Friday, May 31, 2013

Writing a series – should you?


Sure - why not? They're a lot of fun.
 
I started writing my Vegas series because of a set of circumstances that led me to this outcome. I never started off with the plan to do so. This seems to be the way of a writer’s life in many occasions –unforeseen opportunities.

Our IBC promoter, Carolyn McCray, had an idea for a suspense anthology called Bullets, Brass & Babes and offered the group a chance to submit up to 5,000 words to join her in this endeavor. I was thrilled with her idea and quickly wrote my first romantic suspense, a short called “You Shot Me”. I waited with bated breath, nervous but hopeful all at the same time.

You might say I was a mite surprised (floored!) when she told me that my submission should be a full-length book and she now wanted me to write the introduction to the characters and their conflicts. And… I had three days to do so.

Never wrote so fast in my life (edits followed later..…gulp!), and she included in the anthology what was to become the 1st book of the Vegas Series called “Partners”. When I actually wrote the full-length book to follow, I changed the title from the “You Shot Me” to “Roll the Dice” and the series had begun.  

Of course, even I know you don’t have a series with just two books and so there had to a third. Of course, I’d planned the next one to be a full-length, because after all, it would be fine to have a short for the introduction, yes. But didn’t all the rest have to be novels with higher word counts?

Nope!

Again Ms. McCray revised that old-fashioned thinking by saying this. “Why make the readers wait for months before the next book comes out? Keep them up-to-date in the lives of your characters and give them a bridge short to keep them interested.” I liked the idea and Vegas Shuffle” came next.
 
It seemed to satisfy then fans of the series and gave me longer to produce the next manuscript called High Stakes Gamble”. Funny thing, I was now so invested in the lives of my characters that even I loved finding out more about them myself. How they’d grown and developed because of their struggles. This was pure enjoyment that flowed beautifully and I think it shows in the story.
 

I was into the rhythm now. And enjoying being able to fill in back story by framing it into a brief tale to keep the readers involved. When Book #5 called "Spin the Wheel" came about, another bridge that will be released at the end of this month, it was if it wrote itself. Now even I’m hooked. And I can’t wait to get into the final full-length, "Let it Ride".
 

***Except, is it the final? I don’t know? I cringe whenever I think the fun has to stop. I might leave a thread in case I want to hook into the series again. I should, right? Never shut the door to opportunities. RIGHT??
 

But I do have another series waiting on the back burner…hummm!!

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Be prepared to pay big-time!!



I can’t begin to tell you how much money I’ve squandered from the beginning of my career as a serious author. At first it was for reading material, crafts books and such, material I knew would help to make me a better writer. And I was right. They’re so important.

 As my writing progressed, I started entering contests. I was told by others in my RWA chapter that it was imperative to have other eyes read and critique my work. I knew their advice to be true so I sent my - what I thought were - well-edited stories to many contests only to find out that… wait for it… I needed to better my craft. As good as I thought I’d become, darn it all, I wasn’t yet good enough….sniff!
 
No problem….. sniff, sniff.
 

From then on, I paid money to take a lot of workshops. It’s easy online and many are well worth the effort. I made sure that I did my homework and got as much out of those lessons as possible. They did help me understand what I needed to do to improve and so I considered that money to be well spent.

 
Around that time, I received a contract with The Wild Rose Press and I thought – finally!!! I would earn back some of the investment I’d made so far. Not so!

 ROFL!!

Instead, I found myself spending more. You see… now I had a book to promote. Work I was proud of and wanted the world to know about. I’m sure many of you totally understand this mixed emotion - part pride and mostly frustration. Around that time, I looked up every source of advertising possible and I began to spend all kinds of money buying Coffee Time ads and RT reviews and Romance Sells page space, and, and... Goodness the money rolled out and with no visible return on my investment.
 
Finally my career took a 180 and I decided to become an Indie author. Holy smokes! If you think my books cost me before, now the amounts were huge and flowing steadily. Book covers, editing payments for two editors, professional formatting, serious promotion like the FreePartays and periodic expenditures for Pixel of Ink, Ereader News, Digital Books Today, and on and on…

 
But…??  Surprise…!! I was now earning money. Finally all the effort was slowly beginning to pay off.  Amazon checks were arriving monthly and increasing with each one. For the first time in my career, I could pay those bills by money earned from my products. Of course, the one book has now swollen to fifteen as of *TODAY* I just released Book #5 of the Vegas Series – “Spin the Wheel”.  Oh Yeah!!

