Exciting news… To celebrate Christmas on Mimosa Lane’s October 23rd launch, we’re giving away 5 ARCs on GoodReads.
Posts Tagged ‘ePublishing’
You have to be willing to take risks in this business of ours. Calculated risks that are nonetheless precarious for the careful thought you put into jumping off whatever cliff of opportunity looms before you. Sometimes a marvelous parachute glide awaits you, easing you into your next step forward. Sometimes there turn out to be holes in your plan and you land in the trees–if you’re lucky. Sometimes you crash and burn completely. My experience with Dorchester Publishing these last few years, like many authors, has been more the latter. But as of last week I can officially say it hasn’t been a crash and burn fiasco, and the trees that were grabbing at my chute are receding farther and farther away each time I look back. Perspective?One might call it that, this ah-ha sensation filling me. Hind sight gives us the illusion of finally seeing things as they were always meant to be. Maybe it’s just dumb luck… You be the judge.
Too often it feels as if I have absolutely NO idea how I got to this moment of deep sighing and appreciation for a journey well traveled and a fight bravely faced and won (Amazon, the publisher who also recently signed a three book deal with me to publish a women’s fiction/contemporary romance series has bought out Dorchester’s list at auction and will not only pay me royalties due from the last three years, but will re-list and potentially buy new titles into my sci-fi/fantasy series).
To be honest, I have some idea. But my mind’s still spinning as I process the twists and turns and decisions and retreats–stopping myself, ultimately, from making several end-game decisions that would have ended this wild ride before I achieved what I’d set out to. What follows is the CliffsNotes version of that adventure, because publishing can be a sucky journey for all of us and I’m happy to share my personal suckage if it might possibly help others finding themselves in their own potentially no-win situations, trying to choose the least objectionable of the unsatisfying options before them.
But first, let’s identify what exactly I wanted to achieve from the start. Because the best business decisions are potentially bad business decisions, regardless of the odds in your favor, if you don’t understand your goal. My best advice to anyone when they ask me my opinion of what they should do about a book, agent, publisher or contract is to figure out what you want and determine the best way to achieve that. Beyond that, I got nothing. Because as you’ll see below, the rules are always changing and what works for me or someone else now may be a no-win choice for you tomorrow. You have to be flexible in this business. You have to dodge and duck and know when to jump or stand still. None of which you can do effectively if you aren’t sure where you’re headed.
My goal with my sci-fi/fantasy series: To establish my mainstream fiction work and to build a series for a broader audience than my contemporary romance roots, into which I could continue to sell future novels. Simple right?
Let’s take a closer look, shall we?
- Round about the fall of 2008: Dorchester offers a 2-book deal for my Legacy Series. Dark Legacy to release nationwide in mass market paperback in the fall of 2009.
- I deliver the book on time, but the advance money isn’t coming from the publisher as quickly as it should. Agent pushes hard behind the scenes, but we don’t pull the book from the schedule. It’s more important to my goal to be established as a mainstream author with bigger stories to sell than my category romance roots, than it is to join in the shrieks of dissatisfaction with the publisher beginning to rumble all over the Internet.
- Fall, 2009: Dark Legacy in stores, positioned well, I’m signing in the B&N flagship store in New York’s Lincoln Center, and we’re off. Sales are good but nothing fabulous. We can do better, publisher says. My series is repositioned away from traditional romance and closer to the sci-fi/thriller market it’s better suited for.
- Secret Legacy due to editor in early 2010 for a rushed summer 2010 release because they want to break it out. They’re behind this very different, edgy thing I’m doing with my mainstream work 110%. They’ve also by now paid me the advance I’m owed to date. Agent and I see this as a good chance to shine within a smaller traditional press, so I keep working.
- Health issues and surgery prevent me from turning the second book in on time. Editor and publisher couldn’t have been more understanding. Deadline for delivering Secret Legacy is pushed to the spring of 2010, with a fall release. It’s the hardest writing period I’ve ever had, and I called my agent to quit more than once, but the book was finished and revised in a gruelingly short amount of time. If nothing else, this experience proved to me that I had to keep writing–if for no other reason than I couldn’t seem to make myself stop.
