is also Jen Frederick, romance writer. Yes, this is a huge deal in romance-land where Jane is being sued by Ellora’s Cave.

The Passive Voice
http://www.thepassivevoice.com/03/2015/jane-littejen-frederick/

Smart Bitches, Trashy Books
http://smartbitchestrashybooks.com/2015/03/answering-questions-jane-littejen-frederick/

Then there’s the Hugo nominations and Sad Puppies/Rabid Puppies slate (Rabid Puppies is the #GamerGate of the SFF community).

John Scalzi:
http://whatever.scalzi.com/2015/04/07/human-shields-cabals-and-poster-boys/

Philip Sandifer:
http://www.philipsandifer.com/2015/04/the-day-fandom-ended.html?m=1

Io9:
http://io9.com/the-hugo-awards-were-always-political-now-theyre-only-1695721604

Not to be left out, HarperCollins, in a boneheaded move, has decided to refight the battle Hachette lost to Amazon:

Business Insider:
http://uk.businessinsider.com/harpercollins-amazon-contract-expiring-2015-3?r=US

Just so you don’t think I’m all doom and gloom, here’s a number crunching report from Alexis Radicliff.

Secrets of Bestselling Indie Authors: Crunching the Data:
http://www.lexirad.com/secrets-of-bestselling-indie-authors-crunching-the-data/

Publishing & Sundry

Publishing & SundryIt’s been quiet since the new year. Here are a few blog posts that have caught my attention this month:

Kameron Hurley talks about What I Get Paid for My Novels, Or Why I’m Not Quitting My Day Job 

Kristine Kathryn Rusch reminds us to trust, but verify even with the most respectable literary agents with Business Musings: Sure, I Trust You

Hugh Howey has issued his fifth Author Earnings Report (which includes indie and traditional earnings analysis)

Tess Gerritsen, author of a book titled Gravity which bears striking resemblance to the movie of the same title, explains how her lawsuit against Warner Bros. affects every other author who signs a contact with Hollywood

What publishing news or author opinions have given you something to think about?

Publishing and Sundry

This isn’t a new explosion, but this week it blew up big time.  In summary: Authors writing for Ellora’s Cave, a publisher of Romance and Erotica books, have accused Ellora’s Cave of not paying them royalties. Dear Author, a popular romance book review site, blogged about Ellora’s Cave’s financial difficulties. EC is now suing Dear Author for defamation and demanding that Dear Author take down the blog post and turn over the names of all anonymous commenters on this blog post.

That last part of the last sentence is what should concern all writers and bloggers, not just those involved in the romance or erotica genres.  Ellora’s Cave isn’t the first small press to pull this type of stunt. Anyone remember Triskelion? Let this be another reminder: don’t just read your contracts – understand them. If you don’t understand what each clause means, find someone who can explain it to you.

Dear Author: The Curious Case of Ellora’s Cave original post

Publisher’s Weekly’s post on dropping Amazon sales:

Publisher’s Weekly’s post on blaming software for non-payment

Smart Bitches, Trashy Books analysis

Writer Beware’s warning

You can follow the drama on Twitter using the hastag #notchilled

Publishing and Sundry

Stopwatch

Busy, busy, busy. I’ve been so busy since my last post, I hardly know where to start. Let’s see what I’ve got in my back pocket.

My Viable Paradise classmate, Alex Shvartsman has a kickstarter campaign to publish his short story collection “Explaining Cthulhu to Grandma and Other Stories”. There will be about forty stories in this collection and there are several impressive stretch goals. I’m a backer, why not you?

The First Coast Romance Writers are hosting a “Super Saturday” full-day workshop: Save the Cat Writes a Novel presented by the best selling author of Unremembered: Jessica Brody. Hope to see you there.

Paradise Lost Writers Workshop has announced the Jay Lake Memorial Scholarship essay contest. I’ll be at the workshop next year with Sean Patrick Kelley, Chuck Wendig, Delilah S. Dawson, and Robert Jackson Bennett.

As for me, my current project is Tales from Thunder City: A Bloodsurfer Anthology. This will be a collection of short stories about the adventures of the superheroes who appear in my novel, Bloodsurfer.

Publishing and Sundry

A few small things to talk about:

Lightspeed Magazine had the Table of Contents available for it’s Women Destroy Science Fiction issue. Carrie Vaughn! N.K. Jemisin! Mary Robinette Kowal! So much squee!

NewsCorp (which owns HarperCollins of which Avon is an imprint) has bought out Harlequin. The traditional publishing world has just gotten that much smaller. 

I’m all caught up on Arrow: Wha? No, no, no, no! You didn’t. You can’t. Arrrrrgh. Arrrowww!!

Matt Smith has joined the cast of the new Terminator franchise: I’m feeling a little timey-wimey about this.

Gatekeepers Galore

You never know when or where they will slither out from under their slimy rocks. A friend brought this Huffpost article to my attention. Go ahead and read. I’ll wait.

::taps foot::

Okay ready? I’ve written about gatekeepers before and ironically I had just posted a note on a writers forum about how authors, published and unpublished, need to support each other. When authors start to turn on each other it gives the impression that selling books is a zero-sum game. It’s not. J.K. Rowling’s outer-stratosphere success does not prevent any other author from selling just as many books. Did E.L. James’ success prevent Stephanie Meyer from selling more books? Of course not.