 
To end this rambling post, I will give some advice based on my own experiences.

1.     Invest in yourself with money you can afford.

2.     Keep track of everything you’ve spent so you know when the budget has been stretched. It's so easy to get carried away.

3.     Have faith that your fans will support you if you continue to produce good books.

4.     And don’t hold your breath for instant success. For most of us, it’s a longggg haul.  

Monday, May 27, 2013

Be prepared to work hard! #amazon #amwriting

And I mean really hard.

In fact I don’t think I’ve ever worked harder than I have as a self-published author. Not that my earlier career as a pay mistress for many northern mines was an easy job, especially when payday came due, but I had backup then. Now I’m all alone, making decisions that affect my future.
True, it’s not physical. But in a way sitting at a desk hours at a time can be hard when you’re alone in the office with a lot of chores staring you in the face and only yourself driving you to get them done.
I guess it’s more of a mental kind of torture that gets better as you become more versed with all the idiosyncrasies of social media. At first, I thought I’d never figure out how to fill in a profile with the different sites I wanted to join. And trust me, I wanted to join them every one of them in case I missed the one that turned out to be the biggest and the best… sigh.
What a waste of time and effort. The only good thing that came out of all that hair-pulling was that I learned how to transverse most sites, where to look for the links, how to post a photo or book cover, to start and keep a blog, to publish a book and best of all, I lost my fear of making a mistake. Hell, when you make as many as I have, pretty soon you just shrug and get on with it.
I guess the hard work came with the fact that there are no set hours. For me that meant I could work all day, stay up half the night and my retired life slipped into this kind of crazy routine fairly easy. I can’t begin to understand how younger people with families and jobs manage. For myself, I tend to put in anywhere from 4 to 10 hours a day pretty consistently. If I’m home, I work. And I don’t go out that much.
It’s become a way of life and truth to tell, I love it. Can’t imagine doing it if I didn’t. Let’s face it, not many of us will ever hit the big jackpot. We’re lucky if we can manage a living wage and even then it’s not dependable. Amazon can change the rules at the drop of the proverbial hat and then what? But being able to write my stories and know there are those out there in never-never land who actually read and enjoy them is such a thrill that I couldn’t imagine stopping.
So next time I’m going through the day’s chores of facebook, twitter, triberr, blog, e-mails, hootsuite, reviews, setting up promotions, various other time-wasters and writing my daily quota, I’ll be seriously glad that everything I need to do – I know how. It’s just fitting everything in.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 



 

 

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Get me outta the slush pile!!



*****
 
Would you like to know the best way of getting your work out of that rotten slush pile that has crippled so many careers?

Stop sending your work to the big publishers like Random House, Macmillan, Penquin Group and Simon & Shuster and then waiting forever to hear back. Unless you have an agent working for you who assures you the book will sell, quit torturing yourself.

**I’d love to know the real statistics of how many manuscripts those publishers have received over the last ten years and the percentage of contracts they’ve given out…???

Instead, find yourself a decent editor. There are many out there who are willing to work hard for reasonable rates. You just have to ask around and get references. And tell that editor that you want the truth. Is your book ready to be published? And take the response like a professional. If she/he tells you it needs work, then listen.

Be objective and… and honest!

Is your book as good as what’s out there today by other BEST-SELLING Indie authors? After all, that is your ultimate goal - or should be. Take a clear-eyed look at what your editor has said and follow instructions unless they’re completely unacceptable. Get other views if you’re not sure. There are many beta readers (find on Goodreads) who will be happy to help you with an honest opinion. Join a group that offers such support. And don’t just take the word of one reader – try a few.

Next, find someone to format your book. Either a professional who knows what they’re doing or learn to do it yourself. Don’t slap it together and publish it – but check what the pro's are turning out and make sure your formatting is done as well.

And then give your book a chance. Don’t just publish and pray. Work hard at getting it found. Join Indie loops for advice. Sign up with RWA chapters if you write romance. Find local groups of authors who might be of help like the one I found in my community that includes 6 published authors who are a font of wonderful information… (and I live in a very small community). Maybe there’s a group like this one where you live. Search for them.