- Fall 2010: Serious money spent on my part and committed by publisher to promote the book that should break out, even though remaining advance for the second book on the contract hasn’t yet been paid. However, lots of publisher plans–print and digital promotion. Extensive online blog tour being set up. Again, agent and I are staying focused on the publishing possibilities and my investing in my mainstream future, which means I continue to do my job and play nice while she rattles their cages fighting to get me the money owed.
- Two weeks before Secret Legacy’s launch: it’s announced on the Internet (not to individual authors) that overnight Dorchester’s pulling their print publishing arm (meaning all my mass market print books are being yanked, never to be distributed retail) and beginning immediately to shift to a digital first/print on demand business. My break out release: not going to happen. My sizable investment in promoting to mass market retailers and readers: wasted. My remaining faith in publisher: destroyed.
Everyone loves free books, right? And I love giving stories away, especially to readers who dig what I’m writing. Isn’t that why we do this crazy thing called publishing, to get our words and ideas and characters out there so they can flourish in someone else’s imagination?
My pre-release blog tour is wrapping up (though you can still win a free digital copy of Her Forgotten Betrayal if you hurry and enter at Close Encounters of the Night Kind). Entangled has amazing plans for all the Dead Sexy launch titles, so starting next week look for even more chances to win not just books, but gift certificates and even a Nook!
In the mean time, here are the lucky ladies so far who’ve participated in my guest blogs and won a digital copy of HFB;o) Take a spin around each fun post to see what you might have missed and why my gothic thriller’s getting rave 5 Star Reviews…
From Close Encountes of the Night Kind: A killer look inside the making of Her Forgoten Betrayal–CONTEST STILL RUNNING!
Don’t forget to enter–maybe you’ll win!
From the lovely Ginger Calem’s blog: What’s at the heart of your fear?
From Romance Bandits: A KILLER HFB interview!
From The Writing Playground: A Dark and stormy night. Happily ever after. What’s your favorite part of a thrilling story?
From Stacy Green’s Twisted Minds and Dark Places: Embrace the things that go bump in your night.
From the Romance Author Hotspot: A genre-bending interview ;o)
Her Forgotten Betrayal is just a week away from its launch as one of Entangled Publishing’s first Dead Sexy books!
If you’re a blogger, please help us spread the word. Click here for more on all the launch books (also see the yummy blurbs below) and details on how to add a Dead Sexy banner or button to your blog–and how to get your FREE copy of an Entangled Flirt, Ever After or Indulgence title!
♥ ♥ ♥
More about DEAD SEXY’s Launch Titles
Her Forgotten Betrayal, by Anna DeStefano
Remembering will save her life. But will the truth destroy their love forever?
When the CEO of a global technology empire retreats to her ancestral mountain home to heal from a brutal shooting, she discovers the danger has just begun. The FBI suspects her of selling top-secret government research, and has sent an undercover agent to find evidence of her treason. Still suffering from amnesia, she is at the mercy of nightmares that soon morph into something much more terrifying—a determined enemy, plotting to make sure she never regains her fragile memory. When a handsome stranger sweeps in from the cold, claiming to be her protector—and her former lover—she suspects he’s not telling her the whole truth about his sudden appearance on the mountain. As their unwilling attraction blossoms to sizzling passion, she begins to trust him…unaware that he is about to repeat the most painful betrayal of her past—a past she doesn’t remember…a past that just may kill her.
No Hero, by Mallory Kane
A darkly handsome New Orleans detective who insists he’s no hero is blindsided by his one-time lover, a sexy investigative TV reporter, who exposes his secret troubled past to the whole world…and nearly costs him his job. When the at-risk teens he mentors start turning up dead, his vow to protect the other kids hits a major snag…his only clue to finding the determined killer is held by the one woman he never wants to see again. Compelled to work together to solve the vicious murders before another child dies, their passion reluctantly reignites, and their mutual mistrust slowly turns to respect as she realizes there’s much more to being a hero than outward appearances, and his deeply wounded heart gradually opens to the possibility of love.