“Publishing a book is hard enough at the best of times, especially in an industry already far too fixated with Big Names and Sure Things, but what can an ordinary author do, up against such a Golgomath?”

Publishing is hard? Cry me a river. Or how about this one: There’s no crying in publishing. Any author who does his or her homework knows publishing success is not easily achievable. If you write a story with interesting characters, a stimulating plot, and an emotionally satisfying ending (note: not necessarily a happy ending), you will sell copies of your book even if you publish it yourself. If you write a story that taps into the  zeitgeist of a generation like Rowling, Meyer, and James you’re going to sell a hell of a lot of copies.

Going up against Golgomath (or Goliath for the muggles) in publishing is nothing new. If you write romance, you’re up against Nora Roberts; horror, Stephen King; thriller, James Patterson — the list goes on. Here’s the catch: even if George R.R. Martin stopped writing tomorrow it would have absolutely no effect on whether or not my fantasy novels sold. Selling my story is my responsibility. Marketing myself in a way that let’s readers know my book is out there is also my responsibility. GRRM has nothing to do with it.

“Rowling has no need of either the shelf space or the column inches, but other writers desperately do.”

Actually, she does. It hurts to admit, I know, but readers and fans are fickle and the kids who fell in love with Harry Potter’s adventures have grown up. The readers who loved Rowling yesterday, might not follow her career as closely as they once did, so yes, getting her name out there in a positive light is very important. Enjoyment of a book published ten years ago, doesn’t guarantee the reader will buy the same author’s books tomorrow. You have to keep reminding them of how much they enjoyed the book they bought last year because by the time you write a new book your readers have done something astounding: they’ve bought other books by other authors. Funny how that happens.

“I didn’t much mind Rowling when she was Pottering about. I’ve never read a word…I did think it a shame that adults were reading them…mainly because there’s so many other books out there that are surely more stimulating for grown-up minds.”

Never read Harry Potter but she knows what a Golgomath is? I was going to rant about doing your homework before spewing on the internet, but I’m going to let this one lie because its just too easy to rip to shreds. Feel free shred in the comments, though.

Here’s the kicker. The author who penned this piece now has spend her time apologizing all over the internet because – surprise! – fans of J.K. Rowling are pissed. An author who might have done just fine selling her books now has to spend time defending herself instead of writing her next book. This is a case of the gate hitting an author in the ass on her way out.

 

 

Kindle Worlds

If you haven’t heard, Amazon will soon be selling fanfiction through its new publishing model, Kindle Worlds. Okay, I’m intrigued. I’ve been reading fanfiction for many years now, though I haven’t read it with any regularity since I started writing my own books. I do hang around others who read fanfiction regularly. I even attend conventions dedicated to fanfiction in all its formats. I’m not going to get into the legalities surrounding the business model or even if the contracts offered or any good. All of that is discussed elsewhere by folks more in the know than I am. My only question, at the end of the day is…would I pay to read fanfiction?

Whatever else you have to say about Amazon, you can’t deny it’s a savvy company. Amazon saw E.L. James making a fortune off the Fifty Shades series and figured how much more she could have made if she had been able to keep the names of Edward Cullen and Bella Swan plugged into her manuscript. Yet, they know ninety percent of the fanfic out there is not worth the pixels spread across your computer screen, so they’ve hired professional writers to kick this venture off the ground – Barbara Freehy (writing in Pretty Little Liars) and Trish Milburn (writing in The Vampire Diaries) to name two of them.

Every year I pay hundreds of dollars to read professionally written and published books. I read even more books that I check out of the library. Fanfiction is a different animal, however. There’s a rebelness surrounding the fanfiction community. Legitimizing it, turning into another form of media tie-in, takes away the rebel factor. People read fanfiction because fanfiction can place characters into places and situations the creators simply cannot replicate by mimicking media tie-ins. Crossovers and slash are two world-bending ideas that cannot be legitimzied through a licensing agreement.

Another consideration: Quality. There’s professional quality fanfiction out there, sometimes written by professional authors just for fun. There is also a lot of crap, which can also be fun, but it’s not something on which you would spend any money. Amazon claims there will be quality control in the fanfic they publish, but how will they do this? Is Alloy Entertainment going to supply editors steeped in the lore of their shows? Fanfiction cannot be edited like pro fiction. The editors need to understand not only their show’s canon, but the canon created by the fanfiction writers themselves. In the fanfiction community, canon can change on a dime. (Yes, I know, I’ve read some media tie-ins that read like badly written fanfiction, but I don’t want to go off on that tangent).

I have to say, I have not watched any of the shows Amazon is plugging in this first round. My media exposure in general has been limited since I cut ties with my cable company (about 5 or 6 years ago – I’ve lost track). I haven’t even read the media tie-in novels for the shows that I do try to keep current with – Supernatural, Doctor Who, Castle (though back in the day a I read stacks of Star Trek and Star Wars. Had to give that up when I returned to graduate school). I’m still curious though and maybe, if Amazon adds shows that I enjoy to their line up, I’ll start reading fanfiction again.