Be prepared to work hard. I mean really hard. (Next Blog)

Be prepared to pay money here and there to promote. (Next after next blog J

Anything less and your book will join millions of others in the outer realm of lost, forgotten and very lonely novels!!

 

 

 

Monday, May 20, 2013

Cover Reveal - "SPIN THE WHEEL" Vegas Series, Book #5

 
Steven Novak has done it again!! A fantastic cover for...
 
Book #5 - the fast-paced Vegas Series...
...gripping entertainment,
...great characters
...chilling conflicts 
 
 
SPIN THE WHEEL
 
 
 
 
 
 
Spin the Wheel, Book #5 for the Vegas series, is another short bridge story introducing Lisa Jordan, Aurora’s partner. Lisa will be at Aurora and Kai’s wedding and forced to spend the evening with Jeff Waters, a man whose very presence makes her feel about the same age as Noel, her three-year-old adopted nephew. Not only can’t she talk with the man around, she can’t think straight when his gorgeous grey eyes search hers as if he’s trying to figure her out.
 
 

Jeff is intrigued with the long-legged, curly-haired beauty who tries so hard to ignore him. When they end up spending the night together, he knows he’s met the one and only. Now all he has to do is get her to acknowledge the fact that she really does like him even when she’s sober.
 


Saturday, May 18, 2013

I love ADJECTIVES!! #amwriting


 
I love adjectives!!
I know authors are supposed to use them sparingly. Today, we’re urged to find strong nouns rather than depending on supporting a weaker noun with an adjunct. Unfortunately, sometimes the search through the dictionary or the thesaurus just doesn’t come up with the exact meaning I want to impart.

Most times, when I know there’s an adjective that works well and will create the exact emotion I’m trying to communicate, I give in and use the darn thing.

For instance in “Spin the Wheel”, the book I just finished, I described a wedding gown. It’s true, those two words are probably sufficient to give the reader the idea of what type of clothing my heroine wore. Except I wanted that dress to belong to her, be true to her personality and therefore I had to add words like strapless and white satin and lace.  

I know there are times when one word is sufficient to tell the story. Words like: fragility, knickknacks, stupor, slumlord, and on and on. I also knew my vocabulary wasn’t huge, so when I first began to write seriously, every book I read for months I highlighted all the strong nouns. Then I listed them on an excel spreadsheet. My best learning style for acquiring and processing information is by writing things down and so I instigated this procedure and stuck with it for months until I had gathered multiple pages with multiple columns of wonderful nouns to choose from.

Surprising how often that file comes in handy when I know there’s a word I want to use… the perfect word, and I just can’t think of it. Skimming these lists has saved my sanity time and again. Aha! There are still occasions when I’ve searched and searched but the term just isn’t there.

For instance – muscles. What better noun can you use to describe muscles? The thesaurus says strengths, powers, physiques, brute force.

Nope – ain’t gonna work!

Say I’m describing my hero’s body and a sentence comes up about his muscles. Fine! The charmer has muscles. Not all that exciting, right? What if I said –The charmer’s bulging muscles... Much better!

Hopefully you get a mind picture of a man whose very strong, likely works out and who’s physically active in some way. And if that was the exact vision I wanted you to have, then rather than saying it in any other way, adding one word to get my point across seems rather logical to me.

On the other hand, I have read some stories that are silly with adjectives. At the worst it’s annoying and at the least it’s unnecessary.  Guess we all have to come to grips with what constitutes the term – too many.


If anyone would like a copy of my list of nouns just send an e-mail to mimibarbour@hotmail dot com  I'm happy to share.
 
 
 


Tuesday, May 14, 2013

What is the most important aspect about the “WAY” I write? #amwriting #free


I was asked a question at the last RWA chapter meeting I went to and I had to think about the answer. If you’re an author, maybe this is something you will ponder when thinking about your own work. And if you’re a reader, for sure you might find this interesting.

I was asked what I found to be the most important aspect about the “WAY” I write.

Humm… I have to admit that I’ve never worried about being a literary, prizewinning writer. I didn’t study creative writing with the thought that one day I might win a prestigious award or have my name up there beside people like Margaret Atwood, and others too numerous to name.

On my first series, The Vicarage Bench, I had wanted to push the boundaries of reality. I loved the show Quantum Leap and wondered if two souls could exist inside one body. After writing the first in the series “She’s Me” (pretty apt title!!) I realized I could craft a believable tale using that concept. At no time did I imagine that my words were anything other than understandable and fairly well thought out.