Sacrifice of Passion, by Melissa Bourbon Ramirez
A tall, dark, single-dad Texas rancher finds himself facing more than his stubbornly silent son when the chupacabra, a supposedly mythical blood-sucking beast, starts killing his livestock—and stalking the town’s newly returned veterinary assistant, the sensual woman who ran from the altar and broke his heart twelve years earlier. Determined to purge his sizzling memories of her from his all-too-vivid imagination, he seeks her help to get to the bottom of the disturbing animal mutilations, only to have her break through to his sullen son…and rekindle the love he’d thought was lost forever. But her refusal to share a terrible secret sends her running straight into the lair of the chupacabra, plunging her back into her worst nightmare, and forcing them both to confront the wrongs of the past—in order to stay alive for the future they desperately want.
Deadly Secrets, Loving Lies, by Cynthia Cooke
Family secrets must be kept, and painful wounds must be ignored.
After an all-out assault by a vicious terrorist bent on destroying her entire family, a former government agent must break the strict rules she has always lived by when she emerges from hiding to reluctantly accept the help of her all-too-sexy ex-lover. Running a deadly race against time, they rush to rescue her kidnapped sister, find her missing father, and bring the notorious villain to justice. But nothing ever goes as planned. Bullets fly, danger abounds, and their passion reignites even faster than the lies are flowing. But their stubbornly held secrets just might spell the end of their rekindled love and hopes for the future…as well as their very lives.
You hear it all the time, how hard this writing and publishing thing has become. Or whatever else your thing is, you know what’s making your journey impossible. ”Suck it up,” everyone says. “It’s just business.” And they’re right. Life isn’t always easy. Sometimes you have to say, “‘Tis,” and battle on. But other times, you need to whine. If you don’t let the frustration and anger and disappointments out, how will you know what’s most important to you and what’s worth waging your epic battle over?
I mean, you need to have a plan, right? Beginning with a goal, so you know what you’re staying in the fight for. When it gets ugly and you want to quit, your battle plan is all you have to keep you going. Make the battle simple and clear, and about what’s most important to you. And your army must be filled with those who see your vision most clearly.
How do you give yourself all of that, if you’re not honest about what you’re fighting for. If you’re not whining with clarity ;o)
My full proof plan for whining with purpose and pride, whatever your battlefield ?
- Begin with a tantrum. A completely out of control moment where your barriers are down and there’s nothing left but what’s driving you round the bend and the people who’re willing to stand beside you, calmly watch the meltdown, and be there when the dust settles to help you pick up the pieces.
- Dig beneath those real emotions for the core conflict that sparked your freak-out. What’s being threatened that’s so near and dear to you, you can’t let it go, no matter how irrational your instinct to rebel? That’s your nugget. That’s the invaluable part of you that you feel powerless to get/protect/preserve/make thrive.
- Now, leave the irrationality behind, and suit up for battle. (more…)
The end-all-be-all of surfing is riding inside the barrel, where the wave hollows out and curls over you and you’re riding free inside the monster. It’s a bitch to get there, it’s a dangerous place, yet it’s heaven at the same time. Much like how a writer feels, cruising toward the last third of a novel’s rough draft. It’s a desperate place, hollowed out and empty, but it’s magic–if you can grit out the ride long enough to get yourself there.
Most writers are clucked from time to time: a surfer’s term for being scared of waves. Writers, we’re scared of our stories more often than we want to admit. Not exactly what we want the world that devours our end-goal to know. Because it’s not really the story, in the end, that freaks us out. It’s the drop (yeah, this will be a running theme, deal with it ;o).
While surfing, the drop is where a surfer first gets up on a wave, then points his board straight down the face of it, plunging toward nothingness, until he either takes the needed turn and flies, or eats it. (more…)
I’m an author, always writing and pitching my work to publishers and (hopefully) reaching readers with ever-new titles. Now I’m also an acquiring editor, too, officially reading other writer’s submissions, searching for the perfect new story for Entangled Publishing’s soon-to-debut Dead Sexy suspense line. Which for some has become a, “Houston. We have a problem,” moment.
“What are you thinking?” a few have asked. Let me ‘Splain.
For me, I’m seeing more options than problems these days. And where I see and understand options that are in my best interest, I act.