Belief in magic was the sole reason I started the series, Angels with Attitudes. I mean, we all need a little enchantment now and again, don’t we? Truth to tell, I’ve met real live angels in my life (in human form of course)  but those folks were just that much more spiritual (I didn’t say religious), or generous… or maybe just good that they didn’t seem like the ordinary, run-of- the- mill person….but they really were simply individuals like ourselves that cared about others and showed it in their kindness..

Then while working on the Vegas Series,  I wanted to write books that entertained the reader as if they were watching their favorite, hour-long television shows like Castle, Hawaii Five-O or 24. My wish was to create shorter, snappy stories based on great characters and lots of conflict.

So… I guess I'm ready to answer that question.

I want my stories to entertain!! Let the readers leave their ordinary lives for the hours they are wrapped up in my words. Whether visiting with angels, spirit-travelling through time or being caught up in a Vegas detective’s battles, I hope they enjoy their journey.
 
 
 

Together Again is one of my most entertaining stories about a sixteen-year-old girl whose spirit travels forward in time and invades the body of a busy reporter. The poor man has a really hard time believing in magic!!

If you like spirit-travel and time-travel in the same story, then this is your kind of read. What's more - It's FREE!!!


 
Is happy to give away a lot of best-selling author's work for free!!! So please give yourself a treat and check it out!!


Saturday, May 11, 2013

What about the rotten, unprofessional e-pubs that take advantage??


We all know stories about these kinds of publishers, don’t we? I certainly found out more about them after writing theses posts.
Personally, I've noticed some pretty shoddy work put out by small pubs, badly edited, poor covers and little or no support for the authors in the way of promotion. When a person sees that behavior up front, it makes you wonder what goes on behind the scenes. Like what kind of royalty calculations are being used? Whether or not the author is getting their proper percentage of monies earned by their books?  

A lady wrote to me recently with a horrific story about her experiences. Along with other authors, she hadn’t received any monies since September from her small publisher. Her twenty-one books are being held ransom and the owners refuse to discuss this state of affairs with her because they won’t admit to there being a problem.

All she wants is the rights back for her work. According to her contract, they must acquiesce. But they won’t!

Think about it!

Twenty-one freakin' books they are controlling without her consent. Letters and demands from lawyers have done nothing to save the situation. Pleading and threats haven’t worked. Even taking on a media blitz to expose their treachery and rotten business practices hasn’t moved them to do the right thing. Can she afford to sue? Can anyone? Can she afford not to?

I feel sad for her and I’d hate to think anyone reading this post would ever let themselves get into a similar fix. Remember when I said “Do your Homework”? This is the perfect example of why it’s so important.

 

If anyone else has stories they’d like to share with us about their experiences, please e-mail me at mimibarbour@ hotmail.com and I’ll be glad to have you as a guest.

     

 

 

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Azure Boone shares her experiences with an E-publisher!


 
 
I ‘d like to give a very warm welcome for Azure Boone today who’s agree to share her personal journey from being contracted with an e-publisher to going Indie.

Hi, Mimi, thank you so much for having me.

#1 - How many books have you written, Azure?

I've written eleven so far, and I'm working on the twelfth right now with my awesome writing partner and best friend, Kenra Daniels.


#2 - What happened to you with your publishing company?

Well, like every aspiring author, I wanted to get published. I decided that my book was just pushing too many genres to get accepted and I decided to self- publish. I was even in the process of creating my own cover and asking for opinions on the cover when an editor approached me and asked me for a submission. Okay at this point, I'm thinking, is this God or Satan. LOL. How many times do we wonder if it's a blessing or a curse? Seemed so good! And you know if I had to look back now, I'd say I should have stuck to my guns when I'd prayed about what exactly to do for quite some time and concluded self-publishing was the answer. Well, I decided that maybe this was a good thing. And honestly, it was in a learning aspect. I would not know what I know now if I hadn't made that choice. Now, let me be fair and say there are a lot of positives to having your book published at a real life e-publisher, mine was Loose ID. Out of all the companies, I'm thinking I really lucked out with them. I got a super great editor, whom I still love and have learned a ton from, I got great edits as far as grammar goes and delivery at a sentence level, lol, but then there were the following things that today, have put me in the position I am in. A self-published author.

1. These companies have rules and policies that serve them first. Yes they try and serve the author as far as they can I think, but if there's one man left standing, it's not set up to be you, the author. Which makes complete sense as a business. Now, as a self- publisher, I get to make my own rules and look out for me one hundred percent of the time. I sort of need to do business that way.

2. Royalties were the best around at the time, I think 35 percent. But then they priced your book at $6.99. A new author with no previous experience or social media presence. That meant a pathetic amount of sales. Who wants to take a chance with a new author, except for those who buy through the publisher’s website. And apparently the competition is stiff because I might have gotten maybe 5 sales from the site in all of 10 months. Weeeeeeeee. NOT. Plus they price their books higher at their site so it makes sense nobody buys from there.

3. Publicity. You got listed at their website, you get one mention of your release on Facebook along with a few other authors who were releasing at the same time as you. And you get listed at a couple of e-book stores. You have to pay for your publicity and work behind the curtains yourself - for reviews, blog tours, and whatever other publicity you want. It's that way usually with all companies except the high paying traditional ones.

4. Edits. I have to say they were excellent in the editorial department. They put out quality material, thank goodness for that. I've seen some crappy stuff coming out of a lot of these e-pubs. And their cover design, they had amazing artists, no problems there.

You might be wondering, why did I decide to self- publish then if they are that great? Well, I'll tell you why.

1. I have to be in control of my books. I decided I don't want to compromise there. They asked me to change the entire plot to accommodate more sex in my story at a more erotica genre trope timely fashion. Like in the FIRST chapter. And hell, that was their business, so, they weren't asking for anything out of the ordinary. I could have said no and taken my story elsewhere, but I didn't. And it just so happened that if my character had sex, he damned the women to hell that he slept with. Well, you talk about MAJOR overhauling of a story and I did it. However, I think I like the story (except for the sex too soon part) better than before.

2. I want to be in control of my pricing. I have that with self- publishing. I can set my books at competitive prices and actually give books away. Something I feel is extremely important for new authors. Why? Because I asked myself this - Do I want to get quickly known or quickly rich? Well, if I'm a good writer, I must first become known before I can become rich. And for me, this was more about time. Yes, I may have become known with Loose ID but at fifty times the "time" it took for me to get known with self- publishing. Why? Because with Amazon's KDP select, I have the power to give away books. After giving away say, 1,000 books, I will turn around and sell 200 in a month. While I sell 10 at the publishing company, and that book has better editing!

Yes, I price my books at .99 cents, or $1.99, (which you only get 35% royalty) but these are novellas anyway. I price longer works at $2.99 and then Amazon gives you a 70% royalty! So you're looking at $2.00 per sale of each book. Not bad at all. Now I can sell less books for a fraction the publishing company charges and still make decent money.

I liked the results of self-publishing a lot more than the e-publisher on every turn. I kept writing and I began to slowly build a monthly income AND a larger audience. Every book I wrote, I did the exact same thing with Amazon's KDP. I began at $25 dollars a month and am now at about $300 dollars a month. I began self-publishing in September of last year, so in a matter of nine months, I have gone from making $25 a month to $300. It will likely be more this month because I just added the third book to my Brokenseries. It’s not a ton of money, I know. But it's a living that I'm carving out for myself and I absolutely love doing it as my own boss. No deadlines except those that I make. And I do make them, lol. I've published an average of one book per month and don't plan on stopping until I am raking in more money. It's work, yes, but it's worth it. I'm getting paid to do my passion, I can't complain.

Now the more you become known the more books you will sell, the more money you will make, it really is a snowball effect and I'm simply creating that effect the way I want it created. So, to sum it up, yes you can e-pub and do great with it, a lot of people do. I have nothing against e-publishers, I just think with self-publishing you can also do as good or even better.

So what about the COST of e-publishing? Nothing to you.

What about the cost of self-publishing?

You're looking at around $250 (a good price) for a solid edit.

Cover art: Around $50-$100 (good price)

The rest of the cost you're going to pay for regardless of which way you go, advertising etc.