I’ve freelanced edited for fiction writers for years–private work stemming from the countless workshops and weekend retreats I teach about writing craft and the romance publishing industry. Before that I was an professional editor, in my senior tech writing gig. Before that…well, we won’t get into (again) how my IT training and project management experience prepared me for the type of analysis needed to break story down, understand its parts, and help people learn how to knit it all back together in their own unique way.
Because that’s all backstory. And as I tell authors, backstory is only a place to begin. Me being qualified for the gig isn’t really the point–without primo qualifications, the savvy team at Entangled wouldn’t have hired me in the first place. The real issue I had to face as I decided whether or not to take their job offer, was what did it mean, me officially moving over to the business side of this journey, at least as I work to help other authors achieve their publishing dreams.
And that, that being a conduit for another writers’ hard work transforming into a dream-come-true, IS what matters to me and the other editors at Dead Sexy. (more…)
Change is an exciting thing. Some days. When you’re embracing the new. Other days, it can bite. BUT–change is always better, once you’ve found your place in it. I’ve found mine in publishing.After taking over a year off for personal reasons, I’m writing again. I’m submitting to excited publishers (none of whom who have said YES, yet, but the excitement is wonderful for me, as they welcome me back into the flow). And I’m making the freelance editing and teaching and travel to present workshops I’ve been doing for years official–I LOVE working with writers, I love exercising the more technical skills of editing that were once my whole job as a senior tech writer, and I love romantic suspense. Now I’m a romantic suspense editor.
What a way to spin into a new year!
It wasn’t long ago that 2010 was, for me, about fear (health scares and such) and the publishing industry crumbling around all of us. 2011 was rebuilding and fulfilling the last of my ‘10 obligations and nervously promoting an exciting novel in a new digital media world I really didn’t understand when I first started. And now, 2012. More change. For all of us.
For me, I’ll be embracing it. I’m putting all I have into these new opportunities and finding my place in them. New novels I will find publishers and an audience for, however that makes sense now, rather than how it worked a few years ago. Teaching six different groups (by today’s count), after having to spend most of ‘11 off the road, and I can’t wait to connect with other creatives who love to do what I do, and maybe help them on their own journeys just a little bit. And now I’m part of an exciting team of women, writers all of us, who are taking our passion for storytelling and working with authors and turning it into something really amazing at Dead Sexy Books.
How many writers will I get to help at Entangled? How many books will find excited readers, because of what we’ll do in 2012.
It makes my soul smile, in all parts of my life, to be so optimistic about what’s ahead. It’s taken me a few years to get healthy and caught up and ready for this new plunge. But it’s a very good day. No matter whatever stumbling blocks come my way, and there will be more than a few if I have my guess, it’s going to be a VERY good year!
How will 2012 change your life? How will you partner with the stream of “new” flowing through your life, and make this year everything you’ve dreamed it could be?
Make this year your home. Find your place, your soul, in the decisions you make!
I peaked online after the holiday to find that my publisher’s made my ENTIRE award-winning, best selling Atlanta Heroes series available in digital format for $3.99 or less per title (through Amazon Kindle)!
Nurse Kate Rhodes is duty bound to report the abusive father of one of her charges–despite the lawyer who proclaims the man’s innocence.
Stephen Creighton isn’t in the habit of getting involved in his cases. For him, it’s get in, fight like hell, get out. But he has to invest more when he finds out Kate’s actions have put his clients’ lives in jeopardy. And now the father and son have gone into hiding.
With the father being sought by the authorities and the son in desperate need of medical treatment, it’s a race against time. One Stephen and Kate can win only if they work together… Something that’s even harder to do when the tension between them becomes white-hot passion.
To Protect The Child (RT Book Reviews Best Book Award):
FBI agent Alexa Vega wakes in an Atlanta hospital with no memory of how she got there. Except for brief flashes of a little girl’s image, she can’t remember anything, including the assignment that led to her brutal attack. The only person she feels she can trust is the man who saved her–Dr. Robert Livingston.
In his care she begins to recover…and to fall for him. Those feelings are returned, because Robert hasn’t been able to stop thinking about Alexa. But as her memory returns, Alexa knows she has to finish what she started. She has to track down her attackers. It’s the only way she can save a child she’s sworn to protect.
She’s determined to succeed, even if it means losing everything else–including Robert’s love. (more…)