HOWEVER, I'd like to tell you what I spend on self-publishing. I spend $4.00. Yes, that's four dollars. And that is for the image I purchase for making my own cover. If you knew how easy it was to use Power Point to create covers you'd vomit. I'm not kidding and I think I may video myself doing one and put it up on YouTube. But then I write contemporary erotica, so, it's easy to find the images I want. 123rf.comis where I shop for all my images. They're extremely cheap. What about editing? Well, I paid close attention to what my editor did when we edited. I used all that I learned with her, continued learning how to write, and got better as I went. I rarely hear people say "this person needed an editor, her work was shite" Out of 32 reviews I might get one “poorly-edited” remark while the majority will say it was very well written. That means there are grammar gurus out there that will spot weaknesses but the majority of the audience who are well read usually, do not. You have the same issues with traditional publishing and many of the e-publishers - none of them are perfect… e-publishers especially.

My books: (Did all the covers)




I did these covers too:

http://www.amazon.com/Kassern-Archangels-Creed-ebook/dp/B00AC6S4NMSummon Kassern (Book 1 Archangels Creed series)


The angels on these covers were created by me using Daz3d. I LOVE them.

 

Monday, May 6, 2013

Should some authors sign away their work? #amwriting #amazon





Yes! Keeping in mind that we’re discussing e-publishers, I believe that some authors should do so.

I say this because of various reasons:

1.     Authors who are poor and cannot afford the costs of self-publishing will have those basic expenses covered.

2.     Having the experience of working with professional editors is a huge plus for future work.

3.     Gathering contacts within the publisher’s group who can answer questions and give one needed support.

4.     A loop where you can start a social media campaign and learn how others like yourself are promoting their work.

5.     Those who are young, have a busy family life and have little time to spend on their writing career can get away with only releasing a few books a year.

Now having said this, I have to warn you.

“BE CAREFUL!!!”

“DO YOUR HOMEWORK!!”

Do not go along with just any e-publishing company because they offer you a contract. Check their websites and if they’re unprofessional, take a pass. If their covers aren’t great, take a hike. If most of their books are ranking low on the various book sites such as Barnes & Noble and Amazon, run the other way.

One great site for checking all the available publishers is called Preditors and Editors. http://pred-ed.com/peba.htm They’ve compiled fantastic lists for you to use and not only for publishers.    

Another site you can check is called “Show me the money” http://brendahiatt.com/show-me-the-money/ Brenda Hiatt has done some homework for you and shows clearly which of the companies pay well and those that don’t. (I suggest submitting to those that do!) (DUH! )

From my own experience, this is what I believe happens. Many start-up e-publishers need a stable of authors and lots of product and are willing to take on most anyone just to get started. Chances are they’ll have a low budget and it’s possible their editors won’t be the best which means the editing could be shoddy. If they’re editors are good, how many will they have hired? Therefore turn-around time on getting your books released might be much longer than you expect.

Have they hired a Publicist to not only promote their publishing company, which is important for the readers to find them, but also your books? And how much coverage can each author expect when their book is first released? Does the company have a presence in the Social Media - on Facebook and Twitter? How many followers do they have in both places? How many tweets?

Don’t get me wrong – there are many e-pubs who work hard to help their authors succeed. Some not only provide great covers and good editing but also encouragement, chat rooms, workshops, writing forums and publicity to help their writers gain success.

And all YOU have to do to ensure good royalty checks is - write one hell of a great book.

 

Next blog – What about the rotten, unprofessional e-pubs that take advantage??

Friday, May 3, 2013

Cover reveal - Together Again



to be released on May 5th

I’ve been promising you a cover release for the “Together Again” and here it is.

I wanted to have a beautiful girl’s face on this cover similar to what Wild Rose had chosen. I thought to have it mystical even whimsical but I was shot down. Stay in brand I was told by my promoter. Let the readers know that this book belongs to a series.

And I’ve loved the covers for The Vicarage Bench Series so far - floating roses amongst the sparkles. But this is a full-length story and I had figured that should make the difference.

Not so. To help the readers know by a glance that this is another Vicarage Bench Book I had to stay with the branded concept for the covers. Because the next three novels are all full Length and are the “Together” stories of the series, we changed the format slightly.

 
 

 

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Freedom from Contracts at Last! #amwriting #amazon #finally

Did you realize that if you are contracted to a publisher, this could tie up not only one book but any other novels you might write for that same series?

I know all about that since it happened to me. Thankfully, when I signed my contract with Wild Rose Press it stated that since I was writing a series, they would have first dibs at any new books that went with that specific series only. Anything else I wrote belonged to me alone.

Be careful! Some publishers don’t make it clear, and if you haven’t checked your contract, they could have certain rights over all your work. Then you’d have to change your name …and well... just be careful!

A year and a half ago when I decided to go Indie, I’ve written 8 more books and will soon have a total of 14 available. And they’re mine… all mine… well except for one.

Have you ever written a book so fast that you felt as if the words came to you magically? Like your fingers couldn’t keep up with the flow? It happened to me when I wrote Together for Christmas in two months. I couldn’t wait to see that book published because it was such a miraculous experience. Sadly, it took them well over eight months before it was released.

And that is my last book tied with the publisher. Finally, in November of this year I will get my rights returned. You know why I can’t wait?

#1 - I’ve never liked the cover. From the first time I saw it, it didn’t reflect my vision of the story. But… I had to be nicey-nice and say thank you while swallowing my disappointment. I have no doubt the cover artist did exactly as asked; it just didn’t work for me.

#2 - I have another Vicarage Bench story halfway finished and stopped writing it when I realized I couldn’t release the novel until I had back all my rights for every one of those books. Because as long as I was still under contract, I was legally forced to give them the first chance to publish it.

#3 - I can close that chapter once and for all. *** I will add here that for me at the time it was a very positive step. I was new, inexperienced and naively grateful to be noticed and to have my writing judged and accepted. Without that encouraging feedback, I might not have had the guts to go after self-publishing. So for that I will always be grateful. And… I’m also thankful for the many friends I made and connections that were formed in those years.
 

Next post - Should some authors sign away their work?
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Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Setting up Your Own Work Versus Having No Say at all!! #amwriting #amazon #finally


 Cover Reveal soon!! Together Again - to be released this week!!

Did you know that many of the e-publishers are changing their contracts from 2 years to 5 years?  Wild Rose Press made that announcement some time ago. I’ve even heard rumors that some of the big houses could be expecting the rights to the e-books for the lifetime of the book. Getthe “f”outtahere!!!

Personally, I can’t imagine giving away the rights to my work ever again (except for the paperbacks – but that’s a whole other blog!).

When it became clear to me that I could do much better as a self-published author, one of the important aspects was having product to sell. Books that I could set up properly, making sure the categories I chose would be the best for that story. (Can’t emphasize to you how important that is… really!)

Also, purchasing my own covers, ones I felt proud of and knew would brand the whole series rather than covering each book individually. 

And filling in the product descriptions in the best way to sell the work, giving the readers the information as to why he/she should buy the book.

I mean, think about it. When you see an advertisement about a certain product for sale if a quiet voice said “buy me”, would you listen?  What if a mind-blowing declaration screamed, “This book sizzles with Hot Romance & Powerful Suspense!” Would this not get your attention? Furthermore, when you glanced at the Book Description and saw words like “Hot, Sassy, and Intriguing” admit that it would surely catch your interest.

That’s called promoting the book. It’s not only necessary, it’s vital! When you have the power over the merchandise, there’s no end of the things you can do to help push the product.

How about free days? Many of you refuse to give your work away, thinking you’ll be losing money. Baloney! There are millions of readers in the world who want to find you, want to support you and read your work. It’s up to you to wave at them and say “Here I am!” How better than by giving them a small taste of your voice, a glimpse of what a genius you are, a reason for them to rush and buy everything else you’ve written.

Sure can’t do any of this if your work is controlled by anyone else.
 
Nor can you be involved with a wonderful group of
Best-Selling Authors like those in the
 
Or GIVE away FREE books!!! 
Such as...
 
 



Men are scum, and no one can tell Sadie any different. It’s why she stays away from them. Until a crazy, hotshot soldier runs her down with his convertible. Now because she’s bruised and sore, she's stuck having to accept his help in her elite dog-walking business. Just her luck that some of the expensive pets go missing and Liam decides the puppy-mill rumour needs to be investigated. And once they’re forced to spend more time together, darned if a spark doesn’t start to ignite.
 
Without the angel forcing him to brake, Liam could have killed the gorgeous girl who ran in front of his car to save a little boy. He owed the rescuer big time and would pay his debt no matter that she acted cranky and became more difficult with every meeting. After all, how hard could it be to walk a bunch of mangy mutts? 
 
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